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Discussion in 'Political Discussion' started by Turk, Oct 24, 2006.

  1. Turk

    Turk Rookie

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    By Ben Blanchard

    Tue Oct 24, 6:29 AM ET



    BEIJING (Reuters) - Humans are stripping nature at an
    unprecedented rate and will need two planets' worth of natural
    resources every year by 2050 on current trends, the WWF
    conservation group said on Tuesday.

    Populations of many species, from fish to mammals, had
    fallen by about a third from 1970 to 2003 largely because of
    human threats such as pollution, clearing of forests and
    overfishing, the group also said in a two-yearly report.

    "For more than 20 years we have exceeded the earth's
    ability to support a consumptive lifestyle that is
    unsustainable and we cannot afford to continue down this path,"
    WWF Director-General James Leape said, launching the WWF's 2006
    Living Planet Report.

    "If everyone around the world lived as those in America, we
    would need five planets to support us," Leape, an American,
    said in Beijing.

    People in the United Arab Emirates were placing most stress
    per capita on the planet ahead of those in the United States,
    Finland and Canada, the report said.

    Australia was also living well beyond its means.

    The average Australian used 6.6 "global" hectares to
    support their developed lifestyle, ranking behind the United
    States and Canada, but ahead of the United Kingdom, Russia,
    China and Japan.

    "If the rest of the world led the kind of lifestyles we do
    here in Australia, we would require three-and-a-half planets to
    provide the resources we use and to absorb the waste," said
    Greg Bourne, WWF-Australia chief executive officer.

    Everyone would have to change lifestyles -- cutting use of
    fossil fuels and improving management of everything from
    farming to fisheries.

    "As countries work to improve the well-being of their
    people, they risk bypassing the goal of sustainability," said
    Leape, speaking in an energy-efficient building at Beijing's
    prestigous Tsinghua University.

    "It is inevitable that this disconnect will eventually
    limit the abilities of poor countries to develop and rich
    countries to maintain their prosperity," he added.

    The report said humans' "ecological footprint" -- the
    demand people place on the natural world -- was 25 percent
    greater than the planet's annual ability to provide everything
    from food to energy and recycle all human waste in 2003.

    In the previous report, the 2001 overshoot was 21 percent.

    "On current projections humanity, will be using two
    planets' worth of natural resources by 2050 -- if those
    resources have not run out by then," the latest report said.

    "People are turning resources into waste faster than nature
    can turn waste back into resources."

    RISING POPULATION

    "Humanity's footprint has more than tripled between 1961
    and 2003," it said. Consumption has outpaced a surge in the
    world's population, to 6.5 billion from 3 billion in 1960. U.N.
    projections show a surge to 9 billion people around 2050.

    It said that the footprint from use of fossil fuels, whose
    heat-trapping emissions are widely blamed for pushing up world
    temperatures, was the fastest-growing cause of strain.


    Leape said China, home to a fifth of the world's population
    and whose economy is booming, was making the right move in
    pledging to reduce its energy consumption by 20 percent over
    the next five years.


    "Much will depend on the decisions made by China, India and
    other rapidly developing countries," he added.


    The WWF report also said that an index tracking 1,300
    vetebrate species -- birds, fish, amphibians, reptiles and
    mammals -- showed that populations had fallen for most by about
    30 percent because of factors including a loss of habitats to
    farms.


    Among species most under pressure included the swordfish
    and the South African Cape vulture. Those bucking the trend
    included rising populations of the Javan rhinoceros and the
    northern hairy-nosed wombat in Australia.
  2. patsfan13

    patsfan13 Hall of Fame Poster PatsFans.com Supporter

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    That's OK back in the 70's the same groups were predicting we'd all be dead by now. Malthusian predictions of doom and lack of natural resources have been around for 200+ years, always wrong.

    This doesn't mean pollute at random BTW. The best remedy for pollution is economic growth. People who have enough to eat worry about their quality of life and the enviroment's impact on their life. The starving are only concerned about their next meal.

    They sort of central planning advoacted by these froups doesn't help. To see the effect of central planning look at the enviromental disasters in China and the old Soviet Union.
  3. DarrylS

    DarrylS PatsFans.com Supporter PatsFans.com Supporter

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    There are signs of a "green" revolution, just read an article that Home Depot will begin selling and installing solar panels.. every little step like this is a first step, but need a lot of them to start to turn this around.

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