Hu­man­ity on no­tice of en­vi­ron­men­tal dis­as­ter

The Courier-Mail - - NEWS -

HU­MAN life is at grow­ing risk from a range of en­vi­ron­men­tal dis­as­ters, sci­en­tists warned yes­ter­day.

Ex­tinc­tion of plant and an­i­mal species, loss of trees, wa­ter short­ages and cat­a­strophic cli­mate change were listed by the 15,000-strong Union of Con­cerned Sci­en­tists.

They said that since 1992 there had been progress in just one risk area – re­duc­ing dam­age to the ozone layer.

Run­away con­sump­tion of lim­ited re­sources by a surg­ing global pop­u­la­tion was cited as the big­gest dan­ger.

They pointed out that fresh wa­ter sup­plies had fallen by 26 per cent per per­son. Car­bon emis­sions and av­er­age tem­per­a­tures had risen sig­nif­i­cantly, while the num­ber of an­i­mals had fallen by 29 per cent.

The union made a sim­i­lar warn­ing, signed by 1500 sci­en­tists in 1992, which looked at the same mea­sures.

Now, writ­ing in the jour­nal BioS­cience, they said: “Hu­man­ity is now be­ing given a sec­ond no­tice. We are jeop­ar­dis­ing our fu­ture by not rein­ing in our in­tense but ge­o­graph­i­cally and de­mo­graph­i­cally un­even ma­te­rial con­sump­tion.”

The au­thors drew on data from govern­ment agen­cies, non-profit or­gan­i­sa­tions and in­di­vid­ual re­searchers to set out their case.

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