October 13, 2010
WWF Says We May Need A New Planet By 2030
The WWF reported on Wednesday that carbon pollution and overusing Earth's natural resources will leave us needing another planet to meet our needs by 2030.
According to the report, Earth's 6.8 billion humans were living 50 percent beyond the planet's threshold of sustainability in 2007.
"Even with modest UN projections for population growth, consumption and climate change, by 2030 humanity will need the capacity of two Earths to absorb CO2 waste and keep up with natural resource consumption," it warned.
The report, which was issued ahead of a U.N. biodiversity conference, said if everyone used resources at the same rate per capita as the U.S. or the United Arad Emirates, then four and a half planets would be needed.
The report was based on 2007 statistics.
It said that 71 countries were running down their sources of freshwater at an unsustainable rate.
About two-thirds of these countries experience "moderate to severe" water stress.
"This has profound implications for ecosystem health, food production and human wellbeing, and is likely to be exacerbated by climate change," WWF said.
U.N. signatories of the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) are to meet in Nagoya, Japan, from October 18-29 to discuss ways of addressing Earth's dramatic loss of species.
The WWF said biodiversity showed a dramatic loss overall, but one with sharp disparities.
It said that between 1970 and 2007, an index of biodiversity health showed a global fall of about 30 percent.
The decline was 60 percent in the tropics, but there was an increase of 30 percent in temperate regions.
Temperate zones may be starting from a lower baseline of species loss, which could explain the gradual improvement in recent decades.
The WWF said improvements in pollution control and waste management, better air and water quality, an increase in forest cover and greater conservation efforts may be making headway in temperate countries.
Image Courtesy NASA Blue Marble
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