can’t see the forest

UN Publishes ‘GEO 4’ Report

Posted in ecology, economy, Environment, Politics, sustainability, UN, World News by Curtis on 10/28/07

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The United Nations has published its Global Environmental Outlook Report, a 572-page document detailing the states of various facets of the natural world and human civilization’s relationship to it.

Far more than just a treatment of the problems of climate change, which has been the focus of recent publications of the UN Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (and for which it shared the 2007 Nobel Peace Prize with former U.S. Vice President Al Gore, Jr.), the Geo-4 discusses issues with the Earth’s water supply, overfishing, deforestation, and a host of other subjects. The document’s overall tone is soberly propositional.

The BBC’s Richard Black writes:

There could be no clearer example of a society engaged in unsustainable development; a society that is “meeting the needs of the present”, but in doing so is very definitely “compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs”.

Humans might be living longer and richer lives now, this implies; but environmental degradation must at some point curb or even reverse the trend.

To use the jargon, the world’s store of financial capital is rising at the expense of its natural capital, the bits of nature that humans rely on to provide food and water and to re-process our waste…

…Without major changes in direction, we had better hope that the people who believe that human ingenuity, technology and economic growth will always solve our future problems turn out to be right.


One Response

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  1. Ann El Khoury said, on 10/28/07 at 2:52 pm

    While those almost 600 pages are downloading, just a note to say thanks for posting this.

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