Azara Blog: Another end of the world report

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Date published: 2006/10/24

The BBC says:

Current global consumption levels could result in a large-scale ecosystem collapse by the middle of the century, environmental group WWF has warned.

The group's biannual Living Planet Report said the natural world was being degraded "at a rate unprecedented in human history".

Terrestrial species had declined by 31% between 1970-2003, the findings showed.

It warned that if demand continued at the current rate, two planets would be needed to meet global demand by 2050.

The biodiversity loss was a result of resources being consumed faster than the planet could replace them, the authors said.

They added that if the world's population shared the UK's lifestyle, three planets would be needed to support their needs.

Just the latest report claiming the end of the world, produced by the usual suspects. First of all the quoted footprints ("two planets" and "three planets") should be taken with a pinch of salt. And even if you want to believe them, with several billion years of ecosystem in the bank a few hundred years at "three" planets consumption is not necessarily the end of the world. These doomsayers claim that even the average Chinese person has a near "unsustainable" lifestyle. How many people in Europe or North America would be happy with the average Chinese lifestyle? How many people in China are? The number one problem in the world is overpopulation. If you want to believe the report at face value, if the population of the world dropped to three billion we would be fine. Needless to say if that happened the doomsayers would not go away, since they have nothing else to contribute to the world. (They were around already in 1960 when the world population was three billion.) And needless to say, even relative to just the citizens of the rich world, these doomsayers have above average consumption, since they are the academic middle class, so perhaps they should turn attention to themselves before lecturing others.

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