Breaching environmental boundaries: UN report on resource limits

GR:  This is a thoughtful assessment of the problems with development goals that seek to raise everyone to the living standards of the United States and European Union.  Though the article brings the problems into clear perspective, I think it is already clear to most people that we can’t extract enough resources to meet the perceived need for high levels of material wealth held by Earth’s growing human population.  Cultural and social expectations need to change radically if we are reduce our population and our material consumption to truly sustainable levels.

Coal Mines at the source of the Yellow River, China

“This summer, the United Nations International Resource Panel (IRP), published ‘Global Material Flows and Resource Productivity’, a report that admits what ecologists have been saying for decades: resources are limited, human consumption trends are unsustainable and resource depletion diminishes human health, quality of life and future development.

“The report shows that consumption of Earth’s primary resources (metals, fuels, timber, cereals and so forth) has tripled in the last 40 years, driven by population growth (increasing at about 1.1% per year), economic growth (averaging about 3% per year over the same period) and consumption per person, worldwide.

“Economic growth has helped lift some regions from poverty and created more middle-class consumers, while enriching the wealthiest nations the most. The UN report acknowledges, however, that advances in human well-being have been achieved through consumption patterns that are “not sustainable” and that will “ultimately deplete the resources − causing shortages [and] conflict”.

“In 1970 — when ecologists in Canada founded Greenpeace and Club of Rome scholars prepared the original ‘Limits to Growth’ study — a human population of 3.7 billion used 22 billion tons of primary materials per year. Forty years later, in 2010, with a population of 6.7 billion, humans used 70 billion tons. Now, in 2016, we require about 86 billion tons and the UN Resource Panel estimates that by 2050 we will require annually some 180 billion tons of raw materials, which Earth’s ecosystems may not be able to provide.— Rex Weyler (Breaching environmental boundaries: UN report on resource limits)

Population Ethics

GR:  Here is a short essay that gives clear reasons for reducing the human population.  Joe Bish sets up the essay, and the delivery is by Travis Rieder.

Joe Bish, Population Media Center: 

“The varied arguments against my views… haven’t changed my conviction that we need to discuss the ethics of having children…”

“Travis Rieder, the Research Scholar at Johns Hopkins’ Berman Institute of Bioethics, is out with a follow-up to his 15-minutes of fame brought on by NPR’s mid-August coverage of his “Population Engineering” paper. Here, he attempts to address some of the common criticisms he endured — all of which population advocates have been dealing with day-in and day-out for many decades. Namely: there is no environmental problem; if there might be a problem it won’t be very bad; people concerned with population must be misanthropic; more people means more creativity; and, the end of population growth might “hurt the economy.”

“One interesting aspect of the Rieder phenomenon was the coverage itself. I certainly won’t be holding my breath for NPR to interview anybody from PMC, the Population and Sustainability Network, or any other group in the trenches on a day-to-day basis. Perhaps we should all don the title of bioethicists? It seems that doing so grounds the conversation in sufficiently abstract terms, such that a major media outlet can advance the theoretical notions of purposeful population stabilization and decrease — without worrying they are talking to anybody actually trying to do this in the real world.

“Below, Rieder notes that he has tackled the population issue because he is “genuinely worried about the future of our planet,” and believes the discussion is crucial to making a future worth having. This reminds me that in some senses, working on achieving population stabilization and decrease is one of the more optimistic careers out there. It presupposes that humanity will somehow navigate the brick wall of limits to growth, due in the late 2020’s (when our population will still be orders of magnitude too large), and come out the other side reformed, willing to behave ourselves, and sized appropriately.”

Here’s the link to Rieder’s succinct essay: Population Ethics.

A World Unprepared: Waves of Youth in Fragile and Unstable States

GR.–Irresponsible growth of the human population and fossil-fuel propelled global warming endanger all life on Earth.

Joe Bish, Population Media Center.–“The author of the following essay is Kristin Lord, president and CEO of IREX, an international education and development nongovernmental organization. Ms. Lord also serves as a co-chair of the Alliance for International Youth Development.

“This essay was originally published behind a pay-wall in Foreign Policy, but the following version was re-printed in the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. Lord takes on the nearly incomprehensible growth in youth population around the world. The writing is mostly thought experiment, with some disconcerting facts thrown in for effect. For example, she notes that:

  • In Afghanistan, Angola, Chad, East Timor, Niger, Somalia and Uganda, more than two-thirds of the population is under the age of 25.
  • Every month until 2030, one million Indians will turn 18 years old.
  • In the Middle East, a region of some 400 million people, nearly 65 percent of the population is younger than 30.

“Pointing out the obvious challenges these sorts of demographics present for global stability, Lord concludes the first half of her work by suggesting it is “easy to conjure a dystopic future, a Hollywood caricature of lawless developing countries dominated by gangs of young men brandishing firearms.” I suppose if reading the current international news is synonymous with conjuring the future she has a point. Otherwise, as Lord goes on with her ruminations, she attempts to inject some positive “spin” to the situation, though she is eventually forced to end on a inconclusive note.

Here come the young: the next world population boom

“The population of people under the age of 30 in fragile and unstable countries is going to skyrocket. And the world is not ready for them.  See: http://www.post-gazette.com/opinion/Op-Ed/2016/09/04/Here-come-the-young-the-next-world-population-boom/stories/201608210045

“As tweets and headlines skip from crisis to crisis, the largest youth population in human history is coming of age in a steady, unstoppable wave.” –Kristin Lord.

Find out why the world is unprepared.  Continue reading:  A World Unprepared: Waves of Youth in Fragile and Unstable States

Population Reference Bureau Issues 2016 World Population Data Sheet

GR:  Our current population of 7.4+ billion is expected to reach 10 billion by 2053.  Economists generally do not recognize what this means.  On the Dianne Ream show this morning, they were discussing the negative economic consequences of aging populations and slowing births.  None of them mentioned the benefits of slowing population growth.  They did not discuss societal changes needed to encourage and live with even slower birth rates. It’s like they live in a cake bell aware only of a future that their teachers painted on the walls.

Joe Bish, Population Media Center:  “Population Reference Bureau (PRB) has just released their 2016 World Population Data Sheet. In what is news to me, they have also created a dedicated website to help users get access to the data in various forms (maps, data visualizations, graphs, etc.).

“Navigate to http://www.worldpopdata.org/ to explore.

“PRB sees global population exceeding the UN’s medium variant projection for 2050 — 9.9 billion vs. 9.7 billion. There are various interesting tid-bits in the press release below, but combined, they all paint the picture of continuing rapid human population growth on Earth. I do strongly encourage you to go to the dedicated website and bookmark the site for future reference.

“2016 World Population Data SheetSee: http://www.prb.org/Publications/Datasheets/2016/2016-world-population-data-sheet.aspx

World Population Data (August 2016):  “The world population will reach 9.9 billion in 2050, up 33 percent from an estimated 7.4 billion now, according to projections included in the 2016 World Population Data Sheet from the Population Reference Bureau (PRB).

“The world population would hit the 10 billion mark in 2053 if the assumptions underlying PRB’s 2050 projections are applied to subsequent years.

“Despite declines in fertility rates around the world, we expect population gains to remain strong enough to take us toward a global population of 10 billion,” said Jeffrey Jordan, president and CEO of PRB. “Significant regional differences remain, though. For example very low birth rates in Europe will mean population declines there while Africa’s population is expected to double.”  Population Reference Bureau Issues 2016 World Population Data Sheet

children-garbage-dumpoverpopulationurban sprawloverpopulationcover6373add6-96fc-4165-89aa-cacc713b4fc0population86d6bc24-bc4b-4245-8345-5851ce1e7a21

Human Population Cycle

Human Population Cycle

Current world population: 7.4+ billion

world pop growth

Recent Human Population Explosion

Ecologists have described numerous examples of boom and bust population cycles in which the explosive growth of a species’ numbers is followed by rapid decline.  Compared to the population cycles of other species, the human population’s global extent and impact are remarkable.  Our technology has helped us spread across the globe harvesting resources, and changing soil, water, and plant life far more than any other species ever has.

Consequences of Our Population Explosion

Human population impacts take many forms.  Here’s an example that may seem insignificant until one considers how often this happens around the world.

Mere Presence Alone

Common Blackhawk

Common Blackhawk

In 2013, a Blackhawk family moved onto Coldwater Farm [LINK].  The hawks built a nest in a tall Cottonwood down by the Agua Fria River that runs through the eastern edge of the Farm.  Blackhawks are large black birds with a white band across their tails.  They are uncommon and they avoid humans.  This year (2016), I watched the fledglings learning to fly.  Just like the young Red-tailed hawks at the west end of the farm, the young Blackhawks scream in fear and ecstasy as they make those first great diving swoops.  I’m sure the two adults circling above were near collapse with anxiety.

Blackhawks, unlike many other hawk species, will not remain in an area frequented by humans.  At Coldwater Farm, we try to discourage would-be river explorers and hikers, but some get in because we can’t watch constantly.  So far, the number of trespassers has been small, but this could change.  Developers keep trying to alter local zoning restrictions so they can increase housing density around the Farm.  So far, we’ve blocked their efforts.  If they ever win, the number of people tramping along the river will increase.  The same threat extends across the Blackhawk range.  With growing population around the world, sensitive wild animals like the Blackhawks are disappearing.  When human numbers increase along the river, the Blackhawks will abandon their nest, and since there are few remaining quiet waterways in Arizona, those delightful fledgling flights could end forever.

Regulation of the Human Population

Population growth cycles occur because they produce negative feedbacks that limit numbers.  Growing populations consume resources and encourage growth of predator populations.  The same kinds of negative feedbacks will limit the human population.

It’s obvious how we reduce available resources by consuming them and by ruining them with our wastes.  Less obvious, but still familiar, is the way we enhance our predators.  Some plants have the ability to shed chemicals toxic to their herbivore predators.  However, if the plants produce the chemicals continuously, their predators can evolve tolerance to the chemicals.  Thus, the plants lose their defense and are eaten.  Humans enable disease predators by creating and continuously using antibiotics.  Like the plants, we enable evolution of tolerance among our disease predators.

There have been numerous analyses of historical collapses of human societies.  I like the analysis and predictions of our coming global collapse contained in the 1972 book, Limits to Growth.  Scientists recently reanalyzed the book’s research and concurred with the prediction that the first signs of collapse of human civilization will appear in 2020.  Here’s a summary of the research.

Limits To Growth Was Right.  Research Shows We’re Nearing Collapse

By:  Graham Turner and Cathy Alexander (theguardian.com)

“The 1972 book Limits to Growth, which predicted our civilisation would probably collapse sometime this century, has been criticised as doomsday fantasy since it was published. Back in 2002, self-styled environmental expert Bjorn Lomborg consigned it to the “dustbin of history”.

“It doesn’t belong there. Research from the University of Melbourne has found the book’s forecasts are accurate, 40 years on. If we continue to track in line with the book’s scenario, expect the early stages of global collapse to start appearing soon.

“Limits to Growth was commissioned by a think tank called the Club of Rome. Researchers working out of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, including husband-and-wife team Donella and Dennis Meadows, built a computer model to track the world’s economy and environment. Called World3, this computer model was cutting edge.

“The task was very ambitious. The team tracked industrialisation, population, food, use of resources, and pollution. They modelled data up to 1970, then developed a range of scenarios out to 2100, depending on whether humanity took serious action on environmental and resource issues. If that didn’t happen, the model predicted “overshoot and collapse” – in the economy, environment and population – before 2070. This was called the “business-as-usual” scenario.

“The book’s central point, much criticised since, is that “the earth is finite” and the quest for unlimited growth in population, material goods etc would eventually lead to a crash.

“So were they right? We decided to check in with those scenarios after 40 years. Dr Graham Turner gathered data from the UN (its department of economic and social affairs, Unesco, the food and agriculture organisation, and the UN statistics yearbook). He also checked in with the US national oceanic and atmospheric administration, the BP statistical review, and elsewhere. That data was plotted alongside the Limits to Growth scenarios.

“The results show that the world is tracking pretty closely to the Limits to Growth “business-as-usual” scenario. The data doesn’t match up with other scenarios.

“These graphs show real-world data (first from the MIT work, then from our research), plotted in a solid line. The dotted line shows the Limits to Growth “business-as-usual” scenario out to 2100. Up to 2010, the data is strikingly similar to the book’s forecasts.  Graphs:  Faint and dotted lines, Limits to Growth “business-as-usual projections.  Heavy lines, the newly added data.

“As the MIT researchers explained in 1972, under the scenario, growing population and demands for matLimits-Populationerial wealth would lead to more industrial output and pollution. The graphs show this is indeed happening. Resources are being used up at a rapid rate, pollution is rising, industrial output and food per capita is rising. The population is rising quickly.

“So far, Limits to Growth checks out with reality. So what happens next?

“According to the book, to feed the continued growth in industrial output there must be ever-increasing use of resources. But resources become more expensive to obtain as they are used up. As more and more capital goes towards resource extraction, industrial output per capita starts to fall – in the book, from about 2015.

Limits-Environment“As pollution mounts and industrial input into agriculture falls, food production per capita falls. Health and education services are cut back, and that combines to bring about a rise in the death rate from about 2020. Global population begins to fall from about 2030, by about half a billion people per decade. Living conditions fall to levels similar to the early 1900s.

“It’s essentially resource constraints that bring about global collapse in the book. However, Limits to Growth does factor in the fallout from increasing pollution, including climate change. The book warned carbon dioxide emissions would have a “climatological effect” via “warming the atmosphere”.

“As the graphs show, the University of Melbourne research has not found proof of collapse as of 2010 (although growth has already stalled in some areas). But in Limits to Growth those effects only start to bite around 2015-2030.

Limits-Economy“The first stages of decline may already have started. The Global Financial Crisis of 2007-08 and ongoing economic malaise may be a harbinger of the fallout from resource constraints. The pursuit of material wealth contributed to unsustainable levels of debt, with suddenly higher prices for food and oil contributing to defaults – and the GFC.

“The issue of peak oil is critical. Many independent researchers conclude that “easy” conventional oil production has already peaked. Even the conservative International Energy Agency has warned about peak oil.

“Peak oil could be the catalyst for global collapse. Some see new fossil fuel sources like shale oil, tar sands and coal seam gas as saviours, but the issue is how fast these resources can be extracted, for how long, and at what cost. If they soak up too much capital to extract the fallout would be widespread.

“Our research does not indicate that collapse of the world economy, environment and population is a certainty. Nor do we claim the future will unfold exactly as the MIT researchers predicted back in 1972. Wars could break out; so could genuine global environmental leadership. Either could dramatically affect the trajectory.

“But our findings should sound an alarm bell. It seems unlikely that the quest for ever-increasing growth can continue unchecked to 2100 without causing serious negative effects – and those effects might come sooner than we think.

“It may be too late to convince the world’s politicians and wealthy elites to chart a different course. So to the rest of us, maybe it’s time to think about how we protect ourselves as we head into an uncertain future.

“As Limits to Growth concluded in 1972:  If the present growth trends in world population, industrialisation, pollution, food production, and resource depletion continue unchanged, the limits to growth on this planet will be reached sometime within the next one hundred years. The most probable result will be a rather sudden and uncontrollable decline in both population and industrial capacity.

“So far, there’s little to indicate they got that wrong”.


Will Global Warming Extinguish the Human Species?

The authors of The Limits to Growth did not anticipate the rapidity with which global warming would appear. Of many predictions the book contains, the one for atmospheric carbon dioxide (CO2), based on the 20-year record of observations available at the time was surprisingly precise.  The graph on page 79 of The Limits to Growth shows Lester Machta’s CO2 level projections both forward and backward in time.

Most scientists agree that anything over 380 is dangerous.  The fear is that somewhere on the way to 550 ppm we will pass critical points after which continental ice masses will melt, radically altering climate and causing a large increase in sea level.  The July 17, 2016 level is 404.74; and already the ice has started melting, storms and floods are intensifying, the oceans are warming, and lethal heat waves are expanding.

The human population’s resource use and pollution have already had catastrophic effects on Earth ecosystems.  Those effects will continue to increase, but by 2100, global warming’s impact will become greater than all the others combined.

Most species survive their boom and bust population cycles.  However, the combination of resource exhaustion, antibiotic resistant diseases, pollution, and global warming might do more than reduce our population.  It might rub us out.

We’ve Had the Boom.  Can We Avoid the Bust?

InfernoMany people recognize the dangers of the human population explosion.  In his recent novel, Inferno, Dan Brown’s villain says, “Here I stand with the head of the World Health Organization—the best the WHO has to offer.  A terrifying thought if you consider it.  I have shown you this image of impending misery.”  He refreshed the screen, again displaying the bodies.  “I have reminded you of the awesome power of unchecked population growth.”  He pointed to his small stack of paper.  “I have enlightened you about the fact that we are on the brink of a spiritual collapse.”  He paused and turned directly toward her.  “And your response?  Free condoms in Africa.”  The man gave a derisive sneer.  “This is like swinging a flyswatter at an incoming asteroid.”—Dan Brown.  2013.  “Inferno, a novel.”  Doubleday, New York, page 104.

Other SciFi novels deal with the human impact on the Earth and many are devoted to human experience after a collapse.  In the world of applied science, numerous private and public organizations are trying to find reasonable ways to control our population.  Here’s one example.

Center for Biological Diversity (CBD) Work on Population

CBD.–“Human population growth and overconsumption are at the root of our most pressing environmental issues, including the species extinction crisis, habitat loss and climate change. To save wildlife and wild places, we use creative media and public outreach to raise awareness about runaway human population growth and unsustainable consumption — and their close link to the endangerment of other species.

“There are more than 7 billion people on the planet, and we’re adding 227,000 more every day. The toll on wildlife is impossible to miss: Species are disappearing 1,000 to 10,000 times faster than the natural rate. It’s clear that these issues need to be addressed before it’s too late.

About Our (CBD) Population and Sustainability Work

“The Center has been working to address the connection between rampant human population growth and the extinction crisis since 2009. Our innovative outreach and public-pressure campaigns — like our award-winning Endangered Species Condoms project — focus on common-sense solutions, including the empowerment of women and girls, the education of all people, universal access to birth control, sustainable consumer choices, and a societal commitment to giving all species a chance to live and thrive.”  Continue reading:  Population and Sustainability.

Follow this link for a list of other population organizations.

Is Human Extinction Inevitable?

Without global warming, our resource consumption and environmental pollution would have brought about a collapse from which we could recover, smarter and stronger.  However, global warming has made recovery uncertain.  Glaciers and polar ice caps are melting, sea level is rising, the oceans are warming and becoming acidic, and the weather–heat waves, storms, droughts, and fires–is getting worse.  For insightful analyses of these consequences of global warming, go to Robert Fanney’s blog.  It’s too late to prevent the coming disasters, but if we could stop population growth, fossil fuel burning, road and building construction, and meat consumption today, we might limit the size of the disasters and insure our species’ survival.  Of course, we’re not going to stop today.

Nevertheless, I find it hard to believe that humans will become extinct.  Though the coming hardships will exceed the ice ages and anything else we’ve experienced, we are so widely distributed and so adaptable, some of us could survive.  We may decline to small bands picking over Earth’s wasted ecosystems, but even the citizens of Mad Max’s dystopian Earth had a future.  And so might we.

Infographic: Palm Oil and Tropical Deforestation

Palm oil is driving deforestation—with serious consequences for both climate and biodiversity.

We need tropical forests

“Tropical forests play a crucial role in stabilizing the earth’s climate, storing vastly more carbon dioxide (CO2) than forests in the world’s temperate regions. A 2011 study estimated total carbon stored by the earth’s tropical forests at 271 billion tons—that’s about 7 times the total carbon emissions from fossil fuel use in the year 2008.

“In addition, tropical forests play host to millions of species, comprising about two-thirds of the earth’s terrestrial biodiversity.

“But tropical forests are being cut down for palm oil…

“Palm oil acreage worldwide increased from 15 million acres in 1990 to 40 million acres in 2011. Much of this new palm oil acreage is coming at the expense of tropical forests.”  From: www.ucsusa.org

GR:  If we reduce demand for palm oil and insist that it comes from “sustainable” sources, we can eliminate further deforestation for palm oil plantations.  However, the growing human population will continue to need palm oil and oil from other vegetable sources for food.  Without a check on human population, only remnants of our tropical forests will survive into the 22nd century. Wildlife and wild plants of the forests will be replaced by some form of agriculture. For more on this critical subject, go to:  https://garryrogers.com/2015/11/03/population-resources/ and https://garryrogers.com/2015/10/19/population-2.

Real Life imitating Art, and the return of Soylent Green

wendys-people

Wouldn’t want to run out.

Harry Harrison’s 1966 novel “Make Room! Make Room!” was made into the movie. The novel influenced my attitude and perhaps others as well. As we all know, however, our concerns with population growth did not slow the juggernaut of desire.  [Please forgive my addition of photo.]

The Secular Jurist

By Robert A. Vella

Soylent Green is a 1973 science fiction film set in a dystopian New York City in the year 2022.  Climate change and overpopulation have ruined ecosystems, depleted natural resources, and caused widespread food shortages.  As a consequence, the corporatist government has devolved into an authoritarian police state in order to maintain law and order.

The general populace is kept barely alive through a food rationing program provided by the Soylent Corporation.  Its products – known as “Red” and “Yellow Soylent” – are unpalatable, poorly nutritious cakes of unknown (to the public) substances.  When the people become restive and start demanding better food, the provider begins to distribute a new product – called “Soylent Green” – which it claims to be made from a superior high-energy oceanic plankton.

While investigating a murder, police detective Frank Thorn (actor Charlton Heston) uncovers a grand corporate-government conspiracy where he…

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Meat-eaters are speeding worldwide species extinction

“To find out [how meat consumption impacted biodiversity], Brian Machovina and his colleagues looked at studies that identified the world’s biodiversity hotspots—those areas that contain the highest percentage of endemic plant and animal species. Most are located in tropical nations. Then, the researchers picked out countries that are most likely to expand their industrial livestock operations, and determined where and how much land will be lost to grazing and growing crops to feed livestock. Using data from the Food and Agriculture Organization and other studies about the production of cattle, pigs, and chickens in these countries from 1985 to 2013 and the amount of land the livestock required, they extrapolated the likely future expansion of agricultural lands. Finally, they created maps of overlap.

“Many of the places expected to see the greatest shift in land use from forest to livestock are in 15 “megadiverse” countries, which harbor the largest number of species, Machovina says. “By 2050, given current trends, these countries will likely increase the lands used for livestock production by 30% to 50%”—some 3,000,000 square kilometers—the researchers estimate.

“The habitat loss is so great that it will cause more extinctions than any other factor, the study notes, particularly when coupled with other deleterious effects of livestock production, including climate change and pollution. “These changes will have major, negative impacts on biodiversity,” Machovina says. “Many, many species will be lost.”  Sourced through Scoop.it from: news.sciencemag.org

GR:  Eventually all human “eaters” speed extinction.  Soybeans, wheat, and cabbages all require land to grow.  As the number of hungry humans grows, the amount of farmed land will grow.  If the coming massive storms do not reverse our growth, the loss of nature will.

Soil Erosion, Deforestation, Farming

“The Orinoco Basin extends across Veneuela and Colombia. The river’s delta is covered with tropical rain forest. For many years now, colossal palm oil plantations have been encroaching on this forest.

“But the forest floor is relatively poor in nutrients and rich in oxygen, making it unsuitable for monocultures. Once the soil is depleted, the planters use artificial fertilizers to keep production going as long as they can, and then they move on. But there’s another way. Planting many diverse crops in the same ground can help balance out soil use.” Sourced through Scoop.it from: www.dw.com

GR:  Forest soils are conditioned to support forests.  In dense forests, large proportions of the nutrients are contained in the trees.  Remove the trees and much of the natural wealth of the ecosystem is lost. Moreover, without their protective tree cover, soils wash away leaving behind little opportunity for forest recovery.  The suggestion that planting diverse crops is a good option is not a good one. Remove the trees and much of the local biodiversity is lost.  Even if crops can be planted that will protect the soils and maintain the amount of local biomass production, the loss of biodiversity and the loss of regional climate effects of the forest are not acceptable.

Forests are removed to produce food and desired products for human use.  The process is not sustainable.  We have to have the forests to maintain healthy Earth ecosystems. Thus, we have to reduce human need for food and products.  We have to reduce the human population.  Letting it continue to grow will bring about a terrible disaster for the Earth and all its life, including us.

See on Scoop.itGarryRogers NatCon News

Major study shows biodiversity losses can be reversed

biod-map-490_134280_2“The study is the first global analysis of human impacts on local biodiversity. It is a major collaboration between the Natural History Museum, United Nations Environment Programme World Conservation Monitoring Centre (UNEP-WCMC), and British universities.

“Scientists submitted data from more than 70 countries and considered 26,593 species, adding more than 1.1 million records to the PREDICTS (Projecting Responses of Ecological Diversity In Changing Terrestrial Systems) survey database.

“The team’s figure of a 14 per cent drop in species in local ecosystems is a global average. So local biodiversity in some areas is still quite intact, but others – including Western Europe – have had losses of 20-30 per cent.” Source: www.nhm.ac.uk

GR:  Making projections requires assumptions about what we are going to do. Reviews of this research try to be optimistic by emphasizing positive projections. However, if we make the most likely assumption that we will do nothing substantive to stop global warming, deforestation, and human population growth, the red areas will spread.  As stated earlier, everyone that cares needs to begin making local efforts to preserve biodiversity.