The following press release was web published on the Sierra Club’s Sprawl listserv in August, 1999. It gives as good an explanation as we’ve seen of how bad the current world-wide ecological crises has become. We reprint it here with the permission of the press office of the International Botanical Congress. For more information, contact Ellen Wilson, Dennis Kelly or Eileen Kugler at firstname.lastname@example.org or phone the IBC press office at 314-611-3961 or 314-621-4827
XVI International Botanical Congress
NEARLY HALF OF EARTH’S LAND HAS BEEN TRANSFORMED BY HUMANS; 50 ‘DEAD ZONES’ FOUND IN OCEANS
ALTERATION OF LAND AND WATER IMPAIR EARTH’S ABILITY TO MAINTAIN QUALITY OF HUMAN LIFE, RESEARCHER ASSERTS
ST. LOUIS, MO, August 2, 1999 – Humans have gravely altered the chemistry, biology and physical structure of the Earth’s land and water, according to the latest findings on the “human footprint on Earth.” The data showed that nearly half of the land surface of Earth has been changed, and some 50 ‘dead zones’ (areas with little or no oxygen) have developed in the Earth’s coastal waters.
The latest findings, analyzed by Drs. Jane Lubchenco of Oregon State University and Harold A. Mooney and Peter M. Vitousek of Stanford University, show a “disturbing negative trend in the Earth’s ability to maintain the quality of human life,” Lubchenco stated.