Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Environmental Overshoot

Yasuni national park is the most biodiverse region on Earth.
Photograph: Corbis via The Guardian

From The Guardian:
In international bodies, biodiversity loss was long treated as a poor cousin to climate change. But this is changing amid growing awareness that both are approaching dangerous tipping points as a result of human pressures. Earlier this year, a group of leading scientists warned that biodiversity loss could result in a "global-scale state shift".
"Much as the consensus statements by doctors led to public warnings that tobacco use is harmful to your health, this is a consensus statement by experts who agree that loss of Earth's wild species will be harmful to the world's ecosystems and may harm society by reducing ecosystem services that are essential to human health and prosperity," noted Prof Bradley Cardinale, an associate professor at the University of Michigan who led the study published in Nature. "We need to take biodiversity loss far more seriously – from individuals to international governing bodies – and take greater action to prevent further losses of species."
But the trend is in the opposite direction. WWF says we are in an ecological overshoot situation in which it now takes 1.5 years for the Earth to regenerate what we use in a year. [emphasis mine]

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