On the Way to Extinction
Over the past half century, mankind has reduced the total fertility of our planet by almost a quarter. This conclusion is contained in a report of the Intergovernmental Science-Policy Platform on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services. Over three years, four hundred scientists have analyzed more than 15 thousand of authoritative sources of information. As a result, they have been able to determine the scale of changes in the air, on land and in the aquatic environment of the Earth, which have occurred since the late 1970s. The document gives little ground for optimism.
According to IPBES, there are nearly a million animal species under the threat of extinction! In some locations, there is a high probability that every fifth organism will disappear, and the diversity of marine mammals may decrease by a third! Experts estimate that resource use has already reached 60 billion tons per year. Among other things, the volume of timber harvesting has increased one and a half times during the study period and yields of agricultural products have become three times greater compared to what they were fifty years ago. Currently, seventy-five percent of freshwater are being spent on watering crops, irrigation of land and livestock needs.
The researchers have found that over 300 tons of heavy metals are dumped into the ocean every year. This has led to the formation of hundreds of ‘dead zones’, with a total area of about a quarter of a million square kilometers. Major waste providers are cities that have doubled in size for the last twenty-five years. At the same time, about 300 million people live in the areas of “increasing risk of floods, hurricanes and other natural disasters.”
The Chairman of IPBES, Robert Watson, stated that without “transformative changes” in the world economic, social and political systems, after 2050 the world may experience serious losses in the planet’s biodiversity.