Wednesday 12th of December 2018

a second notice...

nature in peril...

More than 15,000 researchers from around the world have signed an update to a 1992 ‘doomsday’ document, warning that “time is running out” in the battle to sustain the future health of the planet.

In 1992, the Union of Concerned Scientists released the “World Scientists’ Warning to Humanity” notice. Signed at the time by a number of Nobel laureates in science, the 25-year-old open letter outlined that mankind is on a“collision course” with the natural word.

READ MORE: Indian politician likens smog-afflicted city to a 'gas chamber' (VIDEOS, PHOTOS)

“If not checked, many of our current practices put at serious risk the future that we wish for human society and the plant and animal kingdoms, and may so alter the living world that it will be unable to sustain life in the manner that we know,” the statement read.

Two and a half decades on, the future of the planet appears even worse, according to the update.


Drafted by William J Ripple, a professor of ecology at Oregon State University, the second notice is being backed by 15,364 scientists from 184 countries.

The new warning, entitled “World Scientists’ Warning to Humanity: A Second Notice” and published in the Bioscience journal, says that humanity has failed to make sufficient progress in solving its environmental challenges.

“Soon it will be too late to shift course away from our failing trajectory, and time is running out. We must recognize, in our day-to-day lives and in our governing institutions, that Earth with all its life is our only home,” the update reads.

The damage inflicted on the Earth in the past 25 years, include the increase of so-called pollution “dead zones” in oceans and the destruction of 129 million hectares of forest.

The warning also states that the ten warmest years on record have come since 1998, while collectively the number of fish, amphibians, reptiles, birds and mammals has dropped a dramatic 58 percent since 1970.

Among the bleakness, there’s one thing humanity appears to have done right, and that is the reduction of ozone-depleting emissions. This, according to the notice, is proof that “we can make a positive change.”



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Global CO2 emissions have risen for the first time in three years as scientists warn Australia's 2030 Paris agreement target is slipping out of reach.

Key points:
  • Three-year emissions pause linked to reduced coal burning in China
  • Emissions likely to hit 37 billion tonnes of CO2 in 2017
  • Australia's emissions still increasing despite Paris 2030 target

In a report published on Monday, researchers say the increase in global emissions is largely due to growth in coal-fired electricity generation and oil and gas consumption in China.

Global Carbon Project (GCP) executive director and report co-author Dr Pep Canadell said the increase is likely to be about 2 per cent on 2016 levels.

"That takes us to a new record high of almost 37 billion tonnes of CO2 [per annum]," Dr Canadell said.

The GCP is a collaboration between international science organisations to monitor global carbon emissions and their sources in order to help "slow the rate of increase of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere".

In the paper published in Environmental Research Letters, the researchers said the three-year pause in emissions growth was due to an increased uptake of renewable-energy technologies and a reduction in China's coal consumption.

Although pauses have been observed prior to 2014-16, Dr Canadell said these were typically correlated with global economic downturns such as during the global financial crisis.

"The past three years — '14, '15, '16 — were quite exceptional in so far as that in the whole record, it's the first time that we saw emissions not growing at the same time as the global economy was growing quite strongly," he said.

Worldwide, 21 countries, including the US, Denmark and France, have reduced CO2 emissions over the past 10 years whilst achieving positive economic growth.

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Back in April 2017:

The world just passed another round-numbered climate milestone. Scientists predicted it would happen this year and lo and behold, it has.

On Tuesday, the Mauna Loa Observatory recorded its first-ever carbon dioxide reading in excess of 410 parts per million (it was 410.28 ppm in case you want the full deal). Carbon dioxide hasn’t reached that height in millions of years. It’s a new atmosphere that humanity will have to contend with, one that’s trapping more heat and causing the climate to change at a quickening rate.

the battle of the oxymoronic...

Sustainable Development and the Crisis of Nature: On the Political Anatomy of an Oxymoron

Wolfgang Sachs



The current environmental crisis is a long‐delayed ‘boomerang effect’ of the North's exploitation of the South, which began with Christopher Columbus. Economic development has started to bump up against the limits imposed by resource constraints, and the stopgap concept of sustainable development raises the central issue of economic distributive justice by proposing that the development that made the North rich should now be arrested or controlled so that it can stay that way. Development is a finite concept that no longer meets the global social requirement. There are three ways of looking at sustainable development, which clarify the cultural values involved in responding to it. First, the contest perspective, which simply acknowledges that the North has won the development race. Second, the astronaut's perspective, which regards the globe as an object to be managed and envisages various possibilities of global cooperation to that effect; unfortunately, it presupposes a non‐existent cultural and legislative framework that constrains the rich for the benefit of the poor. Third, the home perspective, which envisages a self‐restraint on the part of the North in pushing a concept of development that protects ‘moral economies’ and searches for decentralized rather than accumulation‐centred forms of society.


Keywords:   environmental cultureenvironmental politicssustainable development

Oxford Scholarship Online requires a subscription or purchase to access the full text of books within the service. Public users can however freely search the site and view the abstracts and keywords for each book and chapter.

Capitalism in which Growth is necessary for its continuum is the guilty party. Capitalistic growth is very much Faustian in its approach to life, in which the devil is guns, god and greed... Solving the crisis in nature — a crisis that has been created by humans will demand a total rewrite of capitalism rules and thinking. Sustainability and restoration of natural environments are primordial to stop the collapse of other species, leading to our own demise. Global warming is the most important issue on this subject, though arresting the demise of species is the most urgent. G

a deforestation frenzy...

A deforestation surge in Queensland, which the latest government data suggests is about to accelerate dramatically, is heavily concentrated in catchments for the Great Barrier Reef, further undermining plans to improve reef water quality.

The finding has renewed calls for the federal government to use its powers to assess the impact of clearing there until the Queensland government is able to pass legislation to halt it itself.

“There’s a deforestation frenzy happening in Great Barrier Reef catchments, which means more erosion and more muddy and polluted water smothering coral and seagrass,” said Jessica Panegyres, a campaigner at the Wilderness Society. “The Turnbull government has done virtually nothing to stop this – it’s a national disgrace.”

Catchments for the Great Barrier Reef – where freshwater rivers and floodplains drain on to the reef, washing any pollution or sediment with it – make up about 10% of Queensland’s area.

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trump, the natural pachyderm...


WASHINGTON — President Trump on Friday reversed the government’s decision to start allowing hunters to import trophies of elephants that were killed in two African countries, pending a further review.

His evening Twitter message reversed a decision by his own administration over Zimbabwe that was announced this week and promoted as recently as Friday afternoon by the White House press secretary, Sarah Huckabee Sanders.

“Put big game trophy decision on hold until such time as I review all conservation facts,” Mr. Trump tweeted. “Under study for years. Will update soon with Secretary Zinke. Thank you!”

Put big game trophy decision on hold until such time as I review all conservation facts. Under study for years. Will update soon with Secretary Zinke. Thank you!

— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) Nov. 18, 2017

Ryan Zinke, the interior secretary, said in a statement later Friday night that the decision applied to two African countries, though it did not name them.

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