All 3 entries tagged Environment

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October 09, 2006

'Ecological Overdraft'

Today is the day that ‘humanity slides into the red’ as we further add to our ‘ecological overdraft’.

According to the Global Footprint Network, and as reported in the Guardian today, we have already consumed all of the resources that the planet can be expected to replenish in one year. And this as we have only just entered October.

As I ponder this, I gaze out of my window and see cars drive past, a policeman ordering a Subway sandwich, Christmas lights across the street ready to be turned on (why xmas lights?? It’s OCTOBER for christ’s sake! But perhaps this may be for another entry).. All of these things using energy the Earth cannot replenish.

According to the report, this over-utilising our resources began in 1987 when the year’s resources were spent by the 19th December. The date has been gradually leaping forward ever since. If we consider ‘ecological footprints’ (land and water required to sustain a person’s lifestyle) the average North American uses 9.6 hectares (or 23.7 acres) in a year. For an African: 1.4 hectares.. If we were all like North Americans in our lifestyle (which as a Brit I am depressingly close), four extra planets would be required to sustain our lifestyles.

Depressing but necessary reading if we are to create a sustainable way of living for the next generation to inherit.


May 31, 2006

Israeli scientists dicover ancient ecosystem

Writing about web page http://today.reuters.co.uk/News/NewsArticle.aspx?type=scienceNews&storyID=2006-05-31T102559Z_01_L31581222_RTRIDST_0_SCIENCE-SCIENCE-ISRAEL-CAVE-DC.XML

A group of scientist in Israel have found an eco–system which dates back millions of years. Inside they have found 8 previously unknown species. It turns out the cave was sealed off completely from the outside world. It is certainly an interesting discovery… this could well be the closest thing we ever get to real dinosaurs in our lifetime (unless we get DNA out of amber or minerals – I've got some if anyone knows how to extract it…)

It is a bit of a worry that there might be bacteria in there which we have had no experience with so our immune system won't be able to handle it… just a thought. And the reverse is also true – these creatures might not last very long now.


Al Gore, talking sense. Naturally some in the US disagree..

There's an interview with Al Gore in the Guardian today, which I confess I haven't read. Instead I saw the cover story concerning it.

In it, it seems that Al Gore, contrary to popular belief, and indeed contrary to himself in 2000, is quite passionate. Many of you will probably know of the film he is releasing about climate change, 'An Inconvenient Truth' (here's the trailer ).

Alas, for all his good work, he's gonna be up against it as the right–wing 'crazies' start mobalizing against him. According to the Guardian article, "A series of television advertisements, launched by a thinktank called the Competitive Enterprise Institute, argue that carbon dioxide emissions are a sign of American productivity and progress."

Hmmm, if any of you find these adverts, you might want to post them here. They could be quite good for a bit of black humour.

Edit: I actually found them quite sharpish..here's the best one:
"Carbon Dioxide: They call it pollution, we call it Life" High Low

There's a couple more, which can be found here.


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