Overwhelming evidence has engendered a consensus among global scientists that the human population level and trend are unsustainable. Although we are part of nature, we may have some choice in the ongoing process of which our numbers are but one variable. Individual, social, and institutional factors are examined, and policy options are considered. Evidence is given debunking the claim that the rich attempt to coerce poor nations to reduce fertility. Carrying capacity and optimum population concepts are discussed, particularly as to equilibrium potential. Prospects for pro-active success are entertained.
The world's oceans are faced with an unprecedented loss of species comparable to the great mass extinctions of prehistory, a major report suggests today. The seas are degenerating far faster than anyone has predicted, the report says, because of the cumulative impact of a number of severe individual stresses, ranging from climate warming and sea-water acidification, to widespread chemical pollution and gross overfishing. [...more]
A new study says the seas are acidifying ten times faster today than 55 million years ago when a mass extinction of marine species occurred. And, the study concludes, current changes in ocean chemistry due to the burning of fossil fuels may portend a new wave of die-offs. [...more]
The Earth has nine biophysical thresholds beyond which it cannot be pushed without disastrous consequences, the authors of a new paper in the journal Nature report. Ominously, these scientists say, we have already moved past three of these tipping points. [...more]
The following is an exchange between two environmentaists, Paul Kingsworth and George Monbiot over the question of how to approach the enormous threat posed by climate change and resource depletion. The collapse of civilization will bring us a saner world, argues Paul Kingsnorth. No, writes George Monbiot -- we can't let billions perish. [...more]
Coral reef survival is balancing on a knife edge as the combined effects of ocean acidification and ocean warming events threaten to push reefs to the brink of extinction this century, warned a meeting of leading scientists. [...more]
Debaters on population usually take two sides: either they see it as a huge problem facing humanity, or that it's a non-issue. They're both wrong.
This polarized debate has generated lots of heat and little light over the last half-century. According to the combatants, population growth is either the biggest problem facing humanity, or it is a complete non-issue.
In the era of global warming, when many scientists say we are experiencing a human-caused mass extinction to rival the one that killed off the dinosaurs, one might think that the discovery of a host of new species would be cause for joy. Not entirely so, says Paul Ehrlich, co-author of an analysis of the 408 new mammalian species discovered since 1993. [...more]
Unchecked global warming would leave ocean dwellers gasping for breath. Dead zones are low-oxygen areas in the ocean where higher life forms such as fish, crabs and clams are not able to live. In shallow coastal regions, these zones can be caused by runoff of excess fertilizers from farming. A team of Danish researchers have now shown that unchecked global warming would lead to a dramatic expansion of low-oxygen areas zones in the global ocean by a factor of 10 or more. [...more]
Although it was a crucial part of humans’ survival 100,000 years ago, hunting is now nothing more than a violent form of recreation that the vast majority of hunters does not need for subsistence. Hunting has contributed to the extinction of animal species all over the world, including the Tasmanian tiger and the great auk. [...more]