Tag: United Nations Environment Programme

The Most Terrifying Halloween Story Ever Told

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Imagine time was running out.

Imagine those most technologically advanced beings were actually making things worse, not better.

Imagine.

The horror.

Global Warming: From the Great Dying to humanity at risk

On this Halloween, who needs ghosts and goblins? The real spooky stuff is in the science.

First, from Science Daily:

The greatest mass extinction in Earth’s history also may have been one of the slowest, according to a study that casts further doubt on the extinction-by-meteor theory.

Creeping environmental stress fueled by volcanic eruptions and global warming was the likely cause of the Great Dying 250 million years ago, said USC doctoral student Catherine Powers.

Writing in the November issue of the journal Geology, Powers and her adviser David Bottjer, professor of earth sciences at USC, describe a slow decline in the diversity of some common marine organisms.

Obviously, this wasn’t a human-caused event, but it demonstrates just how catastrophic such a catastrophe can be. As this NASA article explains, in the Great Dying, up to 90% of marine species and up to 70% of land species were wiped out. All life on Earth almost ended, even as it was still beginning, and global warming seems to have been one of the reasons why.

There is such a steady stream of stories on the current era of global warming, but here are just two new examples…

UN Environment Programme: The future of humanity is at risk

It’s more than global warming and climate change.

From the Guardian:

viagra generico 200 mg italia pagamento online a Roma The future of humanity has been put at risk by a failure to address environmental problems including climate change, species extinction and a growing human population, according to a new UN report.

In a sweeping audit of the world’s environmental wellbeing, the study by the UN Environment Programme (UNEP) warns that governments are still failing to recognise the seriousness of major environmental issues.

It doesn’t get much more blunt, although don’t expect to hear much about it from the corporate media.

The study, involving more than 1,400 scientists, found that human consumption had far outstripped available resources. Each person on Earth now requires a third more land to supply his or her needs than the planet can supply, it finds.

Meanwhile, biodiversity is seriously threatened by the impact of human activities: 30% of amphibians, 23% of mammals and 12% of birds are under threat of extinction, while one in 10 of the world’s large rivers runs dry every year before it reaches the sea.

This is a follow-up to a similar study, made in 1987. It’s a progress report.

As the UNEP press release explains:

GEO-4, the latest in UNEP’s series of flagship reports, assesses the current state of the global atmosphere, land, water and biodiversity, describes the changes since 1987, and identifies priorities for action. GEO-4 is the most comprehensive UN report on the environment, prepared by about 390 experts and reviewed by more than 1 000 others across the world.

click here It salutes the world’s progress in tackling some relatively straightforward problems, with the environment now much closer to mainstream politics everywhere. But despite these advances, there remain the harder-to-manage issues, the “persistent” problems. Here, GEO-4 says: “There are no major issues raised in Our Common Future for which the foreseeable trends are favourable.”