Forgive me, but I can’t understand why this wasn’t the splash in all the papers, and top of all of the news bulletins. (On the Today program, a spend of £280 million on school meals was the lead item.)
It’s been documented (read my earlier post) that humanity essentially takes a free ride from the Earth, treating the “services” it provides as something that will continue for an unlimited time, against all the evidence.
Now the proof emerges: it’s really not going to.
Planet Earth stands on the cusp of disaster and people should no longer take it for granted that their children and grandchildren will survive in the environmentally degraded world of the 21st century. This is not the doom-laden talk of green activists but the considered opinion of 1,300 leading scientists from 95 countries who will today publish a detailed assessment of the state of the world at the start of the new millennium.
You can read the original news release, which isn’t comfortable either:
–Humans have changed ecosystems more rapidly and extensively in the last 50 years than in any other period. This was done largely to meet rapidly growing demands for food, fresh water, timber, fiber and fuel. More land was converted to agriculture since 1945 than in the 18th and 19th centuries combined. More than half of all the synthetic nitrogen fertilizers, first made in 1913, ever used on the planet has been used since 1985. Experts say that this resulted in a substantial and largely irreversible loss [my bolding - CA] in diversity of life on Earth, with some 10 to 30 percent of the mammal, bird and amphibian species currently threatened with extinction.
– Ecosystem changes that have contributed substantial net gains in human well-being and economic development have been achieved at growing costs in the form of degradation of other services. Only four ecosystem services have been enhanced in the last 50 years: increases in crop, livestock and aquaculture production, and increased carbon sequestration for global climate regulation. Two services -– capture fisheries and fresh water -– are now well beyond levels that can sustain current, much less future, demands. Experts say that these problems will substantially diminish the benefits for future generations.
But it’s more important that the UK government belatedly puts money into school meals? Something’s wrong with this picture.
See the whole thing at http://www.MAWeb.org. And shiver. This coming Saturday Dr. Who is previewing the end of the world. Perhaps five billion years late?