Scary and Shocking Environmental Report

Oct 2013
14,438
Europix
#81
Working that night would be much too late. Our company is having one of few major data bases of our state so we were working few months before that night to change all dates.
I suppose that night was more about "I think we didn't missed anything" than about working.
 

Solidaire

Ad Honorem
Aug 2009
5,477
Athens, Greece
#82
This is a summary of the UN report, with highlights on selected points.
UN Report: Nature's Dangerous Decline 'Unprecedented'; Species Extinction Rates 'Accelerating' - United Nations Sustainable Development

And this is the report itself. Interesting, enlightening and alarming.
Dropbox - 1 Global Assessment Summary for Policymakers - Simplify your life

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Figure 2.Examples of global declines in nature, emphasizing declines in biodiversity, that have been and are being caused by direct and indirect drivers of change. The direct drivers (land/sea use change; direct exploitation of organisms; climate change; pollution; and invasive alien species)5result from an array of underlying societal causes6. These causes can be demographic (e.g. human population dynamics), sociocultural (e.g. consumption patterns), economic (e.g. trade), technological or relating to institutions, governance, conflicts and epidemics; these are called indirect drivers7, and are underpinned by societal values and behaviors.The colour bands represent the relative global impact of direct drivers on (from top to bottom) terrestrial, freshwater and marine nature as estimated from a global systematic review of studies published since 2005. Land and sea use change and direct exploitation account for more than 50 per cent of the global impact on land, in fresh water and in the sea, but each driver is dominant in certain contexts{2.2.6}. The circles illustrate the magnitude of the negative human impacts on a diverse selection of aspects of nature over a range of different time scales, based on a global synthesis of indicators {2.2.5, 2.2.7}

Today, humans extract more from the Earth and produce more waste than ever before(well established). Globally, land-use change is the direct driver with the largest relative impact on terrestrial and freshwater ecosystems, while direct exploitation of fish and seafood has the largest relative impact in the oceans (well established) (Figure SPM.2) {2.2.6.2}. Climate change, pollution and invasive alien species have had a lower relative impact to date but are accelerating (established but incomplete) {2.2.6.2, 3.2, 4.2}. Although the pace of agricultural expansion into intact ecosystems {2.1.13} has varied from country to country, losses of intact ecosystems have occurred primarily in the tropics, home to the highest levels of biodiversity on the planet (for example, 100 million hectares of tropical forest from 1980 to 2000), due to cattle ranching in Latin America (~42 million ha) and plantations in South-East Asia (~7.5 million hectares, 80% in oil palm) among others {2.1.13}, noting plantations also can raise total forest area.

Land-use change is driven primarily by agriculture, forestry and urbanization, all of which are associated with air, water and soil pollution. Over one third of the world’s land surface and nearly three-quarters of available freshwater resources are devoted to crop or livestock production {2.1.11}. Crop production occurs on some 12 per cent of total ice-free land. Grazing occurs on about 25 per cent of total ice-free lands and approximately 70 per cent of drylands {2.1.11}. Approximately 25 per cent of the globe’s greenhouse-gas emissions come from land clearing, crop production and fertilization, with animal-based food contributing 75 per cent of that.

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Figure 4. Development pathways since 1970 for selected key indicators of human-environment interactions, which show a large increase in the scale of global economic growth and its impacts on nature, with strong contrasts across developed, developing, and least developed countries. Countries are classified according to the UN World Economic Situation and Prospects (www.un.org). Global gross domestic product has risen 4-fold in real terms with the vast majority of growth occurring in developed and developing countries (A). Extraction of living biomass (e.g. crops, fisheries) to meet the demand for domestic consumption and for export is highest in developing countries and rising rapidly (B). Material consumption per capita within each country (from imports and domestic production), however, is highest in developed countries (C). Overall protection of Key Biodiversity Areas is rising, being highest within developed countries (D). Air pollution is highest in the least developed countries (E) while the challenges of non-point-source pollution, from use of fertilizers, are highest in developing countries (F). Data sources: A, E, F: www.data.worldbank.or; B, C : www.materialflows.net; D. www.keybiodiversityareas.org, www.protectedplanet.net


Let's have a look in land use for meat production, in particular for beef and buffalo meat which are the most harmful to the environment.

Regionally, Asia is the largest meat producer, accounting for around 40-45 percent of total meat production. This regional distribution has changed significantly in recent decades. In 1961, Europe and North America were the dominant meat producers, accounting for 42 and 25 percent, respectively. In 1961, Asia produced only 12 percent. By 2013, Europe and North America's share had fallen to 19 and 15 percent, respectively.

This reduction in production share was despite a large increase in production in absolute terms: Europe's meat output has approximately doubled over this period, whilst North American output has increase 2.5-fold. Production increases in Asia, however, have been staggering: meat production has increased 15-fold since 1961.
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USA was and still is the biggest producer of beef in the world, but production has exploded in Brazil and China in recent decades
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Why is there a special mentioning for beef? Because it is the food industry with the heaviest impact on the environment, by far
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Meat and Seafood Production & Consumption

And a look at impacting the oceans
Fishing industry by country - Wikipedia
China has a staggering lead in fishing, followed by Indonesia and India.

More to follow...
 

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Solidaire

Ad Honorem
Aug 2009
5,477
Athens, Greece
#83
Deforestation occurs around the world, though tropical rainforests are particularly targeted. If current deforestation levels proceed, the world's rainforests may completely vanish in as little as 100 years, according to National Geographic. Countries with significant deforestation in 2016 included Brazil, Indonesia, Thailand, the Democratic Republic of Congo and other parts of Africa, and parts of Eastern Europe, according to GRID-Arendal, a United Nations Environment Program collaborating center. The country with the most deforestation is Indonesia. Since the last century, Indonesia has lost at least 39 million acres (15.79 million hectares) of forest land, according to a study by the University of Maryland and the World Resource Institute.
Deforestation: Facts, Causes & Effects

The main cause of deforestation is agriculture (poorly planned infrastructure is emerging as a big threat too) and the main cause of forest degradation is illegal logging. We’re losing 18.7 million acres of forests annually, equivalent to 27 soccer fields every minute.
Deforestation is a particular concern in tropical rain forests because these forests are home to much of the world’s biodiversity. For example, in the Amazon around 17% of the forest has been lost in the last 50 years, mostly due to forest conversion for cattle ranching. Deforestation in this region is particularly rampant near more populated areas, roads and rivers, but even remote areas have been encroached upon when valuable mahogany, gold, and oil are discovered.


Over the next 15 years, forest landscapes equaling an area more than twice the size of Texas could be lost to rampant deforestation, according to a WWF report. If nothing is done, 11 of the world's most ecologically important forest landscapes—including forest homes or orangutans, tigers, and elephants—will account for over 80 percent of forest loss globally by 2030, the report states. Up to 420 million acres of forest could be lost between 2010 and 2030 in these "deforestation fronts" if current trends continue. The hot spots are located in the Amazon, the Atlantic Forest and Gran Chaco, Borneo, the Cerrado, Choco-Darien, the Congo Basin, East Africa, Eastern Australia, Greater Mekong, New Guinea, and Sumatra.

Expanding agriculture, due to an increased population and shifts in diet, is responsible for most of the world's deforestation. As the human population continues to grow, there is an obvious need for more food. In addition, agricultural products, such as soy and palm oil, are used in an ever-increasing list of products, from animal feed to lipstick and biofuels. Rising demand has created incentives to convert forests to farmland and ranch land. Once a forest is lost to agriculture, it is usually gone forever—along with many of the plants and animals that once lived there.
Deforestation and Forest Degradation | Threats | WWF

Deforestation by region - Wikipedia
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A look at carbon dioxide emissions from burning fossil fuels
List of countries by carbon dioxide emissions - Wikipedia
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And a look at plastic pollution
Top 20 Countries Ranked by Mass of Mismanaged Plastic Waste | Earth Day Network
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And a link about pollution from the shipping industry, freely floating around the globe. Just to stress how complex the situation is.
Cargo Ships Are the World's Biggest Polluters — but No One Wants to Fix It | Inverse
 
Likes: athena

GogLais

Ad Honorem
Sep 2013
5,397
Wirral
#84
IT companies, CIOs , individual IT staff and the list goes on... Its fairly well known that it was a minor problem, that should have been treated as standard maintenance... but thanks to the hype a lot of people made a lot of money..... in some cases a lot of pretend work was done , all paid for.... and CIOs abused the excuse to inflate their IT budget.....
Oh, “fairly well known” then.
 
Likes: macon

athena

Ad Honorem
Jan 2010
5,032
Eugene, Oregon
#85
No? You don't think those massive climate change protests in London show that people care? Or the global protests by schoolchildren?

For heaven's sakes, the climate change group is even called "Extinction Rebellion"!
I think the US is more Christian dominated than London. I doubt there will be such protest in the Bible belt. The 2012 Texas Republican agenda was to prevent education in higher order thinking skills and they went to the supreme court in a fight to have the creationist story in science books and taught as though it were equal to explanations of evolution. At the supreme court level, Texas lost but culturally these Christians dominate.

In a democracy moral decisions should be based on scientific thinking, but we are not teaching that. When we switched the education for technology, we left moral training to the Church. Now we have no idea what a search for truth and science have to do with moral judgment and democracy.

I hate to say this, but the Christian mythology is a problem when it comes to things like dealing with the environment.
 

athena

Ad Honorem
Jan 2010
5,032
Eugene, Oregon
#86
I'm accepting the studies' conclusions. I recognize that we are causing a mass extinction. My personal opinion [note that I'm posting as a common Historumite here] is that it's natural. Human species has caused extinctions and we are going to cause further extinctions.

The alternative is to renounce to our beloved modernity. I remember the myth of "Arcadia" and the good savage ... the pivotal question is: is it really possible to make such an utopia real in our modern world?
I do not believe so. It was commonly believed our planet does not have enough resources for the whole world to have the same standard of living as the US. Our military might assures we can fight for the resources our economy needs? Vietnam and Iraq were not threats to the US and our weapons are not environmentally friendly.
 

botully

Ad Honorem
Feb 2011
3,544
Amelia, Virginia, USA
#87
I think the US is more Christian dominated than London. I doubt there will be such protest in the Bible belt. The 2012 Texas Republican agenda was to prevent education in higher order thinking skills and they went to the supreme court in a fight to have the creationist story in science books and taught as though it were equal to explanations of evolution. At the supreme court level, Texas lost but culturally these Christians dominate.

In a democracy moral decisions should be based on scientific thinking, but we are not teaching that. When we switched the education for technology, we left moral training to the Church. Now we have no idea what a search for truth and science have to do with moral judgment and democracy.

I hate to say this, but the Christian mythology is a problem when it comes to things like dealing with the environment.
According to the report, the direct and indirect drivers have zero to do with Christianity. The poor farmers using slash and burn agriculture are not motivated by Christianity. The explosion in palm plantations is not caused by Christianity. Nor is overfishing, cargo ship dumping or plastic waste.
A Christian can be an environmentalist, even if the motivation may differ from the scientist.

I think population growth with the attendant poverty is a big problem when it comes to things like the environment. Unfortunately, there is no solution for this. Better science education in Texas isn’t going to provide arable land in Africa that also supports elephants. Science hurts, in a way. Pesticides have allowed land previously closed by the tse tse fly to be exploited by poor farmers. New crops with a better yield support more people, and can be engineered to grow in where they couldn’t before.
Global trade increases consumption and pollution, yet provides income to people who otherwise would have none. Should they stay poor forever, denied modern conveniences?
These are the contradictory and intractable problems. Protesting schoolchildren solves nothing, and contributes nothing but headlines.

How do we deal with population growth. That’s the problem. Anyone have any ideas at all?
 
Oct 2013
14,438
Europix
#88
How do we deal with population growth. That’s the problem. Anyone have any ideas at all?
(note that isn't my idea).

I already said briefly that it's enough to reason a bit. I think I also mentioned that I give my very small project if family planing.

The population growth it's linked to a figure: aprox. 2,1 fertility rate is the zero line. Over, population is growing, underw, population is decreasing.

World statistics say that in the last decade, there is only one part of the world significantly over that line: Subsaharian Africa. The rest of the world, with small exceptions, is at or under that line. Also, practically all over the world, the fertility rate had stagnated or decreased. Even in Subsaharian Africa.

The population growth is linked to two things: how many children a women give birth, and starting at what age.

How many children, it's obvious. The age of first birth is less thought at, although it's extremely important: first child at the age of 15, means more than 6 generations in a century. First age at 20, means only five. First birth at 25, means only four generations.

Generally speaking, the populations that have a low first children age are also the ones having more births per woman.

Also low first birth age and more children is related to the economical aspect (of the person/community/population), the educational aspect and the mentality/religion aspect. It's why the discrepancy between Subsaharian Africa and the other regions of the world is so big: it's the place where the factors are the strongest and coupled the most.

Solution is to be found by taking those things into account and realise one thing: the immense majority of girls would prefer to not have a kid at the age of 14, but later, most women would like having a couple of kids iñstead of a half a dozen.

If they've given the chance, if they knew that they can, if they would have the choice.

Family planing programs running for a longer period in the region had proven that it works: in the regions covered, first birth age grew, number of childrens felt (in the case I know of, the first birth age went to 17-18, number of children felt to 3 - average).

The question that might be asked is: why should I, why should "we" finance "them"?

Simply because it's in "our" interest: reducing the population growth there is the cheapest way to reduce the "pressure" on "us". It's something logical and efficient even if I addopt the most a raciest white supremacist ideology: it's cheaper than building fences, paying board patrols and buffer state's dictators.

And guess what, btw:
have zero to do with Christianity.
it has.

US was financing the kind of programs I was talking about for some time, and results started to show.
The Christian anti-abortion, anti-family planning lobby managed to obtain freezing those programs...
 

Solidaire

Ad Honorem
Aug 2009
5,477
Athens, Greece
#89
This is a global problem, that requires global cooperation to solve. How do you convince, coordinate every country on the planet, or at least the larger ones? How do you make them agree on a course of action, and make them keep those agreements, especially when they involve drastic measures with significant political, economic, social impact, and require a steadfast commitment?

For example, the Amazon rainforest is considered a planetary lung. However, it does not belong to a planetary administration, but mostly, to the Brazilian one. How do you convince it to keep it intact and healthy for the sake of the whole planet, when Brazil stands to gain a lot of money by converting it to cattle pasture or fields for agriculture? Brazil is developing quickly, how do you ask them to remain poor and underdeveloped for the sake of the rest of us? Do we have that right? Do we have the means? Do we have a viable, reasonable alternative to propose? And Brazil is just an example, as shown above it is mostly developing nations that impact the environment the most, exactly because they are developing in a fast, environmentally harmful way. Are there alternative models of development, friendly to the environment but still economically sustainable for poor countries to follow and catch up with the richer and more developed ones? Moreover, how do you convince people around the world (and mostly in rich countries) to eat less beef, for example, and thus remove the incentive for converting valuable land into cattle ranches, a food industry that harms the environment the most, while yielding the least nutritious value? How to convince people to boycott products produced in own, near, or far away countries, if their production burdens the environment too much, even if they are desirable or cheap? And where do we draw the line between reasonable concern for the environment and hysteria?

The biggest polluter of the planet is China, with its frenzied development and exporting industry. It emits the most greenhouse gases, it pollutes the oceans with the most plastic, it taxes the aquatic life of the oceans the most. China is the champion of development, but also the champion of pollution. Who buys its products, thus entering the chain that so harms the environment? All of us. Who is its greatest trade partner? The US, with Europe following behind. Whose businesses have immigrated to China, contributing to the gigantification of Chinese industry? Western firms and manufacturers. Can we force China to respect the environment more? The notion alone is laughable. Could we press towards that direction? Maybe, in a coordinated, determined effort. And what about India or Indonesia? Or the next developing nation? How do we deal with two centuries delayed development, in a planet not as healthy nor as unencumbered by humans as it was two centuries ago, when the now developed world was itself developing?

I am very skeptical that a solution reversing the damage could be found. We might, as a species, manage to survive and at last mobilise to save the planet from the worse, but significant damage cannot be avoided, I think. Personally, I will continue to try and harm the environment as little as possible, with no illusions that I can make any significant difference, or romantic notions that by recycling my batteries or consuming as less electricity as possible I will save the planet. The forces at work negating the effects of environmental caution are overwhelming, and unless there is massive mobilisation translated into powerful political initiatives, volunteer or individual care and action will achieve little. Maybe I'm wrong, maybe I'm too pessimistic. I sure hope so.
 
Likes: Futurist

botully

Ad Honorem
Feb 2011
3,544
Amelia, Virginia, USA
#90
(note that isn't my idea).

I already said briefly that it's enough to reason a bit. I think I also mentioned that I give my very small project if family planing.

The population growth it's linked to a figure: aprox. 2,1 fertility rate is the zero line. Over, population is growing, underw, population is decreasing.

World statistics say that in the last decade, there is only one part of the world significantly over that line: Subsaharian Africa. The rest of the world, with small exceptions, is at or under that line. Also, practically all over the world, the fertility rate had stagnated or decreased. Even in Subsaharian Africa.

The population growth is linked to two things: how many children a women give birth, and starting at what age.

How many children, it's obvious. The age of first birth is less thought at, although it's extremely important: first child at the age of 15, means more than 6 generations in a century. First age at 20, means only five. First birth at 25, means only four generations.

Generally speaking, the populations that have a low first children age are also the ones having more births per woman.

Also low first birth age and more children is related to the economical aspect (of the person/community/population), the educational aspect and the mentality/religion aspect. It's why the discrepancy between Subsaharian Africa and the other regions of the world is so big: it's the place where the factors are the strongest and coupled the most.

Solution is to be found by taking those things into account and realise one thing: the immense majority of girls would prefer to not have a kid at the age of 14, but later, most women would like having a couple of kids iñstead of a half a dozen.

If they've given the chance, if they knew that they can, if they would have the choice.

Family planing programs running for a longer period in the region had proven that it works: in the regions covered, first birth age grew, number of childrens felt (in the case I know of, the first birth age went to 17-18, number of children felt to 3 - average).

The question that might be asked is: why should I, why should "we" finance "them"?

Simply because it's in "our" interest: reducing the population growth there is the cheapest way to reduce the "pressure" on "us". It's something logical and efficient even if I addopt the most a raciest white supremacist ideology: it's cheaper than building fences, paying board patrols and buffer state's dictators.
This is exactly what has been done, notably by the UN, since the '70's, with tweaks along the way. The emphasis is on choice, as you say, when given a choice fertility rates lower. These sort of programs have been successful around the word, with the notable exception of sub-saharan Africa. The biggest roadblock seems to be individual African governments, who have been slow or resistant to implement and support fertility programs. Still, the UN is confident that fertility rates will lower even here by 2100. Thus their world population projection of 11.5 Billion people by then. This means, of course, that if everything goes according to plan, the world will have to support 4 billion more people, as climate change worsens.

And guess what, btw:


it has.

US was financing the kind of programs I was talking about for some time, and results started to show.
The Christian anti-abortion, anti-family planning lobby managed to obtain freezing those programs...
<citation needed>
 

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