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Can a collapse of global civilization be avoided?

January 14, 2013 • Climate Change & Mitigation, Protection of Species, Daily Email Recap

Paul Ehrlich and his wife, Anne, have recently published a new paper. Below is a story reporting on the Ehrlich’s paper, printed on the Inter Press Service News Agency (IPS) website.  The link to the online PDF of the actual research, housed on the website of The Royal Society, can be accessed here:

http://rspb.royalsocietypublishing.org/content/280/1754/20122845.full.pdf+html

The prologue of the research, which cites 163 sources, reads that “Environmental problems have contributed to numerous collapses of civilizations in the past. Now, for the first time, a global collapse appears likely. Overpopulation, overconsumption by the rich and poor choices of technologies are major drivers; dramatic cultural change provides the main hope of averting calamity.

Experts Fear Collapse of Global Civilization
See: http://www.ipsnews.net/2013/01/experts-fear-collapse-of-global-civilisation/

XBRIDGE, Canada, Jan 11 2013 (IPS) – Experts on the health of our planet are terrified of the future. They can clearly see the coming collapse of global civilisation from an array of interconnected environmental problems.

“We’re all scared,” said Paul Ehrlich, president of the Center for Conservation Biology at Stanford University.

“But we must tell the truth about what’s happening and challenge people to do something to prevent it,” Ehrlich told IPS.

Global collapse of human civilisation seems likely, write Ehrlich and his partner Anne Ehrlich in the prestigious science journal, Proceedings of the Royal Society.

This collapse will take the form of a “…gradual breakdown because famines, epidemics and resource shortages cause a disintegration of central control within nations, in concert with disruptions of trade and conflicts over increasingly scarce necessities”, they write.

Already two billion people are hungry today. Food production is humanity’s biggest industry and is already being affected by climate and other environmental problems. “No civilisation can avoid collapse if it fails to feed its population,” the authors say.

Escalating climate disruption, ocean acidification, oceanic dead zones, depletion of groundwater and extinctions of plants and animals are the main drivers of the coming collapse, they write in their peer-reviewed article “Can a collapse of global civilisation be avoided?” published this week.

Dozens of earth systems experts were consulted in writing the 10-page paper that contains over 160 references.

“We talked to many of the world’s leading experts to reflect what is really happening,” said Ehrlich, who is an eminent biologist and winner of many scientific awards.

Our reality is that current overconsumption of natural resources and the resulting damage to life-sustaining services nature provides means we need another half of a planet to keeping going. And that’s if all seven billion remain at their current living standards, the Ehrlichs write.

To read the full article, please click here: http://www.ipsnews.net/2013/01/experts-fear-collapse-of-global-civilisation/


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