Tuesday, August 29, 2006

[environment] thought for the day

Agent Smith, in the Matrix, said:

I'd like to share a revelation that I've had during my time here. It came to me when I tried to classify your species. I realized that you're not actually mammals.

Every mammal on this planet instinctively develops a natural equilibrium with the surrounding environment, but you humans do not. You move to an area, and you multiply, and multiply, until every natural resource is consumed. The only way you can survive is to spread to another area.

There is another organism on this planet that follows the same pattern. A virus. Human beings are a disease, the cancer of this planet, you are the plague, and we are the cure.

The human race is living beyond its means. A report backed by 1360 scientists from 95 countries warns that almost two-thirds of the natural machinery that supports life on Earth is being degraded by human pressure. In effect, one species is now a hazard to the other 10 million or so on the planet, and to itself.

Human activity is putting such a strain on the natural functions of Earth that the ability of the planet's ecosystems to sustain future generations can no longer be taken for granted:

o Because of human demand for food, fresh water, timber, fibre and fuel, more land has been claimed for agriculture in the past 60 years than in the 18th and 19th centuries combined.

o An estimated 24 per cent of the Earth's land surface is cultivated.

o Water withdrawals from lakes and rivers have doubled in 40 years, and a quarter of all fish stocks are overharvested.

o Since 1980, about 35 per cent of mangroves have been lost and 20 per cent of the world's coral reefs have been destroyed.

o Deforestation and other changes could increase the risks of malaria and cholera, and open the way for new diseases.

The Millennium Ecosystem Assessment cites "an unprecedented period of spending Earth's natural bounty. In many cases, it is literally a matter of living on borrowed time."

Anton Chekov, in Uncle Vanya [1897], said:

Man has been endowed with reason, with the power to create, so that he can add to what he's been given. But up to now he hasn't been a creator, only a destroyer. Forests keep disappearing, rivers dry up, wildlife's become extinct, the climate's ruined and the land grows poorer and uglier every day.

1 comment:

mr.Kosov said...

Absolutely agree with mr.Higham. I got only one question – «Why does nobody care about themselves environment – our environment? »