Only One Planet


In 1973 I bought a book called "The Limits to Growth" by The Club of Rome. The book, written by an international group of world scientists, economists, civil servants and business people, was a well reasoned projection of Man's continued use of non-renewable natural resources. It used a complex computer model, developed at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), to predict the future of industry, commerce, environment and human population. It concluded that the Earth's precious reservoirs of minerals would become exhausted within a hundred years, that the planet's environment would be spoiled by pollution and that, eventually, the shear numbers of people on the planet would not be sustainable. All this, it said, would lead to the inevitable collapse of civilisation unless there was an immediate halt to economic/industrial growth, pollution and population increase.  I was so shocked by what I read that it dramatically changed my perspective on Man's relationship with the Earth forever.

On 18 November 1992 a warning to Humanity was issued, signed by more than 1500 leading scientists from around the globe:

"Human beings and the natural world are on a collision course. Human activities inflict harsh and often irreversible damage on the environment and on critical resources. 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. Fundamental changes are urgent if we are to avoid the collision our present course will bring about." Read full text.

I've been attempting to gather the latest information and updating the pages in this section to reflect an up-to-date picture on how things are and current thinking on where we are going. Of course, this is an ongoing adventure and I will be continually reviewing things, rewriting pages to reflect new data and harvesting the latest news for inclusion. In the meantime, please take a look at the following pages:

All of these themes are diversely and intricately interconnected in their causes and effects. For instance, the clearing of the rainforests (for mainly agricultural purposes), besides the obvious adverse effect on biodiversity, exacerbates the effect of increasing greenhouse gasses by burning fossil fuels for energy, which is causing global warming and which will, in turn, cause problems for feeding and watering the increasing population. Pollution and agricultural usage are already major contributors to shortages of potable water in many areas of the World. Forests translocate water from the ground into the atmosphere and are believed to be significant contributors to rain-cloud production, so there's another blow to water supplies.

I could go on and on and fill your computer screen several times over.


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This page last updated: 09 June 2002