CHP 3 Global predicament 11

CHP 3 Global predicament 11 - CHP 3 April 1, 2011 THE...

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CHP 3 April 1, 2011 Woodruff - Global predicament 1 Species extinction rates are now 1000x background for last 60 million years. Concentrations of species in global “hot spots” present challenges to conservation as species are difFcult to save in underdeveloped tropical areas where human growth rates are still high and poverty is ubiquitous. Predictions are difFcult because of basic uncertainties but it is accepted that 20% of all species, and 50% of the larger species, may go extinct this century. The ecological ramiFcations of species losses are controversial and worrisome. 8000 B.C. Human population (billions) 6 5 4 3 2 1 0 4000 B.C. 3000 B.C. 2000 B.C. 1000 B.C. The Plague 0 1000 A.D. 2000 A.D. THE ±UTURES O± LI±E One species has irrupted on the planet A species that seeks to control nature Oh, the things we can do! Move mountains… Removing mountains: one of 450 in the Appalachians ScientiFc American 2008 Oh, the things we can do! Sever Continents… Oh, the things we can do! Destroy lakes… Aral Sea, NASA
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CHP 3 April 1, 2011 Woodruff - Global predicament 2 Alan Weisman 2007. The World Without Us http://www.sciam.com/article.cfm?id=video-earth- without-humans Oh, the things we can do! Replace natural ecosystems… Oh, the things we can do! Convert habitat… Keeling Curve 1958 - 2005 2/3 from fossil fuels and 1/3 from deforestation Oh, the things we can do! Change atmosphere… 20-50% of area occupied by a particular biome today will no longer be suitable When CO 2 x 2 One garden Feld clearing at a time… Many tropical soils turn to brick-hard laterite Sterile for decades Eco-refugees: children will have to live somewhere else Scale of Fres in Indonesia
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CHP 3 April 1, 2011 Woodruff - Global predicament 3 The roots of the biodiversity and environmental crises lie in a traditional approach to nature Fallacy based on the Cornocopia Premise and the Cowboy Economy and requiring The Technological Fix This situation results from the belief in the “Cornucopia Paradigm”: • Man was apart from nature • Resources were in±nite • Man (not nature) knows best • You can throw things away • You can get something for nothing THE RESULTING “COWBOY ECONOMY” WAS BASED ON THE NOTIONS THAT • Free enterprise is best • Progress means growth and cheap energy • Recycling • Pesticides • Fertilizers • The green revolution and genetic engineering promises a desirable future • Technological ±xes TECHNOLOGICAL FIXES – EGYPT NILE VALLEY – LATE 1950’s • Cultivated for 9000 years • Seasonal ²ooding • Seasonal irrigation 26 million Egyptians • Population growth in 1960 – 2.5% • 1989 – 52 million • 1997 – 65 million • 2000 – 68 million • 2007 – 74 million growing at 1.8% Wheat ²ax dates ±gs SOLUTION: TECHNOLOGICAL FIX Aswan High Dam and Lake Nasser (1959 – 1967)
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CHP 3 April 1, 2011 Woodruff - Global predicament 4 SOLUTION – TECHNOLOGICAL FIX Aswan High Dam and Lake Nasser (1959 – 1967)
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CHP 3 Global predicament 11 - CHP 3 April 1, 2011 THE...

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