A new sky is falling environmental report will be presented today:
The report, prepared in Washington under the supervision of a board chaired by Robert Watson, the British-born chief scientist at the World Bank and a former scientific adviser to the White House, will be launched today at the Royal Society in London. It warns that:
· Because of human demand for food, fresh water, timber, fibre and fuel, more land has been claimed for agriculture in the last 60 years than in the 18th and 19th centuries combined.
· An estimated 24% of the Earth's land surface is now cultivated.
· Water withdrawals from lakes and rivers has doubled in the last 40 years. Humans now use between 40% and 50% of all available freshwater running off the land.
· At least a quarter of all fish stocks are overharvested. In some areas, the catch is now less than a hundredth of that before industrial fishing.
· Since 1980, about 35% of mangroves have been lost, 20% of the world's coral reefs have been destroyed and another 20% badly degraded.
· Deforestation and other changes could increase the risks of malaria and cholera, and open the way for new and so far unknown disease to emerge.
Given these staggering new "findings", I have concluded that this is what we humans must do to save the planet from certain destruction (given in an order corresponding to the above):
- Cease all agricultural and mineral-extracting activities;
- Stop paying farmers for allowing certain portions of their lands to remain fallow;
- Stop drinking water;
- Stop fishing / eating fish (WARNING: this may cause the abrogation of some Indian treaties!)
- Stop ramming into coral reefs with our personal watercraft; and
- Decriminalize DDT to eradicate mosquito-borne illnesses.
Yep, that oughta do it.
Or am I just engaging in junk science?