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Thursday, February 26, 2015

Letter to the Cape Times: 26 February 2015: Planet in Trouble

Dear Editor

Whilst Sydney Kaye and so many others deny climate change and, who knows, maybe he is right, something that is undeniable is mankind's destruction of the environment upon which he depends.

Here is a quote from Fred Pearce's book Confessions of an Eco Sinner: "Our planet is certainly in trouble, and us with it. More than 6 billion of us cannot fail to leave a dangerously large footprint. We consume 40% of all the plant growth on the planet, a third of the marine life and half the available fresh water. We have halved the geographical extent of most natural ecosystems, from wetlands to rainforests to grasslands. Our pollution has tripled the amount of nitrogen that nature has to process each year, and doubled the amount of sulphur.

​"​We have added more than a third to atmospheric levels of carbon dioxide, the planet's thermostat. We are running down her resources, like soil and clean water, as certainly as if we were running up a credit-card bill. The planet's very life-support systems are under threat."

And then Pearce goes on to say: "I want to put my faith in the children of Toba, with their survival skills."

Toba was a massive volcanic eruption 73,000 years ago that caused a "night" that lasted 1 000 years. All except approximately 2 000 humans died, and these humans lived in the eastern plains of Africa and survived because they worked together.

The internet and newspapers like yours, getting the messages out, be they paradoxical or conflicting, are allowing millions of people to change their view of the world and decide for themselves if they wish to work together to reduce their environmental footprint and​, perhaps in the process, not only save themselves but also save those who deny this massive threat to our existence.

Yours faithfully,
David Lipschitz

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