Monday, March 06, 2006

The Future Of Life

The Future Of Life
Originally uploaded by pookie_san99.
While reading Edward Wilsons book "The Future Of Life" I heard that the worlds total population had hit 6.5 billion people.Wilson,along with other experts and organisations calculates that the population will peak around mid-century 2050 at 9 to 10 billion,hopefully.
Wilson estimates that the the worlds environment or biosphere would be capable of sustaining 17 billion but at great cost to living standards and natural resources.

His central theme is the problem of providing a decent standard of living for everyone in the world while also preserving as much of the rest of life as possible.Before its too late.
He charts mans effect on the biosphere by looking at different areas such as Hawaii and species such as the Vancouver Island Marmot.
Lots of facts and frightening figures.For example,he quotes the then latest (2001) models that predict earths mean temperature will rise between 2.5F and 10.4F by 2100.Even if fully adopted the Kyoto Protocol will only decrease this rise by as little as 0.1F.The effects of global warming can be seen already at the North Pole.Only last week I read two articles predicting the demise of polar bears.

By 2100,Wilson raises the prospect of a world with no Amazon,Congo or New Guinea rain forests.Coral reefs,rivers and other aquatic habitats will have deteriorated badly.Also gone would be half or more of Earth's animals and plant species.Lost irretrivably to future generations.
Despite the doom and gloom the book finishes in a positive mood.The author notes the rise of conservation groups,eco-tourism and various NGO and government programs and the fact that adequate resources exist to address the problem which is the core of the book.
To quote him "A civilisation able to envision God and to embark on the colonisation of space will surely find the way to save the integrity of the planet and the magnificent life it harbors"
I hope so....

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