Friday, June 15, 2007

We are changing the rich tapestry of life on this planet...

This is right off their webiste and summarizes what was in the first half of Tim Flannery's book, "Weather Makers." There are all kinds of interesting reports that cover topics like How to Sustain Life on this Planet and the Web of Life.

We Are Changing Life on Earth

"The rich tapestry of life on our planet is the outcome of over 3.5 billion years of evolutionary history. It has been shaped by forces such as changes in the planet's crust, ice ages, fire, and interaction among species. Now, it is increasingly being altered by humans. From the dawn of agriculture, some 10,000 years ago, through the Industrial Revolution of the past three centuries, we have reshaped our landscapes on an ever-larger and lasting scale. We have moved from hacking down trees with stone tools to literally moving mountains to mine the Earth's resources. Old ways of harvesting are being replaced by more intensive technologies, often without controls to prevent over-harvesting. For example, fisheries that have fed communities for centuries have been depleted in a few years by huge, sonar-guided ships using nets big enough to swallow a dozen jumbo jets at a time. By consuming ever more of nature's resources, we have gained more abundant food and better shelter, sanitation, and health care, but these gains are often accompanied by increasing environmental degradation that may be followed by declines in local economies and the societies they supported."

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