An English midwife from Hertfordshire on holiday in Australia celebrating her 25th wedding anniversary has responded to a call for international rescue. Shield with others from a cyclone, she delivered a baby at an evacuation centre in Cairns. The mother named the child Lucie – perhaps after Mother Nature personified. The child’s arrival coincided with the storm avoiding the continent’s most populated areas.
Mother Nature’s benevolence comes at a time when evidence is accumulating that humanity is on the verge of a global crisis:
- Globally 2010 was the warmest year on record, arguably largely due to human related activity.
- 2010 saw the Amazon experience a severe drought (worse than that in 2005, which was described then as a once in a century event). Scientists suggest this is further evidence of the Amazon’s vulnerability to rising global temperatures.
- Experts say we are losing 137 plant, animal and insect species every day due to rainforest deforestation.
- If current trends continue 40% of the Amazon rainforest will be lost to soy production and palm oil by 2050
- Extreme weather conditions in Russia, Australia, USA, and Malaysia are having a major impact on key food production and availability driving up prices worldwide and triggering civil discontent in the middle East.
- Whilst an astonishing one in ten adults on Earth are officially obese as more countries adopt Western lifestyles – levels double from 30 years ago. Whilst people in the UK eat 3.5 times more meat than that recommended by the World Health Organisation, contributing to cancer, diabetes, and obesity.
- Globally, meat production is set to double from 2001 to 2050.
- Yet in the UK, for example, 8.3 millions tons of food is thrown away by households every year.
- And about 1.5 tons of rubbish is thrown away by an average UK family – akin to throwing half an elephant into a landfill.
- Little wonder then that a UN report out today warns that the world’s population growth must slow significantly to avoid reaching unsustainable levels, which means fertility must fall below replacement level. Numbers are expected to reach 7 billion later this year and 14 billion by 2,100.
- More people to do more consuming – in its State of the World 2010 report the Worldwatch Institute found the world consumed $350 trillion goods and services in a year – up by nearly 30% on the previous decade. The world now digs up the equivalent of 112 Empire State buildings in materials every day. The average American consumes about 144 pounds of goods every day, more than the average weight of a US male. The Institute warns that without a shift from consumerism to sustainablity humanity will face hazardous environmental and climate risks.
Time for International Rescue…