Culture Collapse Disorder
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Culture Collapse Disorder
Culture Collapse Disorder
Culture Collapse Disorder: The loss & destruction of home (places & planet) due to human impact and our modern consumer mindset
Curated by Bonnie Bright
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The Change Within: The Obstacles We Face Are Not Just External ~Naomi Klein

The Change Within: The Obstacles We Face Are Not Just External ~Naomi Klein | Culture Collapse Disorder | Scoop.it
The climate crisis has such bad timing, confronting it not only requires a new economy but a new way of thinking.

 

› Climate change is place-based, and we are everywhere at once. The problem is not just that we are moving too quickly. It is also that the terrain on which the changes are taking place is intensely local: an early blooming of a particular flower, an unusually thin layer of ice on a lake, the late arrival of a migratory bird. Noticing those kinds of subtle changes requires an intimate connection to a specific ecosystem. That kind of communion happens only when we know a place deeply, not just as scenery but also as sustenance, and when local knowledge is passed on with a sense of sacred trust from one generation to the next... (Click title for more)

 

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Climate change psychology: Coping and creating solutions

Climate change psychology: Coping and creating solutions | Culture Collapse Disorder | Scoop.it

Psychologists are offering new insight and solutions to help counter climate change, while helping people cope with the environmental, economic and health impacts already taking a toll on people's lives, according to a special issue of American Psychologist, the American Psychological Association's flagship journal.

 

Climate change "poses significant risks for -- and in many cases is already affecting -- a broad range of human and natural systems," according to the May-June issue's introductory article, "Psychology's Contributions to Understanding and Addressing Global Climate Change." The authors call upon psychologists to increase research and work closely with industry, government and education to address climate change.

 

The role psychologists can play may be different from what many people expect. "Psychological contributions to limiting climate change will come not from trying to change people's attitudes, but by helping..(Click title for more)

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Managing the Psychological Stress Caused by Climate Change and Environmental Issues

Managing the Psychological Stress Caused by  Climate Change and Environmental Issues | Culture Collapse Disorder | Scoop.it

Once people believe that they cannot do anything to change a situation, they tend to react in all sorts of unhelpful ways. They may become dependent on others (i.e., by believing that the government or corporations will fix things, or that technology has all the answers), resigned ("if it happens, it happens"), cynical ("there's no way you can stop people from driving their cars everywhere - convenience is more important to most people than looking after the environment"), or fed up with the topic.

 

Although environmental threats are real and can be frightening, remaining in a state of heightened distress is not helpful for ourselves or for others. We generally cope better, and are more effective at making changes, when we are calm and rational.

 

People who are concerned about the environment, and are trying to make a positive difference, need to look after themselves to keep their enthusiasm and motivation up, and to protect themselves from disillusionment or burn out. The following suggestions may help you to ‘stick with it'.

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Climate change will overload humanitarian system, warns Oxfam

Climate change will overload humanitarian system, warns Oxfam | Culture Collapse Disorder | Scoop.it
Number of people affected by extreme weather has doubled in 30 years and is expected to reach 375 million a year by 2015

 

"While climate change increases people's exposure to disasters, it is their vulnerability to them that determines whether they survive, and if they do, whether their livelihoods are destroyed," says the report.

 

"In rich countries, an average of 23 people die in any given disaster, [but] in least-developed countries, the average is 1,052. Poor people live in poorly constructed homes, often on land more exposed to hazards such as floods, droughts, or landslides, and in areas without effective health services or infrastructure," it says.

 

In addition to the rise in extreme climatic events, people's vulnerability to natural disasters is increasing. "Rapid urbanisation in developing countries means that slums are expanding on to precarious land. The global food crisis is estimated to have increased the number of hungry people in the world to just under one billion. Now the global economic crisis is driving up unemployment and poverty, while undermining social safety nets...(Click title for more

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What Does It Mean To "Do Something" About Climate Change, By Carolyn Baker

What Does It Mean To "Do Something" About Climate Change, By Carolyn Baker | Culture Collapse Disorder | Scoop.it

When I speak about catastrophic climate change and the likelihood of near-term human extinction, I am often accused to “giving up” or choosing to “do nothing” about climate change. Even more charged for some is the notion of “living in hospice” which I argue is now the unequivocal predicament of our species. The typical rebuttal goes something like, “Instead of contemplating our navels or rolling over and preparing for death, we have to do something about climate change!”
Thus, I feel compelled to genuinely ask: What does it mean to actually “do something”?

First, I want to clarify that when I speak of preparing for near-term extinction by surrendering to the severity of our predicament or adopting a hospice attitude, I do not mean that we put on our favorite pair of pajamas, ingest a large dose of Ambien, draw the shades, lie down and set the electric blanket on “womb,” and then proceed to play dead and become comatose as we approach our demise. In fact... (Click title for more)

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The Deep Ecology Movement

The Deep Ecology Movement | Culture Collapse Disorder | Scoop.it

In 1973, Norwegian philosopher and mountaineer Arne Naess introduced the phrase “deep ecology” to environmental literature. Environmentalism had emerged as a popular grassroots political movement in the 1960s with the publication of Rachel Carson's book Silent Spring. 

 

Those already involved in conservation and preservation efforts were now joined by many others concerned about the detrimental environmental effects of modern industrial technology. The longer-range, older originators of the movement included writers and activists like Henry David Thoreau, John Muir and Aldo Leopold; more mainstream awareness was closer to the “wise-use” conservation philosophy pioneered by Gifford Pinchot.

 

In 1972, Naess made a presentation in Bucharest at the Third World Future Research Conference. In his talk, he discussed the longer-range background of the ecology movement and its concern with an ethic respecting nature and the inherent worth of other beings. As a mountaineer who had climbed all over the world, Naess had enjoyed the opportunity to observe ... (Click title for more)

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Chernobyl 25 years on: a poisoned landscape

Chernobyl 25 years on: a poisoned landscape | Culture Collapse Disorder | Scoop.it

Yuri Tatarchuk has a disconcerting way of demonstrating Chernobyl's grim radioactive legacy. An official guide at the wrecked nuclear powerplant, he waves his radiation counter at a group of abandoned Soviet army vehicles that were used in the battle to clean up the contamination created by the reactor explosion in 1986.

 

"Some of these trucks are quite clean, but some of them not," he announces. A sweep of his counter reveals only a few clicks from their doors and roofs. Then he passes the device over one vehicle's tracks. A sudden angry chatter reveals significant levels of radiation.

 

"Wheels and tracks pick contamination from the soil," he tells the group that has gathered round him. "There is still plenty of radioactive isotopes – caesium, strontium, even some plutonium – in the ground and we cannot get rid of them." Twenty-five years on, Chernobyl remains a poisoned landscape...

 

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Truth Seekers: Caring for a World with a Soul

Truth Seekers: Caring for a World with a Soul | Culture Collapse Disorder | Scoop.it

“There is now a single issue before us: survival. Not merely physical survival, but survival in a world of fulfillment, survival in a living world, where the violets bloom in the springtime, where the stars shine down in all their mystery, survival in a world of meaning.”

—Thomas Berry

Earth is in distress and is calling to us, sending us signs of the extremity of its imbalance through floods and storms, drought and unprecedented heat. There are now indications that its ecosystem as a whole may be approaching a “tipping point” or “state shift” of irreversible change with unforeseeable consequences. 

 

Some of us are responding to these signs, hearing this calling, individually and as groups, with ideas and actions – trying to bring our collective attention to our unsustainable materialistic lifestyle and the ways it is contributing to ecological devastation, increasing pollution, species depletion. But the momentum of our consumer, fossil-fuel driven civilization seems unstoppable, accelerating the destruction of the very ecosystem that supports us.... (Click title for more)

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Excerpts from "The 11th Hour" - Ecopsychology Documentary from Leonardo DiCaprio

Environmentalism was once the project of a passionate few. Now, millions of people have responded to ecological destruction and have created the groundwork for a sustainable and just world.

 

With the onset of global warming and other catastrophic events, environmentalism has become today a broader unifying human issue. We as citizens, leaders, consumers and voters have the opportunity to help integrate ecology into governmental policy and everyday living standards.

 

During this critical period of human history, healing the damage of industrial civilization is the task of our generation. Our response depends on the conscious evolution of our species, and this response could very well save this unique blue planet for future generations...(Click title for more)

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What is Culture Collapse Disorder? Ecopsychopathy and the End of Culture as We Know It

What is Culture Collapse Disorder? Ecopsychopathy and the End of Culture as We Know It | Culture Collapse Disorder | Scoop.it
Industrial waste Earth’s inhabitants are in peril largely of our own making. We are, consciously or unconsciously, systematically destroying our home places, habitats, ecosystems, and above all, the only home we collectively know: earth.

 

Reports are emerging daily about the implications of human impact on our environment, presenting dire warnings about pollution, urban development, greenhouse gas emissions, climate change, natural disasters, and displacement. The tally of global losses grows daily as we perpetrate ecological destruction through our relentless consumption of the earth’s dwindling resources; through rampant use of toxins, chemicals, and pesticides; and through deforestation, erosion, and devastation of natural ecosystems, wetlands, rivers, and oceans.

 

The unchecked demands of a burgeoning human population on the planet are initiating conditions that... (click title for more)

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Cornstalks Everywhere But Nothing Else, Not Even A Bee : NPR

Cornstalks Everywhere But Nothing Else, Not Even A Bee : NPR | Culture Collapse Disorder | Scoop.it
You can go to almost any cubic foot of ocean, stream, coral, backyard, ice shelves even, and if you look, you'll find scores of little animals and plants busy making a living.

 

...There were 30 different plants in that one square foot of grass, and roughly 70 different insects. And the coolest part, said a researcher to the Guardian in Britain, "If we picked the cube up and walked 10 feet, we could get as much as 50 percent difference in plant species we encountered. If we moved it uphill, we might find none of the species." Populations changed drastically only a few feet away — and that's not counting the fungi, microbes, and the itsy-bitsies that Liittschwager and his team couldn't see.

 

Another example: Here's a cube placed 100 feet off the ground, in the upper branches of a Strangler fig tree in Costa Rica. We're up in the air here, looking down into a valley... (click title for more)

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Los Angeles Review of Books - Welcome to the Anthropocene by by David Biello

Los Angeles Review of Books - Welcome to the Anthropocene by  by David Biello | Culture Collapse Disorder | Scoop.it
A new literature for a new age, the 'Age of Man'

 

We move more earth and stone than all the world's rivers. We are changing the chemistry of the atmosphere all life breathes. We are on pace to eat to death half of the other life currently sharing the planet with us. There is nothing on Earth untouched by man — whether it be the soot from fossil fuels darkening polar snows or the very molecules incorporated into a tree trunk. Humanity has become a global force whose exploits will be written in rock for millennia.

 

We can think of our Anthropocene as a steam-punk thing, only as old as James Watt's invention of a practical coal-burning steam engine way back in 1776. Or we can see it stretch back millions of years to when early Homo sapiens may have driven large carnivores like sabre-tooth tigers to extinction. Still, nothing compares to the Atomic Age, which spread rare, long-lived elements across the planet — a unique human signature. And our mark will remain in the atmosphere for tens of thousands of years, elevated levels of carbon dioxide keeping the planet warmer than it would otherwise be. If people, plants or animals don't like the climate in 2100, 2500 or even 25000 they will have us to blame....(click title for more)

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IPS – Indigenous Nicaraguans Fight to the Death for Their Last Forest | Inter Press Service

IPS – Indigenous Nicaraguans Fight to the Death for Their Last Forest | Inter Press Service | Culture Collapse Disorder | Scoop.it
Indigenous Nicaraguans Fight to the Death for Their Last Forest - Indigenous communities in northern Nicaragua are demanding that the authorities take urgent action to halt the attacks on their lives and territory by illegal invaders.

 

The Mayangna live from hunting and fishing, domestic livestock raising and subsistence agriculture, growing crops like corn, beans and tubers with traditional methods. But their way of life has been severely impacted by the invading farmers.
 

“They shoot everything, burn everything, poison the water in the rivers, and chop down the giant trees that have given us shade and protection for years, and then they continue their advance, and nothing stops them,” said Genaro.

 

“You don’t see tapirs anymore, the pumas and oncillas (tiger cats) have fled the area, you no longer hear the singing of the thousands of birds that used to tell us when it was going to rain. Even the big fish in the rivers are gone. Everything is disappearing...(click title for more)

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Why isn't anyone talking about Ocean Acidification?

Why isn't anyone talking about Ocean Acidification? | Culture Collapse Disorder | Scoop.it
Will ocean acidification disrupt the planet's ecosystem before climate change does?

 

Climate change is not the only outcome of increased greenhouse gas concentrations. The oceans have absorbed a lot of the excess carbon in the atmosphere, reducing the impacts of climate change to date, but at a cost. Higher concentrations of carbon dioxide (CO2) in the atmosphere have led to an increase in acidity of ocean water, a process known as ocean acidification. The process of acidification is laid out by Cheryl Logan in a user-friendly 2010 summary in the journal Bioscience.

 

Ocean acidification occurs when CO2 dissolves in ocean water, undergoing a chemical reaction that produces carbonic acid. The rate of this reaction is completely predictable and as a result the progression of acidification as CO2 levels increase is completely predictable. Unlike climate change, ocean acidification is not controversial at all—... (click title for more)

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Psychological Factors Help Explain Slow Reaction to Global Warming, Says APA Task Force

Psychological Factors Help Explain Slow Reaction to Global Warming, Says APA Task Force | Culture Collapse Disorder | Scoop.it

While most Americans think climate change is an important issue, they don’t see it as an immediate threat, so getting people to “go green” requires policymakers, scientists and marketers to look at psychological barriers to change and what leads people to action, according to a task force of the American Psychological Association.

 

Scientific evidence shows the main influences of climate change are behavioral – population growth and energy consumption. “What is unique about current global climate change is the role of human behavior,” said task force chair Janet Swim, PhD, of Pennsylvania State University. “We must look at the reasons people are not acting in order to understand how to get people to act.”

 

APA’s Task Force on the Interface Between Psychology and Global Climate Change examined decades of psychological research and practice that have been specifically applied and tested in the arena of climate change, such as environmental and conservation psychology and research on natural and technological disasters.... (Click title for more)

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Plastic Bag Bans Spreading in the United States

Plastic Bag Bans Spreading in the United States | Culture Collapse Disorder | Scoop.it

Currently 100 billion plastic bags pass through the hands of U.S. consumers every year — almost one bag per person each day. Laid end-to-end, they could circle the equator 1,330 times. But this number will soon fall as more communities, including large cities like New York and Chicago, look for ways to reduce the plastic litter that blights landscapes and clogs up sewers and streams.

 

While now ubiquitous, the plastic bag has a relatively short history. Invented in Sweden in 1962, the single-use plastic shopping bag was first popularized by Mobil Oil in the 1970s in an attempt to increase its market for polyethylene, a fossil-fuel-derived compound.

 

Many American customers disliked the plastic bag when it was introduced in 1976, disgusted by the checkout clerks having to lick their fingers when pulling the bags from the rack and infuriated when a bag full of groceries would break or spill over. But retailers continued to push for plastic because it was cheaper and took up less space than paper... (Click title for more)

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World's E-Waste to Grow 33% by 2017, Says Global Report

World's E-Waste to Grow 33% by 2017, Says Global Report | Culture Collapse Disorder | Scoop.it
By 2017, the global volume of discarded refrigerators, TVs, cellphones, computers, monitors and other electronic waste will weigh almost as much as 200 Empire State Buildings, a new report predicts.

 

The world produced nearly 54 million tons (49 million metric tons) of used electrical and electronic products last year. That's an average of about 43 lbs. (20 kg), or the weight of eight bricks, for each of the 7 billion people on Earth.

 

The U.S. generated the seventh highest amount of e-waste per person — about 66 lbs. (30 kg) per capita. (The country with the highest per capita e-waste was... (Click title for more)

 

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Earth Democracy and the Rights of Mother Earth - Vandana Shiva

Earth Democracy and the Rights of Mother Earth - Vandana Shiva | Culture Collapse Disorder | Scoop.it

The collapse of Wall Street in September 2008 and the continuing financial crisis signal the end of the paradigm that put fictitious finance above real wealth created by nature and humans. This paradigm — which put profits above people, and corporations above citizens — can only be kept afloat with limitless bailouts that direct public wealth to private rescue instead of using it to rejuvenate nature and produce economic livelihoods for people. It can only be kept afloat with increasing violence to the earth and people.

 

It can only be kept alive as an economic dictatorship. This is clear in India’s heartland, where the limitless appetite for steel and aluminum for the global consumer economy and the limitless appetite for corporate profits are clashing head on with the rights of tribal communities to their land and homes, their forests and rivers, their cultures and ways of life. Tribal groups are saying a loud and clear “no” to their forced uprooting.

 

The only way to get to the minerals and coal that feed the “limitless growth” model in the face of democratic resistance is the use of militarized violence against tribal people. Operation “Green Hunt” has been launched in the tribal areas of India with precisely this purpose, even though the proclaimed objective is to clear out the “Maoists.” Under Operation Green Hunt, more than 40,000 armed paramilitary forces have been placed in the tribal areas that are rich in minerals and where tribal unrest is growing...

 

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Native cultures under threat from climate change may hold the key to addressing it (Commentary)

Native cultures under threat from climate change may hold the key to addressing it (Commentary) | Culture Collapse Disorder | Scoop.it

"The message that we humans are part of nature, not above it or able to control or dominate it, is central to the challenges we face.''

 

"You must learn to melt the ice in the heart of man," Angaangaq Angakkorsuaq, an Eskimo elder from Greenland, instructed us at the Ancient Voices -- Contemporary Contexts Forum in Abuqui, New Mexico last month. "Uncle," as he was affectionately called at the gathering, reported that as a result of climate change there are 78 new species of fish in the waters off his homeland. Since he was raised knowing all the fish in the waters, this is a frightening new development.

 

Uncle was one of a dozen elders sharing cultural wisdom and reflections on the climate crisis with a group of...(click title for more)

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The Anthropocene: From Global Change to Planetary Stewardship

The Anthropocene: From Global Change to Planetary Stewardship | Culture Collapse Disorder | Scoop.it

Over the past century, the total material wealth of humanity has been enhanced. However, in the twenty-first century, we face scarcity in critical resources, the degradation of ecosystem services, and the erosion of the planet’s capability to absorb our wastes. Equity issues remain stubbornly difficult to solve.

 

This situation is novel in its speed, its global scale and its threat to the resilience of the Earth System. The advent of the Anthropence, the time interval in which human activities now rival global geophysical processes, suggests that we need to fundamentally alter our relationship with the planet we inhabit. Many approaches could be adopted, ranging from geo-engineering solutions that purposefully manipulate parts of the Earth System to becoming active stewards of our own life support system.

 

The Anthropocene is a reminder that the Holocene, during which complex human societies have developed, has been a stable, accommodating environment and is the only state of the Earth System that we know for sure can support contemporary society. The need to achieve effective planetary stewardship is urgent... (click title for more)

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Fracking Vs. The Drought: They Call It Texas Tea, But You Can’t Drink Oil

Fracking Vs. The Drought: They Call It Texas Tea, But You Can’t Drink Oil | Culture Collapse Disorder | Scoop.it
How dry is it in Texas? So dry that many Texans are now against using water to frack for oil.

 

Every fracking job requires several million gallons of water. “Only about 20 percent to 25 percent on average of the water is recovered, while the rest disappears underground, never to be seen again.” Fracking is probably not the wisest use of water anywhere, but in a drought it’s downright self-destructive.

 

In one South Texas county, fracking was nearly one quarter of total water use in 2011, a fraction that is expected to hit one third soon. The Texas Water Development Board estimates frackers used 13.5 billion gallons water used in 2010, a number they project to more than double by 2020!... (Click title for more)

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Climate change impacting food supply in Ghana

Climate change impacting food supply in Ghana | Culture Collapse Disorder | Scoop.it
Nearly 700,000 people in Ghana are staring at hunger as climate change has started taking a toll on food security in this West African nation of 25 million people, a survey shows.

 

"Severe warming, floods and drought may reduce crop yields. Livestock may be at risk, both directly from heat stress and indirectly from reduced quality of their food supply, while fisheries would be affected by changes in water temperature," Hans Adu-Dapaah, director of theCrop Research Institute (CRI), told IANS. 

He said evidence of climate change in Ghana was that the mean annual temperature had...(click title for more)

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“Then a strange blight crept over the area..."

“Then a strange blight crept over the area..." | Culture Collapse Disorder | Scoop.it

WHEN RACHEL Carson entitled her prescient 1962 book “Silent Spring,’’ she was imagining the dawning of the season without the sweet sounds of wildlife. She noted that, even then, in many parts of the United States, spring “comes unheralded by the return of birds, and the early mornings are strangely silent where once they were filled with the beauty of birdsong.’’

 

Carson’s book was heard as a resounding alarm, jumpstarting the contemporary environmental movement. In important ways, her warning was heeded (restrictions on DDT), but the human assault on the natural world only escalated in the decades since, with last week’s catastrophe in Japan a latest signal of the danger.

 

“There was once a town in the heart of America where all life seemed to live in harmony with its surroundings.’’ The book begins with what Carson calls a fable for tomorrow... (click title for more)

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Welcome to the Anthropocene

Welcome to the Anthropocene | Culture Collapse Disorder | Scoop.it
THE Earth is a big thing; if you divided it up evenly among its 7 billion inhabitants, they would get almost 1 trillion tonnes each. To think that the workings of so...

 

THE Earth is a big thing; if you divided it up evenly among its 7 billion inhabitants, they would get almost 1 trillion tonnes each. To think that the workings of so vast an entity could be lastingly changed by a species that has been scampering across its surface for less than 1% of 1% of its history seems, on the face of it, absurd. But it is not. Humans have become a force of nature reshaping the planet on a geological scale—but at a far-faster-than-geological speed.

 

A single engineering project, the Syncrude mine in the Athabasca tar sands, involves moving 30 billion tonnes of earth—twice the amount of sediment that flows down all the rivers in the world in a year. That sediment flow itself, meanwhile, is shrinking; almost 50,000 large dams have over the past half- century cut the flow by nearly a fifth. That is one reason why the Earth's deltas, home to hundreds of millions of people, are eroding away faster than they can be replenished.... (click title for more)

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A World Without Coral Reefs

A World Without Coral Reefs | Culture Collapse Disorder | Scoop.it
By persisting in the false belief that coral reefs have a future, we grossly misallocate the funds needed to cope with the fallout from their collapse.

 

IT’S past time to tell the truth about the state of the world’s coral reefs, the nurseries of tropical coastal fish stocks. They have become zombie ecosystems, neither dead nor truly alive in any functional sense, and on a trajectory to collapse within a human generation. There will be remnants here and there, but the global coral reef ecosystem — with its storehouse of biodiversity and fisheries supporting millions of the world’s poor — will cease to be.

 

Overfishing, ocean acidification and pollution are pushing coral reefs into oblivion. Each of those forces alone is fully capable of causing the global collapse of coral reefs; together, they assure it. The scientific evidence for this is compelling and unequivocal, but there seems to be a collective reluctance to accept the logical conclusion — that there is no hope of saving the global coral reef ecosystem...

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