||June 22, 2012
From a broad spectrum of disciplines, scientists urge us to change our ways
radically if we are to save our ecosystem and the man-made world. Global strategist Daniel Rirdan offers an ambitious blueprint that shows us how.
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website of the book
It boggles the mind to realize that about one thousand million
(one billion) people were added in just over a ten year period. There
were but six billion of us in 1999.
Every year, there are about seventy-eight million more people
walking the streets and frequenting the food stores. Every week, a
population the size of San Diego is coming online—once those who
die are accounted for. Every four years, the equivalent of the entire
United States population is added on.
That is to say, every four years, we add about twenty-five billion
kilograms of human biomass, which in turn displaces a comparable—
in truth, far larger—biomass of other living things.1 This cannot work
out any other way.
The planetary ecosystem has only so much energy to go around.
The net amount of plant matter produced each year via photosynthesis
is the basis for the existence of all higher life forms. Given the fixed
surface area of Earth and the fixed amount of solar radiation reaching
it in any given moment, the volume of plant matter is capped. In turn,
this sets a cap on the amount of animals that graze on the plant matter
and in turn on the number of predators that feed on the herbivores.
The more people who are placed on the game board, the less there is
room for other animals competing for the same resources. A model
by Brian Maurer projects that if we reach a population of fifteen billion,
we will consume two-thirds of the global primary production.
Consequently, we will experience a drastic decline in biodiversity.2 At
a theoretically impossible twenty billion people strong, the human
family would consume all energy for itself with nothing left over.
This is how you get to add Soylent Green to the menu.
“Rirdan’s prescriptive nonfiction debut provides suggestions to ensure the planet’s continued environmental health. The author sets forth his plan for salvation, ambitiously addressing every major threat to the environment: climate change, deforestation, overfishing, wetlands drainage and excess consumption. His scope is broader than most environmentalist writers, including Al Gore in his seminal book on climate change....Rirdan’s thorough, readable treatment of the questions society must confront makes this book an essential addition to any environmentalist’s reading list.”
“Books and websites may tout “ten easy ways to save the planet”....The way to avoid the catastrophe that confronts us is not going to be easy or simple, but urgently imperative. For all who care about the future for our children and our species, Rirdan’s book must be read so we can follow his recommendations. We have no choice and time is terrifyingly short.”
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