Category Archives: Blog

Once upon a time.. A story about sustainability

Is Ethical Revitalization the Secret to Avoiding Collapse?

Paul R. Ehrlich

Untitled2The most important ethical question facing society and the scientific community today is whether we can prevent the collapse of global civilization in response to today’s “perfect storm” of environmental problems.  That is, will (or can) we pay enough today to spare future generations from utter disaster?  Read the rest of this entry

De-extinction: Moral Hazard Writ Large

By Andrew Beattie and Paul R. Ehrlich

POst 10 imageA scheme like geo-engineering, one similarly unfortunate, is being hatched to recreate extinct species and restore them to nature.  It too may gain traction at least in part because of understandable fear.  Humanity has increasingly been wiping out the populations and species that constitute essential parts of their life-support systems.  De-extinction is also based in part on nostalgia and guilt – we have created a hole in nature, losing such wonderful creatures as passenger pigeons, great auks, and Carolina parakeets.

The basic idea is to employ the wonderful tools of molecular biology to extract DNA from stuffed or frozen remains of now extinct organisms and then use it to resurrect the species.  Read the rest of this entry

Philippines Natural Disaster: UTS Relief Effort – Time is of the essence!

In response to the disaster caused by Typhoon Haiyan, the Vietnamese Dynamic Students society is holding a donation stall on the concourse to collect donations for the victims of this disaster. Cash donations will go directly to the Red Cross appeal. The stall will be set up from 10am-5pm on 13th-15th November.

typhoon

Donate directly to the Red Cross 

Time is of the essence!

Interesting Articles in Vertigo

Two interesting articles have appeared in UTS Student magazine Vertigo. ‘Table Talk’ by Julie Morris, gives a great insight into how to minimise the strain on resources in the production of food. The other article, ‘Do you be-reef in love, Eco-Love?’ by Jack Schmidt discusses the unsustainable mining of Australian natural resources such as coal.

Struggling Scientists: please cite our papers! – A journal article by Graham Pyke

SC Co-Founder Professor Graham Pyke presents a straight-forward, underused strategy to enhance citations and the research quality of academic publications.

The approach has four goals: significance; influence; excellent presentation; sustained effort, helping to deliver sustainable research with more impact. Click the image below for the full article.

Vagrant scientist appeals to passers-by (drawing by Hagen).

(drawing by Hagen).

A Confused Statistician

By Paul R. Ehrlich & Anne H. Ehrlich

Naskikhan

Naskikhan

Hans Rosling has been making a splash lately telling people his five pieces of good news that should “upgrade their world view” (view here).

One is that “Fast population growth is coming to an end.”  Globally, that may be true, but it is not happening soon, and it certainly isn’t true for countries like Nigeria, Zambia, or Yemen with average family sizes of five or more.  Population growth globally is projected to continue for another century, barring some enormous catastrophe.  Read the rest of this entry

Population Statistics: What should we make of them?

Paul R. EhrlichPaul pic post 8

Recently the United Nations has published a revised estimate of the size of future human populations, projecting a rise from almost 7.2 billion people now to 9.6 billion around 2050.  How seriously should we take this?  Read the rest of this entry

‘Health and development’ – An interesting Wall Street Journal article

Photo: Priyanka Parashar/Mint

Photo: Priyanka Parashar/Mint

An interesting article published in the Wall Street Journal investigates the complex health determinants that lie outside the conventional biomedical paradigm. The article looks at factors such as the effects of poor sanitation and poor government relations and their impact on health. Click here for the full article

Overpopulation and the Collapse of Civilization

Paul R. Ehrlichpic#7

A major shared goal of the Millennium Alliance for Humanity and the Biosphere (MAHB) and Sustainability Central  is reducing the odds that the “perfect storm” of environmental problems that threaten humanity will lead to a collapse of civilization.

Those threats include:  climate disruption; loss of biodiversity (and thus ecosystem services); land-use change and resulting degradation; global toxification; ocean acidification; decay of the epidemiological environment; increasing depletion of important resources; and resource wars (which could go nuclear).  Read the rest of this entry

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