"A report just published in Nature by a group of 22 international scientists warns that human activity is quickly pushing the planet to a tipping point, after which time the Earth's ecosystem will suffer a rapid and irreversible collapse. What's worse: They suggest we're nearly there." - via io9.com
I've been seeing and reading this story in various places over the past couple of days. If this were aliens invading the planet, bent on destroying us, it would be the lead story everywhere, with two-inch headlines and 24-hour breaking news coverage shrieking and scrolling across the screen. But when it's just us humans destroying the planet, there's hardly a ripple.
Highlights, or rather lowlights from the io9.com story:
The scientists point to a number of indications that we are quickly approaching the critical 50%, a trend that's being driven by accelerating loss of biodiversity, increasing climate fluctuations, growing ecosystem interconnectedness, and radically changing total energy budgets. They suspect that human civilization is 43% of the way there, owing to such things as the conversion of landscapes into agricultural and urban areas — developments that make the planet more susceptible to an "environmental epidemic".
" ... they recommend five actions that should be taken immediately should we have any hope of delaying or minimizing a planetary-state-shift. These include drastic reductions to population growth, moving to high density areas so that parts of the planet can recover, forcing people to be materially poorer (at least in the short term), and investments in creating technologies to produce and distribute food in an environmentally friendly way."
Full story here.