Scientists urge action at Rio+20

2012-06-14 09:45

Paris - The world's science academies on Thursday warned the upcoming Rio Summit that Earth faced a dangerous double whammy posed by voracious consumption and a population explosion.

The warning was issued by 105 academies ahead of the 20 - 22 June UN conference on sustainable development, where leaders will debate the planet's worsening environmental health and its entrenched poverty.

The signatories include the paramount scientific academies in North America, Europe and Asia.

"Increasing population growth and unsustainable consumption together pose two of the greatest challenges facing the world," their statement said.

"Current patterns of consumption, especially in high-income countries, are eroding natural capital at rates that are severely damaging the interests of future generations," it said.

Reckless consumption

Earth's population is expected to roughly triple by 2050 compared to a century earlier.

It stood at three billion in 1950, reached seven billion in 2011 and is likely to reach about 9.5 billion by 2050 - a rise that will occur especially in the poorest countries, according to UN estimates.

"Rapid population growth can be an obstacle to improving standards of living in poor countries, to eliminating poverty and to reducing gender inequality," the joint statement said.

It emphasised the need to help millions rise out of poverty, brake trends of reckless consumption and address population growth through voluntary means such as education for women and access to contraception.

"If the right conditions are in place, measures that reduce fertility rates while respecting human rights can stimulate and facilitate economic development, improve health and living standards, and increase political and social stability and security," it said.

About 115 heads of state and government are expected for the conference, which marks the 20th anniversary of the Rio Earth Summit that placed the environment on the world's political agenda.

The meeting will hear grim news about the state of the environment, ranging from an alarming increase in climate-altering greenhouse gases to depletion of the oceans and deforestation.

Scientists have become increasingly outspoken about population growth, saying it has an obvious role in environmental damage and exposing countries to the risks of drought, floods and storms.

Yet the issue is often dormant or sidelined in international politics.

The summit will cap more than a week of meetings gathering as many as 50 000 activists, business executives and policymakers.

  • jacobus.hendrikse - 2012-06-14 09:59

    Put some fertility reducing substance in the drinking water to curb population growth. In 2050 I will start eating YOU... if you don't. Be warned.

      Squeegee - 2012-06-14 10:20

      Be prepared for major heartburn...

      Martin - 2012-06-14 10:32

      some garlic, basil, salt, slowly roasted to tasty perfection, it could end up that way for sure, no resources other that our own kind, and humans survive and adapt, me myself, im not having children purely cos i see nothing for them here during their lifetimes.Its getting more difficult to just keep me going, thereis no way im gonna chance a less than good life for someone, when i have the power to not breed.

      jacobus.hendrikse - 2012-06-14 11:36

      I WILL eat you. Not going hungry, oh no. Better not turn your back on me once all food and resources are depleted. I won't eat dog nor cat. Going straight for the good stuff.

  • phillip.vanniekerk.5 - 2012-06-14 10:30

    Age of the Anti-Christ is here. Satan hates God's creation and will do anything to rid of us all as we are God’s Children. Why is Cancer growing at such an Alarming rate? Our food and water is being tampered with already. Death is a Booming Business at this stage and Satan is smiling all the way to the Bank.

      ryno.rousseau - 2012-06-14 10:41

      Your argument lacks substance and evidence.

      phillip.vanniekerk.5 - 2012-06-14 10:47

      True, my comment is based on pure observation. But let’s leave it to the day when the Truth will be revealed. Either by Science or Creation. I doubt if Science would hit the nail though.

      jody.beggs - 2012-06-14 10:48

      Typical xian response , if its not jeebus its satan... Pathetic.. I bet your a hypocrite that uses medicine but thanks god when it helps you and not the scientists who developed the drug. Blind faith is a sin and believing like a child will only get you treated like one... Damn the man.

      Aphrodite - 2012-06-14 11:51

      And your response Jody?? Equally pathetic. "Blind faith is a sin and believing like a child will only get you treated like one..." Take your own advice much, Sweetheart???

      jody.beggs - 2012-06-14 11:55

      @phillip.vanniekerk.5 not one will be alive for that ? So how is that proof ? Damn the man.

      Aphrodite - 2012-06-14 12:11

      @Jody, I see you believe in "SIN"..... interesting!!! care to elaborate?? - 2012-06-14 12:16

      What a bunch of cr@p.

      phillip.vanniekerk.5 - 2012-06-14 15:14

      There will be people in the end times that will say where is the promise of the return of Jesus. They will say "we have been hearing this for generations" ... They will mock Christians and deny TRUTH. These souls will elect to live according to their own desires instead of according to the will of God. they will follow the trends of the world and attempt to lure as many as they can to their realm of destruction. They are willingly ignorant of this: that by the Word of God, the Heavens were (created) of old (in the ancient times), and the earth emerging out of the water and in the water: by which the world at that time, being overflowed with water, perished (The Great Flood): but the heavens and the earth, which are now, by the same Word (the Word of God) are kept in store (waiting), reserved unto fire until the day of judgment and destruction of ungodly men.

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