[Paleopsych] Strains on Nature Are Growing, Report Says

Steve Hovland shovland at mindspring.com
Thu Mar 31 14:37:57 UTC 2005


Published: March 31, 2005

OSLO, March 30 - Humans are damaging the planet at a rapid rate and raising 
risks of abrupt collapses in nature that could spur disease, deforestation 
or "dead zones" in the seas, an international report said Wednesday.
The study, by 1,360 researchers in 95 nations, the biggest review of the 
planet's life support systems ever, said that in the last 50 years a rising 
human population had polluted or overexploited two-thirds of the ecological 
systems on which life depends, including clean air and fresh water. "At the 
heart of this assessment is a stark warning," said the 45-member board of 
the Millennium Ecosystem Assessment. "Human activity is putting such strain 
on the natural functions of earth that the ability of the planet's 
ecosystems to sustain future generations can no longer be taken for 
The report said future strains on nature could bring sudden outbreaks of 
disease. Warming of the Great Lakes in Africa from climate change, for 
instance, could create conditions for a spread of cholera.
The study urged changes in consumption, better education, new technology 
and higher prices for exploiting ecosystems.

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