Archive for the ‘Climate issues’ Category

From Lester Brown, an important movie: Journey to Planet Earth — Plan B: Mobilizing to Save Civilization —  http://video.pbs.org/video/1864227276

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A few recent links about the possible future course of humankind on Earth if we do not begin to change our unsustainable ways:

+ “Could Food Shortages Bring Down Civilization?” by Lester Brown (in Scientific American – May 2009) – this article posits that the increasing fragility of the world’s food supply could lead to shortages that would further destabilize many developing (as well as developed) countries

+ “What the future looks like” by Martin Rees (in The Guardian – May 2009) – a rather gloomy assessment of the socio-environmental situation that could lead to major problems by 2050.  In relation to the burgeoning world population and the impact that this is having on the environment, the article states:

“But there are some trends that we can predict with confidence. There will, barring a global catastrophe, be far more people on Earth than today. Fifty years ago the world population was below 3 billion. It has more than doubled since then, to 6.7 billion. The percentage growth rate has slowed, but it is projected to reach 9 billion by 2050. The excess will almost all be in the developing world where the young hugely outnumber the old.

If population growth were to continue beyond 2050, one can’t be other than exceedingly gloomy about the prospects. And the challenge of feeding such a rapidly growing population will be aggravated by climate change.

The world will be warmer than today in 2050; the patterns of rainfall and drought across the world will be different. If we pursue “business as usual”,

CO2 concentration levels will reach twice the pre-industrial level by around 2050. The higher its concentration, the greater the warming – and, more important still, the greater the chance of triggering something grave and irreversible: rising sea levels due to the melting of Greenland’s icecap; runaway release of methane in the tundra.”

+ ABC News ran the TV special “Earth 2100” back in early June 2009 – it also paints a grim portrait of Earth overwhelmed by major economic, political, and socio-environmental problems by the year 2100 if humanity does not soon change course and begin upon a more ecologically/environmentally sustainable path. I didn’t hear about or get to watch the program when it first aired, but I hope to watch a rerun of it on the internet sometime soon when I find the time.
– Also see the following related links:
“Earth 2100: the Final Century of Civilization? – Planet At Risk: Experts Warn Population Growth, Resource Depletion, Climate Change Could Bring Catastrophe in Next Century”

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Ever since the advent of the Industrial Revolution and the resulting population explosion, the Earth’s air has slowly become more dirty, toxic, noxious, and injurious to the health of many living things on Earth.

Uncountable numbers of automobiles and a huge number of factories as well as energy plants worldwide have been belching and spewing toxic gases/fumes and related pollutants in to our atmosphere for decade after decade since the advent of the Industrial Revolution, and worst of all this is actually accelerating rather than abating due to the rapid economic development of numerous countries in Asia and elsewhere.

The incidence of various diseases and disorders related to bad air-quality are now becoming widespread in many nations, especially in and around various urban areas where the pollution, smoke, smog, and other airborne toxins congregate and congeal.

Even worse, this incessant spewing of pollution in to the atmosphere may be causing the Earth’s climate to undergo major shifts which could further endanger life on our planet.  Whether or not one believes that ‘climate change’ and/or ‘global warming’ is actually occurring, the constant as well as long-term discharge of enormous amounts of pollutants in to the air is obviously injurious to the Earth’s environment and everything that lives on it.

Meanwhile, widespread deforestation continues full-steam-head and shows no signs whatsoever of tapering off any time soon – thus not only are we continuing to recklessly fill our air with huge amounts of pollution but we are simultaneously removing the ‘lungs’ of our Earth (trees/forests) which help to naturally filter the air.

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I. The Current Human and Environmental Crisis: A Call to Action and Overview of Major Problems

II. Population and Demographic Issues
a. Overpopulation and the resultant overstraining of vital resources

III. Water: The Basis of All Life on Earth
a. Increasing freshwater depletion/pollution
b. Massive wasting of valuable freshwater
c. Ocean pollution and overfishing

IV. Soil: The Foundation of Human Civilizations
a. Topsoil loss: widespread erosion and soil mismanagement
b. Soil contamination/pollution
c. Over-farming/soil exhaustion
d. Over-reliance on fertilizers/pesticides/chemicals/etc

V. Food: Everyone Has To Eat
a. Very unstable food supplies
b. Industrial agriculture/factory-farming is cruel to the inhabitants of Earth (both humans and animals) and is entirely unsustainable
c. The widespread loss of knowledge regarding food production due to overdependence on automation and machinery for food production

VI. Air: We All Breathe
a. Air pollution
b. Weather/ozone problems: climate change/global warming, etc
c. Deforestation: the collapsing lungs of our Earth

VII. Living Patterns: They’re Going to Have to Change…Drastically
a. Unsustainable overconsumption/waste
b. Social (dis)organization is reaching near-anarchic levels in some countries
c. Widespread disconnection/alienation from nature is fueling nihilism and other pathological behaviors

VIII. Energy: It’s What Makes the Modern World Work
a. Soiling our own nest: too much dirty energy (oil, coal, natural gas, etc)
b. Increasing depletion of oil/nat-gas/coal/etc: peak oil?
c. Widespread energy inefficiency/waste

IX. Transportation: Moving People and Stuff Around
a. Increasingly obsolete transportation networks for the current (and still growing) world population
b. Fragile, polluting, and unsustainable supply chains for necessary resources and consumer goods

X. How Long Does Humanity Have to Start On a More Sustainable Path?
a. Is so-called ‘globalization’ sustainable or even desirable?
b. The danger of over-contentment, procrastination, neglecting to act, and general human laziness
c. The specter of regional, national, or even global collapse/disintegration

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The Human Sustainability Plan (THSP)



It is increasingly difficult to deny that humanity is spiraling out of control on multiple levels.  As such, this website seeks to offer commentary on and possible solutions to the current socio-environmental crisis.

I particularly seek to provide a gathering place for links to other websites and/or pertinent research resources which are focused on the modern ‘green/sustainability movement,’ human/environmental sustainability, environmental conservation/protection, all aspects of environmental science, ecology, enviro-economics, ecopolitical issues, natural resources, simple living, agrarianism, localism, and a myriad of other related topics.

If you know of more good websites, books, or any other sources of information pertaining to environmental topics please put them in a comment here or in another post so that I can take a look and then possibly add them to the links section of this website if they prove informative and helpful.

Also, please don’t be shy in terms of criticizing the ideas contained on this website, as well as correcting the grammar, word usage, and/or stylistics of my writing if you catch mistakes.  Any and all criticism is very helpful and is fully welcome here.

I’m adding the entire categorical structure of this website to this particular post (see directly below) so that readers can get a sense of what topics this blog will focus on.

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