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Глобальные изменения: взгляд из конца 70-х

Четверг, 17 Ноябрь, 23:11, profpr.livejournal.com


В 1977-80-м годах в США был подготовлен доклад об ожидаемых изменениях окружающей среды к 2000-му году. В некоторых аспектах 30-летней давности доклад вполне адекватен, в других, казалось бы, совершенно ошибочен - например, качество воздуха в индустриальных странах не только не ухудшилось, а наоборот, сильно улучшилось за прошедшие десятилетия. Вопрос, конечно, в том, насколько подготовка самого доклада и последующие действия на его основе способствовали этому улучшению.

Time is running out for international action to prevent a starving, overcrowded, polluted, resource-poor world, according to a report for President Carter prepared by the State Department and Council on Environmental Quality. The report, which President Carter ordered three years ago, was described by Administration officials as the most exhaustive and welldocumented study ever produced of long-term changes in the world's population, natural resources and environment and the implications of those changes for populations and public policy. In a letter transmitting the report to the President, the authors warn that they have found ''the potential for global problems of alarming proportions by the year 2000,'' adding, ''Environmental, resource and population stresses are intensifying and will increasingly determine the quality of human life on our planet.'' Warning on World in 2000 The report itself concludes: ''If present trends continue, the world in 2000 will be more crowded, more polluted, less stable ecologically, and more vulnerable to disruption than the world we live in now.'' No recommendations for dealing with the predicted problems are made in the report other than urging that the nations of both the industrial and developing worlds, with the United States taking the lead, start now to undertake ''determined new initiatives.'' The report had been scheduled to be made public tomorrow by the White House, but publication was advanced when an embargo on its release was broken today by the Knight-Ridder newspapers. As a result of the report, President Carter will establish a new Cabinet-level ''Task Force on Global Resources and the Environment'' under the chairmanship of Gus Speth, chairman of the Council on Environmental Quality, to insure ''high priority attention is given to important global resource, population and environment problems.'' In an interview, Mr. Speth said that while the 800-page report presented no startling new findings, ''it is in many respects important and, indeed, unique.'' He continued: ''It is, for example, the first time this Government or any government has made an effort to project the trends in all of these crucial areas at once. It is the most highly detailed and quantified study of these trends and their interrelationship ever made. And it provides the basis for major strides forward for domestic and international policy.'' ''We have to understand that these are absoutely crucial issues we must address for humanitarian and security reasons,'' he added. Asserting that ''the world in 2000 will be different from the world today in important ways,'' the report presents these forecasts on population, income, resources and the environment: POPULATION There will be little slowdown in the rapid growth of the world's population, which will grow from 4 billion in 1975 to 6.35 billion in 2000. The vast majority of the added populace will be in the poorer, less developed countries. There will also be major shifts of population from rural to urban areas. Mexico City, with a population of 11 million in 1975, is projected to have 31.6 million by 2000. INCOME While the output of goods and services is expected to grow more rapidly in many less-developed countries than in the industrialized nations, the gap between rich and poor will increase because high population growth rates will keep per capita income low in the poorer countries. While per-capita gross national product is expected to reach $8,000 annually in 1975 dollars in the industrialized countries and $14,212 in the United States, in the less developed countries per capita gross national product will average less than $600 a year, the report states. FOOD Assuming no deterioration as a result of climate changes or other factors, world food production is expected to increase by about 90 percent from 1970 to 2000 and per -apita production nearly 15 percent in the same period. However, most of the increased food consumption will be in countries where diets already are adequate or better. Individual food consumption in South Asia, Africa and the Middle East will hardly grow at all and in some cases will decline below present levels. Meanwhile, the price of food in constant dollars is expected to double within 20 years largely because of the rising price of petroleum used in agricultural production. FISHERIES The world fish harvest, an important source of protein, leveled off in 1970 and is not expected to increase by much, if at all, by the year 2000. Despite increased fish farming and the gathering of nontraditional marine species, such as Arctic krill, pollution and overfishing are likely to keep the harvest at no more than current levels. FORESTS Deforestation of the world is proceeding rapidly and per-capita supplies of growing stocks of wood is expected to decline 47 percent worldwide by 2000. The shortage will be critical in cultures that depend on firewood for fuel. WATER Regional water shortages, already serious in many parts of the world, are likely to become worse 20 years from now in the face of increasing demand for water for human consumption, irrigation and new systems of energy production. ENERGY In the 1990's, world oil production will reach maximum capacity and prices will continue to rise as demand also increases sharply. The burden of energy prices will fall most heavily on the less developed countries. NONFUEL MINERALS There is no projection that any mineral resources will be exhausted by 2000, but prices will rise sharply as will prices for most commodties in a resource-scarce world. ENVIRONMENT The report says that perhaps the most serious environmental problem over the next 20 years will be ''an accelerating deterioration and loss of the resources essential for agriculture,'' including the loss of crop land to erosion and deserts as well as the increasing urbanization of lands now devoted to growing food. The use of pesticides and other chemicals, while increasing yields, now present a broad range of serious environmental threats to crop lands and people. The heavy use of chemicals also will mean spreading water pollution. Increasing salinity from excessive irrigation is also likely to threaten water supplies. Despite progress in reducing air pollution, the quality of air is expected to worsen, in the developing as well as industrialized countries, as increased amounts of oil, coal and other hydrocarbon fuels are burned. One result will be an increase in the amount of carbon monoxide in the air, which many scientists believe will raise the world's temperature with disastrous results. Also to be expected is more acid rain, which is believed to destroy wildlife in freshwater lakes and damage cropland. Increased ozone in the air could sharply increase the incidence of skin cancer and damage food crops. Finally, the report says, ''the world faces an urgent problem of loss of plant and animal genetic resources'' through the accelerating extinction of species. Guide to Governments The authors of the study said that public policy in this country and abroad was starting to address some of these problems. They also emphasized that the report was not a prediction of what would actually be the situation in the world in the year 2000 but rather a call and a guide to governments to adopt policies to avert the predicted trends. ''This is not a council of despair,'' Mr. Speth said in the interview. ''We have an opportunity because of this timely warning to address these issues before it is too late.'' One of the major lessons to be learned from the report, he said, is that ''it is a mistake to view economic development and environmental protection as antagonistic.'' The focus of the new task force formed by President Carter today, Mr. Speth said, will be to ''build a consensus'' in this country and internationally on the course of action that must be taken to deal with the threats described by the report.

New York Times, 1980

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