Wednesday, March 30, 2005

The Real News

Don't read this if you are easily depressed. Instead, go and read something on Terri Schiavo. For we have another patient that will soon be on life support and that is our planet:

Humans are damaging the Earth at such an unprecedented rate that the strain on the planet may destroy about two-thirds of its ecosystem services, according to a landmark international study.

The consequences of humans' activities are severe and include: new diseases, sudden changes in water quality, creation of "dead zones" along the coasts, the collapse of fisheries, and shifts in regional climate, according to the Millennium Ecosystem Assessment Synthesis Report.

"At the heart of this assessment is a stark warning," said the 45-member board.

"Human activity is putting such 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," it said.

The four-year, 2,500-page assessment was drawn up by 1,300 researchers from 95 nations in an effort to inform global policy initiatives.

I hope that the wingnuts won't argue that this is another communist-liberal plot against the all-American SUVs. (Thirteen hundred researchers from ninety-five countries, and they are all radical lefty extremists! Why do they hate Rapture?) I hope that we can all come together and try to save this particular patient. At a minimum, we must get serious about curbing consumption levels in the West and about curbing fertility rates in general. Unless, of course, we are content to leave the future generations nothing but the final decision about when to turn off the life support.