Earth’s future looks decidedly bleak, according to a group of 17 prominent international scientists. But understanding the magnitude of the world’s problems is not an easy feat, even for knowledgeable experts, they say. In a new perspective piece published in Frontiers in Conservation Science, the scientists say that key environmental issues, such as biodiversity loss, climate change, and human overpopulation and overconsumption, coupled with ignorance and inaction, is driving the world into a state of disrepair. The problems will only worsen in the coming decades, they warn, with ramifications spanning over centuries. Lowland rainforest in Sumatra. Image by Rhett A. Butler for Mongabay. The world’s ever-expanding human population will lead to food insecurity, as well as other “social ills” such as overcrowding, joblessness, deteriorating infrastructure, poor governance, and an increasing number of conflicts, all the while placing further stress on the planet’s biosphere, the authors say. “When populations grow up towards their carrying capacities, individual fitness declines,” lead author Corey Bradshaw, professor of global ecology at Flinders University, Australia, told Mongabay in an interview. “Now we’ve artificially inflated our carrying capacity through technological innovation. But that has required us to develop essentially an ecological Ponzi scheme, which means that we steal from the future to gain short term increases.” Despite the report’s dismal tone, the authors say their messaging is “not a call to surrender,” but is meant to give world leaders “a realistic ‘cold shower’ of the state of the planet that is essential for planning to avoid a…This article was originally published on Mongabay Läs mer

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