Universal Eco-Symbol

All-Purpose Symbol for Environmental Awareness

Environmental

Facts and Opinions

 


 

The Planet will Survive
The planet will survive with or without a thriving human population. Whether or not it is too late for humans is unknown. What is known is that how we live and how we die are in our control. Following the current path, most scientists see environmental and societal collapse in just a few generations.

Fifty years ago very few environmentalists, much less the general population, saw the looming problem of global sustainability. Now there is widespread scientific agreement that the Earth's carrying capacity for a growing human population may be exceeded in the next few generations. Some say we already beyond it.

How can it happen that growth could be the norm for thousands of millions of years and now, just now, it could be our ruin? The brief answer is that recent explosive growth in human population, consumption and pollution far outpaces the speed at which the planet can renew itself. And unfortunately, this little planet of ours, with its petite 25,000-mile waistline, isn't getting any bigger. Indeed it is getting smaller.

"The creator will deal with overpopulation of humans just as he/she has dealt with overpopulation among animals. It is a cruel way to see things develop. Nature creates high mortality rates to deal with overpopulation."
--Alfred Bartlett, Professor Emeritus Univ. of CO, Boulder in an email letter to Dan Poresky

"We dont live on the planet we were born on. We live on a new, poorer, simpler planet, and we continue to impoverish it with every ounce of oil and pound of coal that we extract from its crust.

"In retrospect it will be clear. A hundred years from now, people may well remember the 1990s not as the decade of the Internets spread or the Dows [Dow Jones stock market index] ascension but as the years when global temperatures began spiking upward, as the years when rain and wind and ice and sea water began irrefutably to reflect the power and heedlessness of our species.
But how bad it will get depends on how deeply and how quickly we can feel. It depends on whether were still capable of shock."

--Bill McKibben, the author of The End of Nature, which was recently reissued in an updated 10th anniversary edition. This article was first published in The New York Times in September 1999.


Unending line of garbage trucks
Hundreds of Millions Live Like This
When the Crops Don't Grow - There's Bushmeat (What little remains)
Will Our Past be Our Future?
 Modern Humans Learned how to Outsmart the Laws of Nature
Since the beginning of life on earth all animal and plant species lived and died without diminishing the quality of their habitat. All death and waste regenerated the food supply. Species came and went but evolution continued to create more complex and diverse life forms.

As humans learned to control and dominate their food supply and habitat, they began a lifestyle that forever altered the balance of nature. They learned to exploit nature for their convenience and comfort, destroying habitats and other life forms faster than they could be regenerated. Over the centuries people migrated to all corners of the world, slowly at first, frequently diminishing the quality of the land and water where they settled.

Environmental destruction accelerated as tools and medicine improved. About 150 years ago, with the start of the industrial revolution, modern machinery began to extract ever increasing quantities of resources from the earth. Still this was seen as progress and not as a problem. Then came chainsaws, bulldozers, toxic chemicals, factories, automobiles, giant fishing boats, airplanes, atomic energy, deep mining and plastics all of which do more harm to the earth than is sustainable. Over 90% of all waste products created by humans do not benefit other species. Some are inert but many do extensive damage to the soil, water, air and wildlife.


"We do not inherit the earth from our ancestors,
We borrow it from our children." Navajo Proverb