Came across this dated but still interesting article--
The world is coming to an end. Check out http://news.yahoo.com/s/nm/20061024/ts_nm/environment_wwf_planet_dc
According to the WWF (are they the professional wrestlers?) --Humans are stripping nature at an unprecedented rate and will need two planets' worth of natural resources every year by 2050 on current trends.
Looked closer at the article. Doesn't ever say what WWF stands for. I'm assuming World Wildlife Foundation. Am I close? Guess if you have to ask...
Some other factoids.
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.
Ok. What is a two-yearly report? If things are so bad you would think they would report at least semi-annually.
Now for some required America bashing.
"If everyone around the world lived as those in America, we would need five planets to support us," Leape, an American, said in Beijing.
But we are not the only ones. Leape goes after the Arabs.
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.
How did Finland get in there? Making too many cellphones?
Even the Aussies are not exempt.
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.
But some nice words for the Chinese. I'm not cynical enought to believe the fact that China was the host had anything to do with Leape going easy on the Chinese.
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.
Promises, promises. The path to hell is paved with good intentions.
Good news, bad news.
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.
If South Africa needs some help in the vulture department, we can help. I would be glad to send over a few Texas turkey vultures. We have plenty. I'm especially happy to hear about the northern hairy-nosed wombat. I was getting concerned.
Too cynical? Perhaps but I am tired of doomsayers with no viable solutions. The usual answer is cut back and ride bicycles. Turn out the lights and buy a Prius. Ok, but then what? How about something like increase the food supply which is exactly what happened to Malthus.
Who? In a minute. Here is what he wrote.
The power of population is so superior to the power of the earth to produce subsistence for man, that premature death must in some shape or other visit the human race. The vices of mankind are active and able ministers of depopulation. They are the precursors in the great army of destruction, and often finish the dreadful work themselves. But should they fail in this war of extermination, sickly seasons, epidemics, pestilence, and plague advance in terrific array, and sweep off their thousands and tens of thousands. Should success be still incomplete, gigantic inevitable famine stalks in the rear, and with one mighty blow levels the population with the food of the world.
Malthus was saying, in summary, that the world could not feed itself and that massive starvation would level the population to the level of food production. A scary tale, kind of like Leape.
The only difference is that Malthus made his arguement in 1798. Yeah, freaking 1798. Guess Malthus was wrong. We're still here!. Which make Leape a bit suspect in my eyes. Can't believe he never heard of Malthus but maybe he doesn't get around much.
Hate to do this but thinking like Leape is a giant leape backward. Malthus was wrong and so is Leape. How will mankind fix things? Beats me. All I know is that when a problem gets bad enough it gets solved.
Modern farming put the lie to Malthus. Something similar will get Leape. Like I said, when a problem gets bad enough it gets solved. Believe me.