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Sunday, June 14, 2009

Are we going to an ecosystemic hell in a handcart, maybe not...

Are we going to an ecosystemic hell in a handcart, maybe not...

First published at Qassia:

Many Greenies claim we are all going to an ecosystemic hell in a handcart. Maybe and maybe not! It all depends on who you are talking to at the time.

Some claim we are irreparably damaging or even ruining our world's fragile ecosystems, and the losers will be our grandchildren who will inherit degraded landscapes and empty seas. Maybe and maybe not!

Some claim humankind has ruined the earth in 200,000 years that has taken four billion years to develop. Maybe and maybe not! I don't believe the point of no return has yet been passed - we are listening, watching and beginning to give cognisance to the problems that are not all humankind's. Cyclical weather patterns have caused nature to run rampant as well. We are now making decisions to plan schemes to stop the damage that has occurred. We are becoming green and aware! That in itself is a start!

Some claim it would take centuries or even millenia to rectify the damage to ecosystems and earth itself. There is already evidence that nature, given time, can rectify many of humankind's follies. Jungles can grow back in a few years to where forests were destroyed through clear-felling. There is proof of this in areas such as the Amazon in South America.

This has been confirmed by a couple of researching American scientists from Yale University, Holly Jones and Oswald Schmitz, who have reportedly spent years studying attempts at repairing ecosystems that have been damaged by farming, burning, hurricanes, logging, mining,oil spills,overfishing, building power plants, trawling and polluting waterways(including half a dozen successful examples in my country of New Zealand).

Researchers such as this duo are heartened that things have gone extremely well in some instances. They have found that many ecosystems are not as fragile as some would claim; many are extremely resilient and have been successfully repaired.

About 5% of the 240 ecosystems examined have been irretrievably ruined, but many if not most have been successfully returned to their original state.

It was farming and logging ecosystems that took the longest to recover, averaging about 42 years, but aquatic ecosystems took about half that time.

Dr Jones' and Schmitz' unfashionable takehome message is reportedly that although humans will continue to screw up their environment, most of the damage can be repaired quite quickly, giving hope to humankind to transition to substainable management of global ecosystems. This does, in my opinion, give more time to deal with natural ecosystemic damage through weather and sun effects.

Acknowledgements: Bob Brockie,World of Science, NZ.

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