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Tuesday, May 03, 2005
 
What on Earth are we doing to our planet?

JAMES REYNOLDS
ENVIRONMENT CORRESPONDENT
30 March 2005

HUMANS are damaging the planet at an unprecedented rate and increasing the risk of abrupt collapses in nature that could spur disease, deforestation or "dead zones" in the seas, an international report has found.

The study, by 1,360 experts in 95 nations, said a rising human population had polluted or over-exploited two-thirds of the ecological systems on which life depends, ranging from clean air to fresh water, in the past 50 years.

"At the heart of this assessment is a stark warning," the 45-member board of the Millennium Ecosystem Assessment said. "Human activity is putting such strain on the natural functions of Earth that the ability of the planet’s ecosystems to sustain future generations can no longer be taken for granted."

The report specifically cautioned that the continued and profligate use of natural resources would result in many of the United Nations Millennium Development Goals, agreed by world leaders in 2000, being blocked or missed altogether.

From: The Scotsman

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