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Posts Tagged ‘Climate change’

Population growth must stop, says Sir David Attenborough

Posted by Admin on April 24, 2011

By Liz Thomas
21st April 2011

Warning: Sir David Attenborough encouraged population growth controlWarning: Sir David Attenborough encouraged population growth control

Sir David Attenborough has warned that population growth must be stopped in order to offer a ‘decent life’ for all.

The wildlife broadcaster said people were shying away from accepting that the world’s resources cannot sustain current levels of population growth.

‘There cannot be more people on this Earth than can be fed,’ he writes in the New Statesman.

‘The sooner we stabilise our numbers, the sooner we stop running up the down escalator – and we have some chance of reaching the top; that is to say, a decent life for all.’

Sir David, 84, said the global population is over six billion and will hit nine billion in 30 years, but ‘there seems to be some bizarre taboo around the subject’.

He warned of a ‘perfect storm of population growth, climate change and peak oil production’, leading to ‘insecurity in the supply of food, water and energy’.

‘We now realise that the disasters that continue increasingly to afflict the natural world have one element that connects them all – the unprecedented increase in the number of human beings on the planet,’ he added.

‘All these people, in this country and worldwide, rich or poor, need and deserve food, water, energy and space. Will they be able to get it? I don’t know.’

Sir David said there was a ‘taboo’ tackling the subject and that people shied away from stating the fact that a world’s resources cannot sustain current levels of population growth.

He said: ‘There seems to be some bizarre taboo around the subject. This taboo doesn’t just inhibit politicians and civil servants who attend the big conferences.

‘It even affects the environmental and developmental non-governmental organisations, the people who claim to care most passionately about a sustainable and prosperous future for our children.’

Crowded: The global population is now more than six billion and is predicted to hit nine billion within 30 yearsCrowded: The global population is now more than six billion and is predicted to hit nine billion within 30 years

The 84-year-old praised controversial 18th century demographer Thomas Malthus, who argued that populations increase until they are halted by ‘misery and vice’.

He added: ‘The population of the world is now growing by 80 million a year. One and a half million a week. A quarter of a million a day.

‘The government’s chief scientist and the last president of the Royal Society have both referred to the ‘perfect storm’ of population growth, climate change, and peak oil production, leading inexorably to more and more insecurity in the supply of food, water and energy.’

Expert: Wildlife presenter Chris Packham spoke of ‘too many’ people

The global population is now in excess of six billion and is predicted to hit nine billion within 30 years.

Experts have predicted that the British population – which is currently around 62million – will increase to 70million by 2029.

A report by the sustainable development group Forum For The Future said Britain would struggle to handle such growth. The increase in population would be ‘catastrophic’ and put unsustainable pressure on housing, schools and hospitals as well as natural resources.

Current trends will see a city the size of Bristol added to the population of the UK every year for the next two decades.

Sir David’s comments follow a similar warning from BBC wildlife expert Chris Packham.

The Springwatch presenter suggested offering Britons tax breaks to encourage them to have smaller families.

He effectively endorsed China’s controversial one-child policy, which sees couples who adhere to the rule given a lump sum on retirement.

But he stopped short of suggesting people should be penalised for having too many children.

Packham, 49, who has no children of his own, told Radio Times: ‘By 2020, there are going to be 70million people in Britain. Let’s face it, that’s too many.’

He added: ‘There’s no point bleating about the future of pandas, polar bears and  tigers when we’re not addressing the one single factor that’s putting more pressure on the ecosystem than any other – namely the ever-increasing size of the world’s population.’

Controversial: A woman and her child walk by a birth control propaganda poster in China, which has a one-child policyControversial: A woman and her child walk by a birth control propaganda poster in China, which has a one-child policy

Packham suggested offering couples a financial incentive as ‘a carrot’ to persuade them to have fewer – or no – children.

He said: ‘I would offer them tax breaks for having small families: say, 10 per cent off your tax bill if you decide to stick with just one child. And an even bigger financial incentive if you choose not to have a family at all.’

‘I question the way, for example, people have two children with one partner, then split up and have two with their next partner, just to even up the score.

‘Fact is, we all eat food, breathe air and require space, and the more of us there are, the less of those commodities there are for other people and, of course, for the animals.’

Population growth must stop, says Sir David Attenborough | Mail Online.

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India will be hit hardest by 2020 climate change

Posted by Admin on January 19, 2011

Wordmap giving global warming data like given ...

Global Warming IPCC 2007 World Temperature Report-Darker the lines-Hotter the region

By   PTI
Tuesday, 18 January 2011, 22:01 Hrs
Washington: The Earth will be 2.4 degree Celsius warmer by 2020 if the world continues with the business-as-usual approach to climate change and India would be one of the hardest hit countries witnessing upto 30 percent reduction in crop yields, a new study has claimed.
The rising temperatures will adversely affect the world”sfood production and India would be the hardest hit, accordingto the analysis by the Universal Ecological Fund (FEU-US), theUS subsidiary of FEU founded in Argentina in 1990.
The report titled ”The Food Gap — The Impacts of ClimateChange on Food Production: A 2020 Perspective” predicted thatcrop yield in India, the second largest world producer of riceand wheat, would fall up to 30 per cent by the end of thisdecade.

The report, however, noted that the impacts of climatechange would vary from region to region. While central andsouthern region would witness adverse impacts, the impactscould be beneficial for East and South-East Asia, the reportpredicted.

The two most populated countries in the world, India andChina, would experience different impacts. While India couldsee a fall in its crop yield, China — the largest producer ofrice and wheat in the world — is expected to increase itscrop yields up to 20 per cent, said the report.

However, the overall impact of a warmer planet on globalfood production would be massive, said the report, adding thatthe most significant impacts would be on the top 20 producersof each of the four crops: wheat, rice, maize and soybean,respectively.

It has predicted that global wheat production during thattime would experience a 14 per cent deficit between productionand demand; while there will be an 11 per cent deficit in riceproduction and 9 per cent in maize (corn) production. Soybeanis the only crop showing an increase in global production,with an estimated 5 per cent surplus, the report said.

“The evidence that man-made greenhouse gases would causethe temperature of the planet to rise has been available foralmost two decades. The IPCC (Intergovernmental Panel onClimate Change) Fourth Assessment Report (2007) has concludedthat, unequivocally, the Earth”s warming is anthropogenic(man-made),” said FEU scientific adviser Dr Osvaldo Canziani,the former Co-Chair of Working Group II of the IPCC.

The analysis and data utilised to produce the report isbased on key documents already published by the IPCC and otherUN agencies.

“The key to our report was to analyse, synthesise andupdate published documents and data from disparate sources andpresent it in an accessible way,” Liliana Hisas, ExecutiveDirector of FEU-US and author of the report, said.

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