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Earth 'will expire by 2050'

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posted on Aug, 26 2002 @ 11:35 PM
Jason Burke
"The Observer"

Our planet is running out of room and resources. Modern man has plundered so much, a damning report claims this week, that outer space will have to be colonised.

The world's ticking timebomb.

The end of earth as we know it? Talk about it here

Earth's population will be forced to colonise two planets within 50 years if natural resources continue to be exploited at the current rate, according to a report out this week.

A study by the World Wildlife Fund (WWF), to be released on Tuesday, warns that the human race is plundering the planet at a pace that outstrips its capacity to support life.

In a damning condemnation of Western society's high consumption levels, it adds that the extra planets (the equivalent size of Earth) will be required by the year 2050 as existing resources are exhausted.

The report, based on scientific data from across the world, reveals that more than a third of the natural world has been destroyed by humans over the past three decades.

Using the image of the need for mankind to colonise space as a stark illustration of the problems facing Earth, the report warns that either consumption rates are dramatically and rapidly lowered or the planet will no longer be able to sustain its growing population.

Experts say that seas will become emptied of fish while forests - which absorb carbon dioxide emissions - are completely destroyed and freshwater supplies become scarce and polluted.

The report offers a vivid warning that either people curb their extravagant lifestyles or risk leaving the onus on scientists to locate another planet that can sustain human life. Since this is unlikely to happen, the only option is to cut consumption now.

Systematic overexploitation of the planet's oceans has meant the North Atlantic's cod stocks have collapsed from an estimated spawning stock of 264,000 tonnes in 1970 to under 60,000 in 1995.

The study will also reveal a sharp fall in the planet's ecosystems between 1970 and 2002 with the Earth's forest cover shrinking by about 12 per cent, the ocean's biodiversity by a third and freshwater ecosystems in the region of 55 per cent.

The Living Planet report uses an index to illustrate the shocking level of deterioration in the world's forests as well as marine and freshwater ecosystems. Using 1970 as a baseline year and giving it a value of 100, the index has dropped to a new low of around 65 in the space of a single generation.

It is not just humans who are at risk. Scientists, who examined data for 350 kinds of mammals, birds, reptiles and fish, also found the numbers of many species have more than halved.

Martin Jenkins, senior adviser for the World Conservation Monitoring Centre in Cambridge, which helped compile the report, said: 'It seems things are getting worse faster than possibly ever before. Never has one single species had such an overwhelming influence. We are entering uncharted territory.'

Figures from the centre reveal that black rhino numbers have fallen from 65,000 in 1970 to around 3,100 now. Numbers of African elephants have fallen from around 1.2 million in 1980 to just over half a million while the population of tigers has fallen by 95 per cent during the past century.

The UK's birdsong population has also seen a drastic fall with the corn bunting population declining by 92 per cent between 1970 and 2000, the tree sparrow by 90 per cent and the spotted flycatcher by 70 per cent.

Experts, however, say it is difficult to ascertain how many species have vanished for ever because a species has to disappear for 50 years before it can be declared extinct.

Attention is now focused on next month's Earth Summit in Johannesburg, the most important environmental negotiations for a decade.

However, the talks remain bedevilled with claims that no agreements will be reached and that US President George W. Bush will fail to attend.

Matthew Spencer, a spokesman for Greenpeace, said: 'There will have to be concessions from the richer nations to the poorer ones or there will be fireworks.'

The preparatory conference for the summit, held in Bali last month, was marred by disputes between developed nations and poorer states and non-governmental organisations (NGOs), despite efforts by British politicians to broker compromises on key issues.

America, which sent 300 delegates to the conference, is accused of blocking many of the key initiatives on energy use, biodiversity and corporate responsibility.

The WWF report shames the US for placing the greatest pressure on the environment. It found the average US resident consumes almost double the resources as that of a UK citizen and more than 24 times that of some Africans.

Based on factors such as a nation's consumption of grain, fish, wood and fresh water along with its emissions of carbon dioxide from industry and cars, the report provides an ecological 'footprint' for each country by showing how much land is required to support each resident.

America's consumption 'footprint' is 12.2 hectares per head of population compared to the UK's 6.29ha while Western Europe as a whole stands at 6.28ha. In Ethiopia the figure is 2ha, falling to just half a hectare for Burundi, the country that consumes least resources.

The report, which will be unveiled in Geneva, warns that the wasteful lifestyles of the rich nations are mainly responsible for the exploitation and depletion of natural wealth. Human consumption has doubled over the last 30 years and continues to accelerate by 1.5 per cent a year.

Now WWF wants world leaders to use its findings to agree on specific actions to curb the population's impact on the planet.

A spokesman for WWF UK, said: 'If all the people consumed natural resources at the same rate as the average US and UK citizen we would require at least two extra planets like Earth.'

The world's ticking timebomb

Marine crisis: North Atlantic cod stocks have collapsed from an estimated 264,000 tonnes in 1970 to under 60,000 in 1995.

Pollution: The United States places the greatest pressure on the environment, with its carbon dioxide emissions and over-consumption. It takes 12.2 hectares of land to support each American citizen and 6.29 for each Briton, while the figure for Burundi is just half a hectare.

Shrinking Forests: Between 1970 and 2002 forest cover has dwindled by 12 per cent.

Endangered wildlife: African elephant numbers have fallen from 1.2 million in 1980 to half a million now. In the UK the songbird population has fallen dramatically, with the corn bunting declining by 92 per cent in the past 30 years.


posted on Aug, 27 2002 @ 02:48 AM
I don't think colonization of another planet would be feasable; We haven't yet been able to *find* any that has resources we can exploit yet, not to mention the time factor that would take for us to actually *travel* there.

IMO, if we can't learn how to control ourselves here, what would give us the right to plunder the rest of the universe with our greed? Even if there are any advanced alien races out there, I'm afraid that they'd have the same opinion of us as we have for a swarm of cockroaches...

posted on Aug, 27 2002 @ 10:03 AM
Planet hopping is a little far fetched at this time.So we better take care of the resources we have left.Otherwise the world is going to look like an African desert.

[Edited on 01-08-2002 by nyeff]

posted on Aug, 27 2002 @ 01:00 PM
Hrm, we'd find a way around it

MDS, don't be so hard on humanity, whos to say that all sentient beings in the universe have the same problem with excessive consumption. They might look down on us and smile and think 'I remember when we used to be like that'.

Whos to say a good end of the world scenario would be the kick up the ass humanity needs? Might shake off some of the dead wood.

posted on Aug, 31 2002 @ 06:19 AM
Start a colony on mar's now. Hollow out the Cerus astroid and turn it into a dyson sphere. By the time that's done our technology should be good enough to allow us to 'fly' the dyson shpere with a crap load of new colonists to another planet. Science is already building a telescope that will see earth sized planet's. We already know of atleast 2 or 3 extra-solar system's with jupiter/saturn size planet's within the habitable zone. Maybe one of there's moon's will be big enough for a small colony to thrive on.

Our planet is already too messed up. If our deadline IS 50 years, then there isn't much we'll can do. Our only option IS to colonize space now. What are we gonna change in 50 years? The ozone layer is nearly irreplacable and thinning more and more every year. The weather forcaster's here in the USA say that next year's summer is gonna be worse than this year's. Can we do anything NOW to change that? No....

NASA should be getting more funds to figure out how to get us off this damn cursed rock :p

posted on Sep, 2 2002 @ 12:21 AM
This is why I don't believe humankind is mature enough to be allowed to explore space...We can't even take care of our own home planet yet. How can we be expect anything else but to pollute the entire universe with our greed & waste?

posted on Sep, 2 2002 @ 12:30 AM
We may not be mature as a specie's, but if we want to continue as a specie's then it's our only option. OR we could stay here and become extint....

posted on Sep, 2 2002 @ 12:42 AM
Do you think you could morally & ethically agree to the concept of such an rampantly, non-sensically insane species access to the stars?

I couldn't...Without keeping a straight face when saying it! Look at it from this viewpoint...After we've polluted the entire universe, we'll die anyway...It's just a matter of time.

posted on Sep, 2 2002 @ 08:10 PM
Humans will not send humans to explore new planetary possibilities. Robotic exploration will be the first wave.

posted on Sep, 2 2002 @ 11:23 PM
And exactly who is going to *program* it's decision-making logic when it comes to the possibility of of making contact with another intelligence? How will the 'bot react? Who's going to decide what ethics the 'bot will project? If it's programmed to treat the alien intelligence the same way we treat each other, the 'bot is just going to get itself eliminated from the disgusted alien.

posted on Sep, 3 2002 @ 06:03 PM
I vote for staying on earth until we destroy ourselves

Even if we did find a good planet like earth somewhere, how would we get there? Isn't the closest universe a few 100 light years away or something? That's pretty damn far..

posted on Sep, 3 2002 @ 10:21 PM

Survival of our specie's, IMHO exceed's any point of morality. Would you really want your future family line to become extinct because you thought it was immoral to survive as a specie's off world? The problem is, we have NO choice. Maybe not now, but soon, very damned near soon, we won't. I would like my future family line to continue as far as possible instead of becoming extinct. Who's to say we won't mature more over time? We've already matured a great deal compared to our ancient ancestor's. We're faced with a big problem, we can't just quit because other's may find us immoral. We may find an alien specie's to be more immoral than us, while they thin we're more immoral than them. It's just a matter of opinion on that part. But continuation of our specie's is a more important matter.

posted on Sep, 4 2002 @ 01:31 AM
How we underestimate ourselves! Have some faith in your own kind people...

There are many other options besides moving to another planet. First and foremost is getting our lazy asses off the internet and away from the T.V. and planting a tree! But to be more sci-fi, how about space stations? Or the moon or Mars? If we're gonna move off of this rock we'd might as well go someplace close by so we can spend some time terraforming or building an artificial habitat. Or perhaps science can whip us a an artifcial habitat right here and we can build an air shield like in Spaceballs.

Not to mention the possiblities of war, nuclear holocaust, disease, asteroids and God knows what else that could wipe us out long before this deadline.

I want my predecessors to survive no matter how "mature" our species may be. Humanity has faced its share of problems and all of them have been overcome. I'm sure extinction will be no different.

posted on Oct, 12 2004 @ 10:05 PM
Adam and Eve were kicked out of the garden of eden for polluting the soul.
Don't be surprised if mother nature kicks us out this time for polluting the garden!

posted on Oct, 12 2004 @ 10:19 PM
We probably don't need to worry about colonizing other planets for resources. As resources here on Earth become more scarce, we will of course have wars probably until over half the planet is dead. That will effectively solve the too many people problem for the available resources. Unless of course we find other natural resources that don't require big wars to achieve. Solar and fusion power could possibly solve energy problems. Better farming techniques and/or methods might help solve food shortages. There may still be hope for this planet.

posted on Oct, 12 2004 @ 10:31 PM
Population control. Isn't that what war and supposed genetically modified diseases/viruses are for? If I'm not mistaken, won't the Illuminati be responsible in a reduction of our exceeding population? I know there's a thread on here somewhere that relates to this... Oh, and not to mention the bible's prophecy of the anti-christ who is suppose to make short work out of 2/3 of the human race. Whatever the conclusion in the end is, it seems we're not going anywhere until we face what we've sown.

dfh out.

posted on Oct, 12 2004 @ 11:04 PM
"Earth is going to die."

That is what people told in ancient times,
Dark ages,
Modern times and most importantly

Yet we are still here....


posted on Oct, 13 2004 @ 03:11 AM
Demand and nessesity (sorry - i know thats spelled wrong, but it's really late and I have been working for like 20 hours today) are the mother and father of progress and advancement.

The more demand there is for something, the more likely it is to happen. I mean, we went from biplanes to the moon in 60 years. I say we can go from the moon to another planet in 45 if our survival depended on it...

Besides, IMHO this whole idea that we only have 50 more years is rubbish.

posted on Oct, 13 2004 @ 03:20 AM
Dr death says the solar flares, will get us first. Much sooner than 2050.

This planet can take anything we dish out.

But when we piss it off. It corrects the problem.

If 4 billion people we're killed at once. It would take another 2000 years to re-populate

posted on Oct, 13 2004 @ 03:46 AM
Yeah so we're killing the planet. Big deal. Evolution-wise the human race is the equivalent of a 4year old child. We're still babies. We're still learning, still growing up. Learning what works & what doesn't.

The planet will never be completely "killed" due to manmade causes because eventually the human race will be given no other option but to learn how to nurture the planet in order to survive. It will get to the point where we won't be able to say "oh I'll get to that next week".

Who's to say our "planet killing" isn't some part of the natural evolutionary process? When it boils down to it, we might simply just heading towards an ELE. The planet will basically hit the reset button, almost every species on the planet will be wiped out, and over thousands of years, new species will arise, evolve, become dominant, start using up all the natural resources, and so the process will go on and on untill the universe stops expanding, begins to shrink back in on itself. You get the big collapse....then another big bang, and a new universe

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