“Just the facts” by William Stolzenburg.
I came across this interesting article on ecology in the Winter 2003 Nature Conservancy Magazine. It was basically trying to straighten out some of the muddling of facts, myths and misunderstandings that go on in media reporting, books and articles. He stresses that it’s important to get the facts right so that we have a decent chance of preserving our Earth.
We’ve “hi-jacked” the NATURAL course of extinction in that by mid-century as many as 50% of all species will be lost. This would be the FASTEST species destruction in Earth’s history! With our oceans, it’s a case of too many nets have led to too few fish. This commercial over-fishing has caused declining spawning populations and a case where there may not always be “another fish in the sea”. The delicate marine balance has been upset with resulting dwindling of much of ocean life including coral reefs, big fish, whales and seabirds. In terms of our forests, there’s a return to native wisdom that not all fires are bad. Naturally occurring or managed wildfires are essential to thriving ecosystems. However, not any of us want them in our own back yards!
Some of the uncontestable facts of Global Warming are … the Inupiat Eskimoes hunt on ever thinning ice, and their houses are sinking into the permafrost … tides are rising … scientists bleakly predict the extinction of Polar bears within a century … and the 5 – 9 degree warming that took 18.000 years to bring the world out of the last Ice Age is likely to happen in the next 100.
The good news, however, is that in 1992 178 countries (sadly not the US) signed the Convention of Biological Diversity … and for Londoners in particular the Thames is once again teeming with fish and even an occasional dolphin!
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