Data shows all of Earth’s systems in rapid decline

August 4, 2011CANADA – Protecting bits of nature here and there will not prevent humanity from losing our life support system. Even if areas dedicated to conserving plants, animals, and other species that provide Earth’s life support system increased tenfold, it would not be enough without dealing with the big issues of the 21st century: population, overconsumption and inefficient resource use. Without dealing with those big issues, humanity will need 27 planet Earths by 2050, a new study estimates. The size and number of protected areas on land and sea has increased dramatically since the 1980s, now totaling over 100,000 in number and covering 17 million square kilometres of land and two million square kilometres of oceans, a new study reported Thursday. But impressive as those numbers look, all indicators reveal species going extinct faster than ever before, despite all the additions of new parks, reserves and other conservation measures, according to the study published in the journal Marine Ecology Progress Series. “It is amazing to me that we haven’t dealt with this failure of protected areas to slow biodiversity losses,” said lead author Camilo Mora of University of Hawaii at Manoa. “We were surprised the evidence from the past 30 years was so clear,” Mora told IPS. The ability of protected areas to address the problem of biodiversity loss – the decline in diversity and numbers of all living species – has long been overestimated, the study reported. The reality is that most protected areas are not truly protected. Many are “paper parks”, protected in name only. Up to 70 percent of marine protected areas are paper parks, Mora said. The study shows global expenditures on protected areas today are estimated at six billion dollars per year, and many areas are insufficiently funded for effective management. Effectively managing existing protected areas requires an estimated 24 billion dollars per year – four times the current expenditure. “Ongoing biodiversity loss and its consequences for humanity’s welfare are of great concern and have prompted strong calls for expanding the use of protected areas as a remedy,” said co-author Peter Sale, a marine biologist and assistant director of the United Nations University’s Institute for Water, Environment and Health. “Protected areas are a false hope in terms of preventing the loss of biodiversity,” Sale told IPS.
The authors based their study on existing literature and global data on human threats and biodiversity loss. When asked about the 2010 global biodiversity protection agreement in Nagoya, Japan to put 17 percent of land and 10 percent of oceans on the planet under protection by 2020, Sale said it was “very unlikely those targets will be reached” due to conflicts between growing needs for food and other resources. “Even if those targets were achieved, it is not going to stop the decline in biodiversity,” he said. One reason for this is “leakage”. Fence off one forest and the logging pressure increases in another. Make one coral reef off limits to fishing and the fishing boats go the next reef. Another reason protected areas aren’t the answer is that fences or patrol boats can’t keep out the impacts of pollution or climate change. Finally, the pressures on the planet’s resources are escalating so quickly that “the problem is running away from the solution”, he said. The loss of biodiversity is a major issue because it is humanity’s only life-support system, delivering everything from food, to clean water and air, to recreation and tourism, to novel chemicals that drive our advanced civilization, said Mora. Right now the dominant strategy to halt the loss of biodiversity is with protected areas. “That’s putting all our eggs in one basket,” he said. “A major shift is needed to deal with the roots of the problem.” The ever-expanding footprint of humanity is the primary cause of global biodiversity loss. When the world’s population was five billion people in 1985, the amount of nature’s resources being used or impacted became more than the planet could sustain indefinitely according to many estimates, said Mora. The world population, currently at seven billion, is well beyond Earth’s ability to sustain. By 2050, with a projected population of 10 billion people and without a change in consumption patterns, the cumulative use of natural resources will amount to the productivity of up to 27 planet Earths, the study found. Sustaining the current seven billion people on the planet requires a major shift in resource use. At present, the average U.S. citizen’s ecological footprint is about 10 hectares, while a Haitian’s is less than one. The planet could sustain us if everyone’s footprint averaged two ha, Mora said. If there are more people, then there are simply fewer resources available for everyone, so population control will be needed along the lines of “one child per woman”, he said. “I’m from Colombia, it blows my mind that some governments in the developing world pay women to have more children,” he added. Hardly anyone is focused on the pressing need for a major shift, said Sale. “The awareness of the public about this is shockingly low,” he noted. What is needed is for humanity as a mass to change direction, he said. –IPS News
contribution LA Fulkerson
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22 Responses to Data shows all of Earth’s systems in rapid decline

  1. Wiseguy says:

    Just to add some fuel to the fire… No harvest on some area, food price rising…

    http://droughtmonitor.unl.edu/

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  2. Mary says:

    Revelation 21:1 (KJV)

    1And I saw a new heaven and a new earth: for the first heaven and the first earth were passed away; and there was no more sea.

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    • Star1111Seed says:

      Mary

      Spot on! Somehow the one we put in charge are not getting it. They have selfishly vised another plan which they think will save them; one that I pray and humbly ask God to thwart.

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  3. Kelly says:

    Really, just how smart do you need to be to figure this out.

    You can’t just continue to expand in numbers and rape and pillage the earth forever. You cannot base the global economy on continued growth into infinity. But that is what has/is happening.

    It should be obvious and yet no one does anything about it. A complete turn around is required, but there will be huge economic consequences to reducing the birth rate and reversing the trends so that the global population decreases. No one wants to deal with it and in fact this should have been dealt with 30 years ago…………….. but no, wait until things are beyond the point of no return and then begin to talk about it.

    It is already too late. It will take a significant global disaster, that is a depopulation event, to reverse things quickly. One only needs to look at the very expensive and relatively useless global conferences that have been held to see that politicians literally could not come to any meaningful agreement if their lives depended on it.

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  4. Jake says:

    For the creation was subjected to futility, not willingly, but because of Him who subjected it in hope; because the creation itself also will be delivered from the bondage of corruption into the glorious liberty of the children of God. For we know that the whole creation groans and labors with birth pangs together until now. – Romans 8:20-22

    It’s really true, all of God’s creation is suffering and crying out along with humanity for the kind of redemption that only God can offer. I know this is not a new revelation to some. When the King comes back and sets up His reign on Earth; the birds of the air will sing a new song and all the animals, trees and the rest of the vegetation will be completely at peace also.

    I love the song “Harmony” by Elton John: “Harmony, gee I really love you and I want to love you forever, and dream of the never, never, never leaving harmony.” I still pray, to this day, that Mr Elton surrenders to Christ and His saving Grace.

    I’m thankful for the chance to be able to share what’s on my heart in this moment. Amen

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  5. radiogirl says:

    Nice work Jake……Yes I promise you it is indeed all true…hope I see you one day…at that most glorious place.

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  6. Dave says:

    wow. There is no need to reverse the birth rate. The world can hold many many more people than what is being said. The changes that need to be made are within our own societies. A small example would be to grow all food locally and reduce the ridiculous shipping to and from all the continents. There is no reason why we can’t work together to achieve such improvements. The thing that’s in the way for theses such things to work requires equality of life. Korea is living proof. They were forced into this type of situation before and were able to sustain. So i say, watch what you say about population reduction, for this is evil and is what the higher powers proclaim. Remember They are the problem, not us.

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  7. Charlotte says:

    The world is not overpopulated. God does not make mistakes. Sin in the world has consequences for ecosystems, financial systems, governments, and most importantly, individuals and families. It is the sin in the world (i.e. bad choices in every area) that causes corruption, pollution, deforestation, famine, overcrowding, disease, etc. The notion that we need a “depopulation event” is repulsive, inhumane, and very dangerous.

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    • Susan says:

      I agree. The problem with “de-population” is who decides who gets to be de-populated and who gets to remain? That was the thinking behind the holocaust.

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    • Xavier says:

      100% Agree !!!

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    • Son of a Mason says:

      Are you serius? if there is a god he just put us here, not controling what we do because we have free will and can think if we choose to look outside the Bible, Koran and so on.. We will soon hit the point of no return when we`re all gonna starv because we don`t think..

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  8. Brandon says:

    Alvin, This is yet another sign. With the earthquakes, volcanic eruptions, record heat waves, record cold, cracks globally, etc there is just so much happening and fast. Your book is named Extinction Protocol for a reason so my question is how far away from extinction are we in your opinion? Great work as always!

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    • Brandon, often in science you deal with an unforeseen set of parameters which are both unpredictable and not capable of being monitored. Let us for a moment; entertain the concept of a circle. In science, scientists say the world began with a big bang and our Sun is expected to end in similar fashion. In the Bible, we read where in the beginning God said “Let there be light and there was light.” and in the last book of the Bible, Revelation, we find the Earth so overflowing with the glory of Christ, that there is no night there, nor need of a Sun or candle. Revelation 21:23. Now we look at the Solar System as a flawed system that has suffered some great astro-catastrophe in the past and may do so again in the future. If the first world was destroyed when the planet between Mars and Jupiter exploded, another planet could have a nova explosion in this time as former astrophysicist Tom Van Flandern therorized that it was possible for planets to nova. The horror of our catastrophic doomsday comet and killer asteroid threat may be sitting in our backyard like a ticking time-bomb waiting to go off. Jupiter is radiating more heat than it receives from the Sun and at times; it behaves more like a failed star than a planet. There is an unexplained magnetic anomaly in Saturn’s northern pole, not to mention a giant storm encompassing the planet- so the Jovian planets are experiencing unusual phenomena that could possible portend all may not be right with the gaseous giant planets. We are likely to face some unexpected surprises in places we least expect it.

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      • tru says:

        the neighbors are not at ease. we don’t help our interplanetary property values with our shenanigans and I, for one, see only trouble in the status quo, flaws in religion and disaster in our social order. our species won’t be satiated until every cohabitant is extinguished.

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  9. J Guffey says:

    I agree with most of the comments above. When our life on Earth is over, I look forward to meeting my EP friends as we start our new lives in Heaven. Until then, may God give each of you peace in the midst of the storms of this life.

    Thankfully, life here is like a vapor and will soon disappear. So will our memories of our earthly life.

    Like

  10. Luca says:

    The world is overpopulated in certain areas. Ever been to parts of India, they are suffering because of it and Parts of China. I do agree with you Charlotte but there is overpopulation in many parts of the world. Do I think anyone is a mistake. No. Do I think repopulation event should happen. Dear God never. But when there are so many people it’s difficult to feed more and more when e food supply os already dwindling. Overpopulation is a fact in cities etc.

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  11. Dave says:

    Why cant God and science live together in unity?

    “Science without religion is lame; religion without science is blind.” —Albert Einstein

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  12. Charlotte says:

    God and science are 100 % compatible. Check it out.

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  13. Son of a Mason says:

    It`s sad but we are heading for extinction as long as mankind don`t realise that God is whit in us all and not a divine thing.. And over population is a very real thing we have to face, and too combat it we need population control or are we all going too suffer?

    Like

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