Policy makers and the public cling to business as usual, while scientists are terrified.
Experts on the health of our planet are terrified of the future. They can clearly see the coming collapse of global civilisation from an array of interconnected environmental problems.
Dozens of earth systems experts were consulted in writing the 10-page paper that contains over 160 references.
"We talked to many of the world's leading experts to reflect what is really happening," said Ehrlich, who is an eminent biologist and winner of many scientific awards.
We're facing a future where billions will likely die, and yet little is being done to avoid certain disaster, he said.
"Policy makers and the public aren't terrified about this because they don't have the information or the knowledge about how our planet functions," he said.
"The situation is absolutely desperate and yet there's nothing on the front pages or on the agenda of world leaders," said Pat Mooney, head of the international environmental organisation ETC Group.
Escalating climate disruption, ocean acidification, oceanic dead zones, depletion of groundwater and extinctions of plants and animals are the main drivers of the coming collapse, they write in their peer-reviewed article "Can a collapse of global civilisation be avo... published this week. [larger type mine]
John Gardner once said that you could predict the future if you knew what to look for in the present. The signs are all around us. My litmus test: the burning of fossil fuel for amusement (I just read that NASCAR gets govt. subsidies), the ultimate denial.
This theme has been well-explored in fiction and movies (see Chelsea Yarbro's False Dawn for a particularly disturbing description). But as long as the oil and money keep flowing, politicians will be oblivious. Besides, as the movies and books frequently note, the rich will always find a way to stay comfortable.
The rich imagine that they'll always find a way to stay comfortable because they don't understand the magnitude of the change happening. This situation is unprecedented in human history.
Ruth...Unprecedented -- yet easy to ignore. The world is -- and has been for a long time -- awash in doomsday prophecies that don't pan out. This sounds like just one more. But because it's happening slowly (relative to the usual cataclysm/apocalypse), it won't get any serious attention until it's too late.