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Harvesting the Biosphere: What We Have Taken From Nature - Book Review by Bill Gates

thegatesnotes.com

BOOK REVIEW

How Much of This Do We Use Up Every Year?

Written by: BILL GATES

. . . I mean everything that can be consumed on
Earth: plants, animals, all of it. And by "we" of
course I mean people.

It's such a big question that many people wouldn't even know where to start.

But if you care about understanding the impact that humans are having on the Earth, and what that means for our future, it's a crucial question. Vaclav Smil sets out to answer it in his book Harvesting the Biosphere: What We Have Taken From Nature.

(READ COMPLETE BOOK REVIEW)

Patuca Reserve Resilience Network

Honduras' ecosystems are being destroyed at an incredible rate, taking with it the rich natural heritage of biodiversity that has required million of years to evolve.  In 20 years, human populations in Honduras will be be threatend from ecosystem collapses that are likely to create abect misery and population collapses at an extraordinatry level.  Already population crashes are happening in small scale collapses due to the degradation of social ecology.  

There is a need to build a Patuca Reserve Resilience Network to help preserve the remaining 30% of the Patuca Reserve that has not been destroyed by deforestation and gold mining in the rivers. Association Patuca and Dr. Perinjaquet are working on introducing Resilience Capacity Zone Assessments and Mapping in order to identify solution sets local communities would embrace for preserving their environments and livelihoods, considering that they are squating within a national preserve that to date has had no environmental enforcement. 

Global Food Supply - We Need to Plan for System Failure

ethicalcorp.com - by Mallen Baker - October 4, 2012

Mallen Baker argues that it’s irresponsible not to make contingency plans, especially when the potential failures concern the fundamentals – such as food

Imagine your critical business systems depend on one computer server. This server is huge – it has immense capacity – but you have grown into that space and now every single day you are pushing it to its limit. . .

. . . Now let’s substitute the global food system for the server. Here we have a system that is operating at full capacity. Any hiccups in normal production can lead to serious problems. This year we have seen such hiccups.

(READ COMPLETE ARTICLE)

UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) - Launches Flagship Publication on State of the World's Refugees

unhcr.org - May 31, 2012

NEW YORK, United States, May 31 (UNHCR) UN High Commissioner for Refugees António Guterres warned on Thursday that factors causing mass population flight are growing and over the coming decade more people on the move will become refugees or displaced within their own country.

In comments marking the launch in New York of "The State of the World's Refugees: In Search of Solidarity," Guterres said displacement from conflict was becoming compounded by a combination of causes, including climate change, population growth, urbanization, food insecurity, water scarcity and resource competition.

All these factors are interacting with each other, increasing instability and conflict and forcing people to move. In a world that is becoming smaller and smaller, finding solutions, he said, would need determined international political will.

World Needs to Stabilise Population and Cut Consumption, Says Royal Society

      

World population will reach 9 billion by 2050. Photograph: Peter Macdiarmid/Getty Images

Economic and environmental catastrophes unavoidable unless rich countries cut consumption and global population stabilises

guardian.co.uk - by John Vidal - April 25, 2012

World population needs to be stabilised quickly and high consumption in rich countries rapidly reduced to avoid "a downward spiral of economic and environmental ills", warns a major report from the Royal Society.

Contraception must be offered to all women who want it and consumption cut to reduce inequality, says the study published on Thursday, which was chaired by Nobel prize-winning biologist Sir John Sulston.

Looking Back on the Limits of Growth

      

Chart Sources: Meadows, D.H., Meadows, D.L., Randers, J. and Behrens III, W.W. (1972) /  Linda Eckstein

by Mark Strauss - Smithsonian Magazine - April 2012

Recent research supports the conclusions of a controversial environmental study released 40 years ago: The world is on track for disaster. So says Australian physicist Graham Turner, who revisited perhaps the most groundbreaking academic work of the 1970s,The Limits to Growth.

Written by MIT researchers for an international think tank, the Club of Rome, the study used computers to model several possible future scenarios. The business-as-usual scenario estimated that if human beings continued to consume more than nature was capable of providing, global economic collapse and precipitous population decline could occur by 2030.

(GO TO THE SMITHSONIAN MAGAZINE ARTICLE)

Limits to Growth: The 30-Year Update

The Club of Rome

Resilience Alliance

There are many definitions of resilience from simple deterministic views of resilience anchored in Newtonian mechanics to far more dynamic views of resilience from a systems perspective, including insights from quantum mechanics and the sciences of complexity.  One baseline perspective of resilience sees it in terms of the viability of socio-ecological systems as the foundation for sustainability.  For those that are ready to look beyond resilience as the ability to return to the "normal state" before a disaster, take a look at:

http://www.resalliance.org/

Mesh Cities

 

What does it take to become a smart city?  Why are mesh cities important to sustainability?

 

For more information:

<http://www.meshcities.com/>

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