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Old 03-30-2005, 11:55 PM  
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U.N. study: Earth's health deteriorating

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By Catherine McAloon
Associated Press

March 30, 2005 | London -- Growing populations and expanding economic activity have strained the planet's ecosystems over the past half century, a trend that threatens international efforts to combat poverty and disease, a U.N.-sponsored study of the Earth's health warned on Wednesday.

The four-year, $24 million study -- the largest-ever to show how people are changing their environment -- found that humans had depleted 60 percent of the world's grasslands, forests, farmlands, rivers and lakes.


Unless nations adopt more eco-friendly policies, increased human demands for food, clean water and fuels could speed the disappearance of forests, fish and fresh water reserves and lead to more frequent disease outbreaks over the next 50 years, it said.

"This report is essentially an audit of nature's economy and the audit shows that we have driven most of the accounts into the red, if you drive the economy into the red ultimately there are significant consequences for our capacity to achieve our dreams in terms of poverty reduction and prosperity," Jonathan Lash, a member of the Millennium Ecosystem Assessment board, said in London.
resulted in a substantial and largely irreversible loss to the biological diversity of the planet," Reid said.

U.N. Secretary-General Kofi Annan stressed that the Millennium Ecosystem Assessment "tells us how we can change course," and urged nations to consider its recommendations.

Earlier in the day at an event in Japan, A.H. Zakri, director of the United Nations University Institute of Advanced Studies, said eliminating trade barriers and subsidies, protecting forests and coastal areas, promoting "green" technologies and lowering greenhouse gas emissions thought to contribute to global warming could help to slow environmental degradation.

The study was compiled by 1,360 scientists from 95 nations who pored over 16,000 satellite photos from the U.S. National Aeronautics and Space Administration, and analyzed reams of statistics and scientific journals.

Their findings, announced in several cities worldwide, highlight the planet's problems at the end of the 20th century, as the human population reached 6 billion.

A fifth of coral reefs and a third of the mangrove forests have been destroyed in recent decades. The diversity of animal and plant species has fallen sharply, and a third of all species are at risk of extinction. Disease outbreaks, floods and fires have become more frequent. Levels of carbon dioxide -- a greenhouse gas -- in the atmosphere have surged, mostly in the past four decades.
Conservation groups called on governments, businesses and individuals to heed the study's warnings. "Ecosystems are capital assets. We don't include them on our balance sheets, but if we did the services they supply would dwarf everything else in value," said Taylor Ricketts, director of conservation science at World Wildlife Fund.

The report said degradation of ecosystems was a barrier to achieving development goals adopted at the U.N. Millennium Summit in Johannesburg, South Africa in September 2000: halving the proportion of people without access to clean water and basic sanitation by 2015 and improving the lives of 100 million slum dwellers by 2020.

The ecosystem assessment was designed by the U.N. Environment Program, the U.N. Development Program, the World Bank, the World Resources Institute, the Global Environment Facility and others. Governments, non-governmental organizations, foundations, academic institutions and the private sector also contributed their expertise.
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Old 03-31-2005, 12:04 AM   #2
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well, at least we now know how human civilization will end
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Old 03-31-2005, 12:17 AM   #3
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If we packed the worlds population into living environments similar to New York City the ENTIRE population would fit inside the state of Texas.
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Old 03-31-2005, 12:26 AM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by chiefman420
If we packed the worlds population into living environments similar to New York City the ENTIRE population would fit inside the state of Texas.
True.

But if we stuck the rest of the world's population in an active volcano all our problems would go away.

Just think about THAT for a minute...
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Old 03-31-2005, 12:34 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by chiefman420
If we packed the worlds population into living environments similar to New York City the ENTIRE population would fit inside the state of Texas.
Have you ever lived anywhere with a population as dense as New York City's? Ugh. Count me out. Trash and noise and people everywhere. There is traffic on the freaking sidewalk. I really think that overpopulated cities make people crazy because there is no place to go to balance all that noise and manmade crap with quiet and nature.

This problem could be solved if people would just have less kids. But I don't really see that happening. People are too selfish to think that far ahead.
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Old 03-31-2005, 12:46 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by el borracho
Have you ever lived anywhere with a population as dense as New York City's? Ugh. Count me out. Trash and noise and people everywhere. There is traffic on the freaking sidewalk. I really think that overpopulated cities make people crazy because there is no place to go to balance all that noise and manmade crap with quiet and nature.

This problem could be solved if people would just have less kids. But I don't really see that happening. People are too selfish to think that far ahead.
There is no problem. So I don't see how the problem could be solved if we had less kids.
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Old 03-31-2005, 12:55 AM   #7
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Well, shit. I guess we only have another 2000 years or so until we're ****ed.
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Old 03-31-2005, 01:00 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by el borracho
Have you ever lived anywhere with a population as dense as New York City's? Ugh. Count me out. Trash and noise and people everywhere. There is traffic on the freaking sidewalk. I really think that overpopulated cities make people crazy because there is no place to go to balance all that noise and manmade crap with quiet and nature.

This problem could be solved if people would just have less kids. But I don't really see that happening. People are too selfish to think that far ahead.
Ever been to Amsterdam?

Even more dense in a smaller area than NYC. Trash, noise, dog poop, trams, bikes, cars, boats, beggars, cannabis cafes, street pushers, scam artists, pickpockets and unionized prostitutes. Almost sounds like heaven, almost.
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Old 03-31-2005, 01:01 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by el borracho
Have you ever lived anywhere with a population as dense as New York City's? Ugh. Count me out. Trash and noise and people everywhere. There is traffic on the freaking sidewalk. I really think that overpopulated cities make people crazy because there is no place to go to balance all that noise and manmade crap with quiet and nature.

This problem could be solved if people would just have less kids. But I don't really see that happening. People are too selfish to think that far ahead.

You know I got 4 kids. Wouldn't trade them for the world.

If it means ending the earth so be it, but I believe in God. If God put my 4 kids on the earth to end it then it is God's will.


Right now I'm trying to figure out how having and supporting my 4 kids is making me selfish.
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Old 03-31-2005, 01:04 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by shortbuskid
There is no problem. So I don't see how the problem could be solved if we had less kids.
It is good to be content.

I also am content but would not be if I lived in a city as densely populated as L.A., New York, etc.
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Old 03-31-2005, 01:12 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by J Diddy
Right now I'm trying to figure out how having and supporting my 4 kids is making me selfish.
To maintain or decrease the world population each couple could have no more than two children. Your having more than two means that others would have to have less children to maintain the current world population. It is a simple concept which I realize not many people share. Nothing against you or your family in particular. I am glad if you are happy but I do see it as selfish and problematic to keep increasing the world population.
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Old 03-31-2005, 01:14 AM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by el borracho
To maintain or decrease the world population each couple could have no more than two children. Your having more than two means that others would have to have less children to maintain the current world population. It is a simple concept which I realize not many people share. Nothing against you or your family in particular. I am glad if you are happy but I do see it as selfish and problematic to keep increasing the world population.
Hey, I got 4. Help the world and don't have any. It'll average out.

Thanks for getting my back.
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Old 03-31-2005, 01:18 AM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by el borracho
I am glad if you are happy but I do see it as selfish and problematic to keep increasing the world population.
Good.


Help the cause and kill a frenchman...
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Old 03-31-2005, 01:20 AM   #14
el borracho el borracho is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by J Diddy
Hey, I got 4. Help the world and don't have any. It'll average out.

Thanks for getting my back.
I know you are being flippant but that is a real consideration for me. To this point I have no children and that is part of the reason.
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Old 03-31-2005, 01:21 AM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rausch
Good.


Help the cause and kill a frenchman...
Then who would I make fun of?
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