Humans running up huge
'overdraft' with the planet
says new WWF report
"The Living Planet Report is
WWF's periodic update on the
state of the world's ecosystems."
From the website of Swiss-based conservation body
WWF International wwf.org . . .
Living Planet Report 2002
by Jonathan Loh
Humans running up huge 'overdraft' with
the planet says new WWF report
"Geneva, Switzerland - Standards of living and human development
will start to plummet by 2030 unless humans stop using more natural
resources than the planet can replace, according to a new report
released by WWF, the conservation organization, 50 days before
the start of the World Summit on Sustainable Development ." [...].
"The Living Planet Report is WWF's periodic update on the state
of the world's ecosystems - as measured by the Living Planet Index
- and the human pressures on them through the consumption of
renewable natural resources - as measured by the Ecological Footprint.
There is a cause-effect linkage between the two measures." [...]
According to the Living Planet Report . . .
"The Earth has about 11.4 billion hectares of productive land and sea space - or 1.9 hectares of productive land to provide for each of the 6 billion people on the planet. The global ecological footprint - or consumption of natural resources - is 2.3 hectares per person. However, while the footprint of the average African or Asian consumer being less than 1.4 hectares per person in 1999, the average Western European's footprint was about 5.0 hectares, and the average North American's was about 9.6 hectares. "
"We do not know exactly what the result will be of running this massive
overdraft with the earth. What is clear though is that it would be better to
control our own destiny, rather than leave it up to chance," said Jonathan
Loh, author of the Living Planet Report. "At the WSSD, world leaders
will have a magnificent opportunity to address the root causes of our
obvious failure to achieve sustainable development and set us on the path
to a truly sustainable future."
| download a PDF of the full Living Planet Report 2002 |
Other related interesting links . . .
From the New York Times . . .
As Trees Die, Some Cite the Climate
by Timothy Egan
"OLDOTNA, Alaska Edward Berg has a pair of doctorates, one in
philosophy and another in botany, but for the last decade he has been
a forensic detective in the forest, trying to solve a large murder mystery.
"The evidence surrounds him on his home in the Kenai Peninsula:
nearly four million acres of white spruce trees, dead or dying from
an infestation of beetles the largest kill by insects of any forest
in North America, federal officials say.
"Beetles have been gnawing at spruce trees for thousands of years.
Why, Dr. Berg wondered, has this infestation been so great? After
matching climate records to the rate of dying trees, Dr. Berg, who
works at the Kenai National Wildlife Refuge, believes he has come
up with an answer.
"He says a succession of warm years in Alaska has allowed spruce
bark beetles to reproduce at twice their normal rate. Hungry for the
sweet lining beneath the bark, the beetles have swarmed over the
stands of spruce, overwhelming the trees' normal defense mechanisms."
"These bugs are coldblooded," Dr. Holsten said. "They are an early
warning indicator of climate change. If it warms up enough they can
complete that two-year life in a single year." [...]
And of special interest to those readers in the Ohio area . . .
From the website of the Ohio Environmental Council
Evidence building for deadly effects of air pollution
[PDF: requires Acrobat Reader]
Monday, June 17, 2002
by Dennis Fiely Dispatch Staff Reporter
"Your state is ground zero for this stuff,'' said Conrad Schneider,
advocacy director of the Boston-based Clean Air Task Force, a national
nonprofit organization dedicated to reducing power-plant emissions.
"You have one of the biggest, oldest and dirtiest fleets of plants in
the country. People on the East Coast blame Ohio for the majority
of their air pollution, but your residents are breathing most of it.'' [...]
The American Lung Association gave Ohio air an F in its 2002 State
of the Air report.
"The 21 coal-fired power plants in Ohio emitted 375,000 tons
of nitrogen oxide in 2000, equivalent to the emissions from 19
million cars." [...]