Headline May 20, 2018/ ''' !WOW! EARTHLY HOPE? '''


BEFORE THE ENVIRONMENTAL ACTIVIST - David Buckel set himself afire in Prospect Park  in Brooklyn on April 14, he wrote a letter -

Explaining that he had chosen his ''early death by fossil fuel'' as an act of protest against environmental catastrophe that we are bringing on ourselves and the planet.

It was a horrifying end, not least because in life Mr. Buckle had successfully taken on issues that seemed just impossible, horrifyingly intractable.

''If someone so capable had given up on the environment, one woman remarked to Times reporter,   ''What does that mean for the rest of us?'' 

AS DIRECTOR OF - the organizations worldwide field conservation work, Mr. Joe Walston routinely comes face to face with -

The very dark forces of - Human overpopulation, mass extinction of species, climate change and pollution.

But he is also the the co-author of a paper being published this week in the journal Bio-science that begins with the uplifting words of Winston Churchill to the British nation in June, 1940, under the shadow of the Nazi conquest of France:

''In casting up this dread balance sheet and contemplating our dangers with a disillusioned eye,'' Churchill declared, ''I see great reason for intense vigilance and exertion, but none whatever for panic or despair.''

Mr. Walston and his co-authors to argue against the increasingly common view that these are end times for life as we know it.

Instead, they suggest that what the world is experiencing is a bottleneck - long, painful, undoubtedly frightening and likely to get worse in the short term - but with forces of an eventual breakthrough and environmental recovery already gaining strength around us.

Mr. Walston listed what he called ''the four pillars'' of conservation in the modern era - a stabilized human population, increasingly concentrated in urban areas, able to escape extreme poverty, and with -

A shared understanding of nature and the environment - ''and all four are happening right now.''

He singled out the trend towards urbanization as the biggest driver of environmental progress, bigger perhaps than all the conservation efforts undertaken by governments and environmental groups alike.

Cities have of course endured a reputation for much of the industrial era as a blight, the stinking antithesis of conservation.

'''But what happens in urban areas? 'Mr. Walston asked. New arrivals from the countryside ''get better access to medical care, they experience child mortality and in time that leads them to have fewer children''  -

The so called demographic transition - and these children go on to better schooling and potentially more rewarding work lives.

THE PACE of  the global movement away from rural areas into the urbanized areas - a category that includes suburbs and small towns as well as city centres - is startling.

In my own life time, we have gone from 30 percent of the world's population living in urban areas to  54 percent today, with the likelihood that number will rise as high as 90 percent later in this century.

Unfortunately, that means the bottleneck will get worse over the next few decades, according to Mr. Walston and co-authors, because urbanization imposes short-terms costs, including an increase in overall consumption

But it also leads to reduced per-capita energy consumption, as well as reduced birth rates, and it reopens old habitat in abandoned rural areas to wildlife.

That's already begun to happen in Europe, where wolves, bears, lynx, bison and other species have moved out of protected area to re-wild a densely populated [but highly urban] continent.

If we hold on into the next century, Mr. Walston said, urbanization could set up the conditions for that sort of recovery worldwide.

The Honor and Serving of the latest Operational Research and Thinking on the state of the world continues. And The World Students Society thanks author and researcher Richard Conniff.

With respectful dedication to the Leaders, Students, Professors and Teachers of the world.

See Ya all ''register on !WOW!''  : wssciw.blogspot.com  -The World Students Society and-  Twitter- !E-WOW!  -the Ecosystem 2011:

'''World Honor Source'''

Good Night and God Bless

SAM Daily Times - the Voice of the Voiceless


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