OT: "Caught up in the growth of the Internet, we seem to have lost sight of the Earth's deteriorating health"greenspun.com : LUSENET : TimeBomb 2000 (Y2000) : One Thread
WORLDWATCH INSTITUTE WARNS ON GLOBAL WARMING: The information technology boom fuelled by Internet use is obscuring "the Earth's deteriorating health", the Worldwatch Institute has warned.
In its first annual assessment of the state of the planet of the new millennium, the US-based institute (a leader in analysing global environmental and health trends) warns that environment issues will ultimately shape the new century. Sustained stock market gains in many economies is also distracting from reality, it says.
Commenting after the release of its State of the World 2000 study at the weekend, its senior author, Lester Brown said: "Caught up in the growth of the Internet, we seem to have lost sight of the Earth's deteriorating health. It would be a mistake to confuse the vibrancy of the virtual world with the increasingly troubled state of the real world."
When the institute began annual assessments in 1984, it hoped it would begin a process of showing the Earth's health improving by the beginning of the 21st century. Unfortunately, the trends it was concerned with then - shrinking forests, eroding soils, falling water-tables, collapsing fisheries and disappearing species - had lengthened. Now on the list were: rising temperatures, more destructive storms, dying coral reefs, and melting glaciers. "As the Dow Jones goes up, the Earth's health goes down," he said.
Rising temperatures were the one key trend affecting the whole world, Mr Brown said. It was melting glaciers from the Peruvian Andes to the Swiss Alps. In 1991, hikers in the Alps had discovered an intact human body protruding from the ice; apparently that of a man trapped in a storm some 5,000 years ago. Last year another body was found in a melting glacier in the Yukon territory of western Canada. "Our ancestors are emerging from the ice with a message for us: the Earth is getting warmer."
The review notes the number of people considered overnourished and overweight now rivals the number who are undernourished and underweight; each group containing some 1.2 billion people. It also highlights the threat from persistent organic pollutants (known as POPs); the implications of current paper utilisation and likely global impacts of information and micropower technologies.
The urgency of the need to stablise the relationship between the world's six billion people and the natural systems on which they depended could not be overemphasised, Mr Brown said.
-- Risteard Mac Thomais (email@example.com), January 17, 2000
The "virtual" world will be replacing the "real" world on 12/21/2012.
-- Michael (firstname.lastname@example.org), January 17, 2000.
That's when the Earth is supposed to enter the so-called Photon Belt, isn't it?
-- Richard Dymond (email@example.com), January 17, 2000.
"The urgency of the need to stablise the relationship between the world's six billion people and the natural systems on which they depended could not be overemphasised"
'Zactly what I've been spouting all along. Thanks, RMT!
-- Y2Kook (Y2Kook@usa.net), January 17, 2000.
"It was melting glaciers from the Peruvian Andes to the Swiss Alps"
Maybe all that water will fall on the deserts. Then with all that water the deserts will blossom and the people can go back to farming. Maybe the Ag Business people are trying to prevent global warming in order to maintain the Ag corner.
My conspiracy theory.
Raising the Mammoth, is coming in March. How did all those animals survive before the freeze. Was the Earth warmer then? I think so.
-- Mark Hillyard (firstname.lastname@example.org), January 17, 2000.