Tuesday, March 29, 2005

"Two-thirds of world's resources 'used up' "

This according to an article in today's Manchester Guardian.
A report backed by 1,360 scientists from 95 countries - some of them world leaders in their fields - today warns that the almost two-thirds of the natural machinery that supports life on Earth is being degraded by human pressure.

The study contains what its authors call "a stark warning" for the entire world. The wetlands, forests, savannahs, estuaries, coastal fisheries and other habitats that recycle air, water and nutrients for all living creatures are being irretrievably damaged. In effect, one species is now a hazard to the other 10 million or so on the planet, and to itself.

"Human activity is putting such a strain on the natural functions of Earth that the ability of the planet's ecosystems to sustain future generations can no longer be taken for granted," it says.

A link to my post "To Consume Is Glorious" over at Peking Duck prompted an interesting and revealing discussion. Certain respondents stated that all of this concern over diminishing resources is overblown, that humankind has the ability to innovate out of any problem we create. I too have a certain amount of faith in man's capacity to innovate. But what will be lost in the meantime? And how much of what is lost can really ever be recovered?

Thanks to SusanHu, Booman Tribune's crack front-page diarist, for this link.


Anonymous said...

And we really need to start the innovations before we have exhausted all the natural resources----

Other Lisa said...

exactly. and the longer we wait, the more expensive the fix becomes. the more species we lose. and so on.

Real History Lisa said...

And I've never been concerned about what Man CAN do. I've been very concerned, however, about what Man WILL do. And WHEN he will (or won't?) do it.

Provocative piece, Leese. Thanks for posting!

Other Lisa said...

Take a look at the discussion I referenced on Peking Duck. It is amazing the blind faith some of the posters have in human kinds' ability to innovate ourselves out of a mess...

joann said...

I actually saw this comment elsewhere, too.

"Man" will do what he wants to do, especially if it is profitable.

If not profitable in his life time, then... oh well.


Other Lisa said...

Yeah...I've run into that attitude - "Why should I care about future generations? I'll be dead by then." This was from a fellow my father's age. I was profoundly saddened by this. Don't you have children, I wanted to say? Don't you care about them at all?

That's what gets me. The coldness, the lack of love, even for their own children.