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UN issues ‘final wake-up call’ on population and environment

International Herald Tribune – October 25, 2007

This article almost makes you want to put a gun to your head! No, I absolutely do not condone suicide or violent behavior but this article will not make you feel good about life. I almost suggest that you watch an episode of Barney when you get done reading just to make you feel better.

The UN recently released its Global Environmental Outlook and it is not a pretty picture. Basically, the UN is saying that there are too many people out there and we are using more basic resources than the planet can sustain. I write about this in a global warming site simply because if human’s are causing global climate change than it is likely due to the problems listed in this report as well.

I just hope that some nut case doesn’t get it in his head that we need massive extermination of mankind to save the planet. That, in essence, was the story for “Rainbow Six“, a Tom Clancy novel and it was much of the foundation of Stephen King’s “The Stand” as well as countless other works of fiction.

The human population is living far beyond its means and inflicting damage on the environment that could pass points of no return ….


“The human population is now so large that the amount of resources needed to sustain it exceeds what is available at current consumption patterns,” Achim Steiner, the executive director of the program….


Persistent problems identified by the report include a rapid rise of so-called dead zones, where marine life no longer can be supported because of depletion of oxygen caused by pollutants like fertilizers. Also included is the resurgence of diseases linked with environmental degradation.


“Life would be easier if we didn’t have the kind of population growth rates that we have at the moment,” Steiner said. “But to force people to stop having children would be a simplistic answer. The more realistic, ethical and practical issue is to accelerate human well-being and make more rational use of the resources we have on this planet.”


The report said 250 percent more fish are being caught than the oceans can produce in a sustainable manner, and that the number of fish stocks classed as collapsed had roughly doubled to 30 percent globally over the past 20 years.


The report said that current changes in biodiversity were the fastest in human history, with species becoming extinct a hundred times as fast as the rate in the fossil record. It said 12 percent of birds were threatened with extinction; for mammals the figure was 23 percent and for amphibians it was more than 30 percent.

You can read the entire article here.

At the top of this post, I suggested watching Barney to cheer you up after reading this article. Maybe “Don’t Worry, Be Happy” from Bobby McFerrin is more appropriate.

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