Sunday, August 8, 2010

Our final century

Human race 'will be extinct within 100 years'
Daily Mail: Professor Frank Fenner, emeritus professor of microbiology at the Australian National University, has predicted that the human race will be extinct within the next 100 years. He has claimed that the human race will be unable to survive a population explosion and 'unbridled consumption.'... 'It's an irreversible situation. I think it's too late.'... We have an effect on the planet that rivals any ice age or comet impact, he said. Fenner blames the onset of climate change for the human race's imminent demise.

BBC News: The human race has only a 50/50 chance of surviving another century, says Sir Martin Rees, the Astronomer Royal... In an eloquent and tightly argued book, Our Final Century, Sir Martin ponders the threats which face, or could face, humankind during the 21st century... He asks whether scientists should withhold findings which could potentially be used for destructive purposes, or if there should be a moratorium, voluntary or otherwise, on certain types of scientific research, most notably genetics and biotechnology... Our actions today may 'make the difference between a near eternity filled with ever more complex and subtle forms of life and one filled with nothing but base matter.'

The New York Times: The divisions between industrialized and developing nations over climate policy seem even deeper than they were six months ago... The European Union, which has led the way in vowing to reduce its emissions, complained that some of the options included in the negotiating text seem 'outside the realm of what is achievable'... Indeed, many scientists say that limiting climate change to 1 or 1.5 degrees Celsius above pre-industrial levels is probably impossible.
Image source here.