Friday, October 26, 2007

Humanity at risk (NVDL

The future of humanity has been put at risk by a failure to address environmental problems including climate change, species extinction and a growing human population, according to a new UN report.

In a sweeping audit of the world's environmental wellbeing, the study by the UN Environment Programme (UNEP) warns that governments are still failing to recognise the seriousness of major environmental issues.

The study, involving more than 1,400 scientists, found that human consumption had far outstripped available resources. Each person on Earth now requires a third more land to supply his or her needs than the planet can supply, it finds.

Meanwhile, biodiversity is seriously threatened by the impact of human activities: 30% of amphibians, 23% of mammals and 12% of birds are under threat of extinction, while one in 10 of the world's large rivers runs dry every year before it reaches the sea.

The report - entitled Global Environment Outlook: Environment for Development - reviews progress made since a similar study in 1987 which laid the groundwork for studying environmental issues affecting the planet.

Since the 1987 study, Our Common Future, the global response "has in some cases been courageous and inspiring," said the environment programme's executive director Achim Steiner. The international community has cut ozone-damaging chemicals, negotiated the Kyoto protocol and other international environmental treaties and supported a rise in protected areas which cover 12% of the world.

"But all too often [the response] has been slow and at a pace and scale that fails to respond to or recognise the magnitude of the challenges facing the people and the environment of the planet," Mr Steiner said. "The systematic destruction of the Earth's natural and nature-based resources has reached a point where the economic viability of economies is being challenged - and where the bill we hand to our children may prove impossible to pay," he said.

Climate change is a global priority that demands political leadership, but there has been "a remarkable lack of urgency" in the response, which the report characterised as "woefully inadequate".

For the rest of this article, go here. (Thanks J).

NVDL: What we need is Nature Virtue Decency and Logic. But it starts with Nature, and not Human Nature, getting back to Nature, and remember the concept of Nature as our Mother. Mother Nature. Without her we inhabit a world without beauty, without sense, without love. And such a place and its habitants is doomed. We know this, but we still think delay is okay. In fact, delay matters a great deal. The cover of TIME magazine in SA is also splattered green, and features the world's greenest people.

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