THE DOOMSDAY BOOK; A Shocking New Report Reveals That Man Has Destroyed a Third of the World's Natural Resources in Just 25 Years. Is It Too Late to Save the Planet for Future

By Science, Jim McLEAN | Daily Record (Glasgow, Scotland), October 2, 1998 | Go to article overview

THE DOOMSDAY BOOK; A Shocking New Report Reveals That Man Has Destroyed a Third of the World's Natural Resources in Just 25 Years. Is It Too Late to Save the Planet for Future


Science, Jim McLEAN, Daily Record (Glasgow, Scotland)


The most terrifying book in decades was published yesterday. It will chill the heart more than any horror story ever could.

The 20th century Doomsday Book tells the true story of how we have killed off a third of the natural world in the last 25 years.

No evil geniuses of James Bond or Batman films played any part in nearly destroying the earth - we have done it all ourselves.

Shockingly, the Living Planet Index from the World-Wide Fund for Nature shows in frightening detail how we have soiled our own nest.

And it reveals the human race itself is stifling the earth like a cancer.

We are literally sucking the juices from our planet - half of all its freshwater supply is now used by us.

Whole seas such as the Aral in Asia - which has lost 70 per cent of its water - are drying out and shrinking.

The world's forest, freshwater and marine ecosystems have deteriorated dramatically since 1970. Forests dwindle, animals species perish and carbon dioxide poisons the air.

Unless we act now, predictions of a burnt-out and bleak earth are likely to come true.

Yet the havoc and damage we cause is accelerating. The report - the world's most comprehensive ever - catalogues a series of natural disasters happening under our noses.

Among the worst are:

Waterborne life in river and lakes has declined by 50 per cent from 1970 to 1995.

Marine ecosystems have deteriorated by 30 per cent over the same period.

The annual decline in the condition of the seas in the 1990s is now up to four per cent.

We have destroyed one 10th of the world's forest - woods which had stood for thousands of years - in a quarter of a century.

The report is the first attempt to sum up the world's health woes in the form of a simple index - the Living Planet Index (LPI).

It also shows that carbon dioxide emissions, from cars and businesses in particular, have more than doubled since 1960 and are far in excess of Earth's ability to absorb them.

The world's worst countries for carbon dioxide emissions per person are Singapore, Kuwait and the United Arab Emirates with the United States, Norway and Australia coming next. The UK is in 20th place.

Australia is also in the top seven countries where wildlife species are most threatened, with Mauritius, New Zealand and Madagascar at the top.

Wood and paper consumption have increased by two thirds world-wide. And most forests are still not managed renewably, meaning there are less and less trees each year to help absorb the carbon dioxide building up.

The world's two traditional "lungs" - the rain forests of Brazil and central Africa - have shrunk pitiably. This shrinkage, if allowed to continue at the same rate, would eventually disrupt the world's weather systems.

Satellite pictures of the Brazilian Amazon show forest has been lost at a rate of 19,000 square km a year.

In Brazil alone, where the original forest was the size of Western Europe, an area the size of Spain has already been slashed and burnt.

But some scientists believe a third "lung" could be man-made to literally save the world. The oceans and tens of thousands of tons of scrap iron have emerged as mankind's best hope of surviving the global warming crisis.

It has been discovered iron can act as a seed to the oceans. Now the hope is the oceans will provide an efficient way to remove toxic greenhouse gases such as carbon dioxide.

A life-creating experiment is being planned for 2000 when scientists aim to create ocean patches of lush vegetation in hundreds of thousands of square miles of ocean by pouring in tonnes of iron from ground- down scrap cars.

Michael Markels, chief of US firm Ocean Farming, believes it is the answer to global warming. His firm has bought rights to more than a million square miles of ocean near the Marshall Islands, in the South Pacific, for the experiments.

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Sign up now for a free, 1-day trial and receive full access to:

  • Questia's entire collection
  • Automatic bibliography creation
  • More helpful research tools like notes, citations, and highlights
  • Ad-free environment

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Project items

Items saved from this article

This article has been saved
Highlights (0)
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

Citations (0)
Some of your citations are legacy items.

Any citation created before July 30, 2012 will labeled as a “Cited page.” New citations will be saved as cited passages, pages or articles.

We also added the ability to view new citations from your projects or the book or article where you created them.

Notes (0)
Bookmarks (0)

You have no saved items from this article

Project items include:
  • Saved book/article
  • Highlights
  • Quotes/citations
  • Notes
  • Bookmarks
Notes
Cite this article

Cited article

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited article

THE DOOMSDAY BOOK; A Shocking New Report Reveals That Man Has Destroyed a Third of the World's Natural Resources in Just 25 Years. Is It Too Late to Save the Planet for Future
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Full screen

matching results for page

Cited passage

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited passage

Welcome to the new Questia Reader

The Questia Reader has been updated to provide you with an even better online reading experience.  It is now 100% Responsive, which means you can read our books and articles on any sized device you wish.  All of your favorite tools like notes, highlights, and citations are still here, but the way you select text has been updated to be easier to use, especially on touchscreen devices.  Here's how:

1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
2. Click or tap the last word you want to select.

OK, got it!

Thanks for trying Questia!

Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

For full access in an ad-free environment, sign up now for a FREE, 1-day trial.

Already a member? Log in now.