The Future of Life,
|E. O. Wilson|
“the effort to enlarge productive land will wipe out a large part of the world’s flora and fauna.”
“We need nature and particularly its wilderness strongholds.
It is the alien world that gave rise to our species, and the home to which we can safely return.
It offers choices our spirit was designed to enjoy."
(Book's last chapter)
“our exertions also weaken Earth.”
“What humanity is inflicting on itself and Earth is, to use a modern metaphor, the result of a mistake in capital investment. Having appropriated the planet’s natural resources, we choose to annuitize them with short-term maturity reached by progressively increasing payouts. At the time it seemed a wise decision. To many it still does.
But there is a problem: the key elements of natural capital, the Earth’s arable land, ground water, forests, marine fisheries, and petroleum are ultimately finite, and not subject to proportionate capital growth.”
“Moreover they are being decapitalized by over harvesting and environmental destruction.”
“With population and consumption continuing to grow, the per-capita resources left to be harvested are shrinking. The long-term prospects are not promising. Awakened at last to this approaching difficulty, we have begun a frantic search for substitutes.”
‘The new strategy to save the world’s fauna and flora begins, as in all human affairs, with ethics.’’
“Moral reasoning….always has been the vital glue of society.”
“an instinct to behave ethically.”
“And everyone has some kind of environmental ethic.”
“The first step is to turn away from claims of inherent moral superiority based on political ideology and religious dogma. The problems of the environment have become too complicated to be solved by piety and an unyielding clash of good intentions.”
Twin Stereotypes – “total-war portraits crafted for public consumption by extremists on both sides.”
People first critic vs. Environmentalist
“The precepts of the people-firsters are foundationally just as ethical as those of the traditional environmentalists, but there arguments are more about method and short-term results.”
“The juggernaut of technology-based capitalism will not be stopped. Its momentum is reinforced by billions of poor people in developing countries anxious to participate in order to share the material wealth of industrialized nations.”
“Science and technology are themselves reasons for optimism.”
Concrete measures such as the ecological footprint and the Living Planet Index form the groundwork for wiser economic planning. Science and technology also promise a means for raising per-capita food production while decreasing materials and energy consumption, both of which are preconditions for successful long-term conservation and a sustainable economy.”
Role of religion reveals global change in attitudes from dominion to stewardship
“to active in conservation.”
“symptomatic of the trend toward moral consensus…”
“The convergence in opinion is strong enough that the problem is no longer reasons for conservation but the best method to achieve it.”
“The only secure way to save species as well as the cheapest (and on the evidence the only sane way), is to preserve the natural ecosystems they now compose.”
Earth is still productive enough and human ingenuity creative enough not only to feed the world now but also to raise the standard of living of the population projected to at least the middle of the twenty-first century.”
“One key element, the protection and management of the world’s existing natural reserves, could be financed by a one-cent-per-cup tax on coffee.”
Government Science and Technology
“The private sector, working within the public trust constraints defined by government policy, is the engine of society. A strong economy improves the material quality of life, allowing the populace to look and plan ahead in all venues important to them.”
The interlocking of three key agents is vital to global conservation.”
NGOs, or “Non-governmental organizations.” Conservation International, CI
1996, there were 20,000 NGOs for the protection of the ecological and human components of nature
“The swift ascendancy of the NGOs reflects the perception within the global conservation movement that the extinction crisis has turned critical.”
WWF “One of the flagship organizations.” ––– The World Wildlife Fund
NGOs can and do form partnerships, new means of broadening influence
Six major NGOs and their membership
$50- $100 million per year, multinational operations, like CI with fewer members
“the Red List books of the International Union for the Conservation of Nature and Natural resources, IUCN
“I found it a galling experience to have to plead like a defense attorney in a court on behalf of biodiversity, justifying its existence, asking that it be spared. I still feel that way…”
Also under heavy pressure are the rich hardwood and coniferous woodlands of western China and the southern face of the Himalayas. Nepal, once gloriously clothed, has been largely denuded.”
“One of the first innovations, introduced in the 1980s, was the debt-for-nature-swaps.”
The first conservation concession was obtained in 2000 by CI from Guyana, a small…. interior wilderness of mostly pristine rainforest…. Amerindians in the area will be allowed to continue hunting, fishing and conducting small scale agriculture at the level they practiced it for thousands of years.”
“Guyana…makes at least as much money as it would from a timber lease (200,000 acre tract)
1. The creation of individual reserves “reserves are the essential core of the conservation agenda… but only a rearguard action.”
2. the second stage…is restoration, the enlargement of reserves by encouraging the re growth of natural habitat outward from the periphery of the core reserve.
3. to secure or rebuild wilderness by the establishment of large natural corridors that connect existing parks and reserves.”
In 1990 dollars
“One recent study suggests that an investment of $28 billion is needed to maintain at least a representative sample of Earth’s ecosystems, land and sea, pole to pole. Beyond a mere sample, a comparable sum would achieve a very high yield of species level conservation through investment in the biologically richest segments, especially in the tropics.
“$4 billion,” to manage successfully what we have now protected.
“The tropical wilderness areas and the hottest of the hotspots on the land and in shallow marine habitats which together contain perhaps 70% of Earths plant and animal species can be saved by a single investment of $30 billion.”
“about one-thousandth of the annual combined gross national products of the world--”
“$6 billion spent annually
worldwide for nature protection”
So the question is do we refocus on the hottest of the hot spots for diversity
30,000,000,000 30 x 109 1
33,000,000,000,000,000 33 x 1015 1,100,000
one in a million or $ 1 to spend socially for every million dollars the Earth provides annually
“some of the needed governmental funding can be freed by ending perverse subsidies that aid individual industries but are unnecessary for the country as a whole and harmful to the environment.”
Norman Myers, 1998 analysis of annual subsidies worldwide.
$390 to $520 billion for agriculture
$ 110 billion in energy for fossil fuels and nuclear
$ 220 billion for water
$ 850-720 billion in sum
Three quarters of a trillion dollars or more (1998 value) annually in subsidies for food, water and energy.
“harmful to both our economies and our governments.”
“An additional heavy price, difficult to measure but nevertheless substantial, is levied on the natural environment, which carries the burden of extraction and consumption.”
“The average American pays $2000 a year in subsidies, giving the lie to the belief the t the American economy runs in a truly free competitive market. (-Enterprise)
"Monetize" carbon dioxide waste
Kyoto Protocol,…”would slow the release of carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gasses threatening to trigger the runaway warming of the Earth’s climate.”
ESA - Endangered Species Act (1973) 390-12 HR and 92-0 Senate
“Without dispute, the most important conservation law in the history of the US…. unprecedented in its sweep. …every kind of plant and animal at risk….