[Fwd: From Here to There, by David Schweickart
M A Jones
mark at SPAMjones118.freeserve.co.uk
Mon Dec 6 11:31:08 MST 1999
David Schweickart wrote:
>>But in an important sense Eliot's phrase misrepresents the current
situation. Barring a big-bang nuclear war, the human species is not going to
end anytime soon. Ecological degradation is not going to extinguish
humankind--as a nuclear war between the United States and the Soviet Union
might have done. Our species, in overexploiting its resources and soiling
its nest, is not going to render the planet unlivable. Climate change,
increasing incidents of environmental diseases, declining food and water
supplies may cause massive amounts of human suffering, but none of these
factors threatens the species with extinction. <<
Unfortunately this is wildly over-optimistic, and in fact, completely wrong.
It is possible and even probable that changes to the world ocean circulation
have already so destabilised the climate that the methane hydrates will melt
and within the next century, all life will end on earth. The British Met Office,
which is the leading world climate prediction centre, recently proposed
such a scenario.
If this is the dire situation we are in, Schweickart's complacency
makes him part of the problem.
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