Losses of biomass through deforestation and the cutting down of tropical forests put our supply of oxygen (O2
) gas at risk.
The Earth's forests did not use to play a dominant role in maintaining O2
reserves because they consume
just as much of this gas as they produce. Today forests are being destroy at an astronomical rate. No O2
is created after a forest is put down, and more CO2
is produced in the process.
In the tropics, ants, termites, bacteria, and fungi eat nearly the entire photosynthetic O2
Only a tiny fraction of the organic matter they produce accumulates in swamps and soils or is carried down the rivers
for burial on the sea floor.
content of our atmosphere is slowly declining. The content of the atmosphere decreased at an average
annual rate of 2 parts per million. The atmosphere contains 210,000 parts per million.
Combustion of fossil fuels destroys O2
. For each 100 atoms of fossil-fuel carbon burned, about 140 molecules of
Scientists will need to become more involved in assessing the viability
of response options aimed at storing excess carbon in terrestrial or ocean
systems. Land use changes from agricultural to forest ecosystems can help to
remove carbon from the atmosphere at rates of 2 to 20 tonnes of carbon per
hectare per year for periods of 50 years or more, until a new ecosystem
equilibrium is reached. Similarly, soil conservation practices can help
build up carbon reservoirs in forest and agricultural soils. Proposals to
from smoke stacks and dispose of it in liquid form in
underground reservoirs or deep oceans also need careful evaluation in terms
of long-term feedbacks, effectiveness and environmental acceptability.
However, much remains to be learned about the biological and physical
processes by which terrestial and ocean systems can act as sinks and
permanent reservoirs for carbon.
The Global Community can contribute in evaluating options and strategies
for adapting to climate change as it occurs, and in identifying human
activities that are even now maladapted to climate.
There are two fundamental types of response to the risks of climate change:
1. reducing the rate and magnitudes of change through mitigating the causes, and
2. reducing the harmful consequences through anticipatory adaptation.
Mitigating the causes of global warming implies limiting the rates and magnitudes of increase in atmospheric concentrations of greenhouse gases,
either by reducing emissions or by increasing sinks for atmospheric CO2
. Reducing the harmful consequences can be achieved by
co-operating together with the global ministries on climate change and emergencies.
The Global Community has created the global ministries to help humanity be prepared to fight the harmful consequences of a global warming
through anticipatory adaptation. The global ministries on climate change and emergencies are now operating. The ministries
1. policy response to the consequences of the global warming, and
2. strategies to adapt to the consequences of the unavoidable climate change.
The Global Community also proposes that all nations of the world promote the Scale of Human and Earth Rights and the criteria to obtain
the Global Community Citizenship. Every global community citizen lives a life with the higher values described in the Scale and the criteria. Global
community citizens are good members of the human family. Most global problems, including global warming and world overpopulation, can
be managed through acceptance of the Scale and the criteria.
We need to improve on our ability to:
* predict future anthropogenic emissions of greenhouse gases. While demographic, technological and economic factors
are in many respects inherently speculative, better observations and
understanding of the processes by which human activities directly or
indirectly contribute to emissions are clearly required. These in
particular include emissions from deforestation and agricultural
* obtain more data on the effect of human emissions on atmospheric concentrations of
greenhouse gases. Not only do we need to reduce the uncertainties about
past and current sinks for emitted greenhouse gases, but we need to
better understand and quantify the long term feedbacks such as CO2
fertilization and physical and biological response to climate change if
we expect to improve our confidence in projections of future
* measure direct and indirect effects of radiative forcing of greenhouse gases and aerosols.
* measure climate sensitivity to changes in radiative forcing.
* measure the response to climate change of biological and physical processes
with the terrestrial and ocean systems
* obtain an early detection of the signal of human interference with the climate
system against the change caused by natural forces or internal system
noise is important in fostering timely and responsible coping actions.
* develop actions to limit emissions of greenhouse gases and prepare to
adapt to climate change. However, stabilizing greenhouse gas emissions will not stabilize
greenhouse gas concentrations and climate but only slow down the rates
* live with the facts that climate change is unavoidable, atmospheric greenhouse
gas concentrations are already signficantly higher than pre-industrial
levels, and that aggressive efforts to reduce their anthropogenic
emission sources would only slow down the growth in their concentrations, not
stop it. Therefore, policy response to this issue must also include
strategies to adapt to the consequences of unavoidable climate change.
Comprehensive population policies are an essential element in a world development strategy that combines access to reproductive health services,
to education and economic opportunities, to improved energy and natural resource technologies, and to healthyer models of consumption and the "good life."
Policies to decrease world population:
delay reproduction until later in life
Delaying reproduction is important in influencing population growth rates. Over a period of 60 years, if people delay reproduction
until they are 30 years old, you would have only two generations, while if you do not delay reproduction you would have three generations (one generation every 20 years).
spread your children farther apart
to have fewer children overall
government commitment to decreasing population growth
Create policies that help decreasing the number of children being born. Policies such as income tax deductions for dependent children and maternity and paternity leaves are essentially pronatalist and should be eliminated.
programs that are locally designed and that include information on family planning and access to contraceptives
educational programs that emphasize the connection between family planning and social good
The vast disparities
in reproductive health worldwide and the greater vulnerability
of the poor to reproductive risk point to several steps all governments
can take, with the support of other sectors, to improve the health
of women and their families:
- Give women more
life choices. The low social and economic status of women and
girls sets the stage for poor reproductive health
- Invest in reproductive
- Encourage delays
in the onset of sexual activity and first births
- Help couples prevent
and manage unwanted childbearing
- Ensure universal
access to maternal health care
- Support new reproductive
- Increase efforts
to address the HIV pandemic
- Involve communities
in evaluating and implementing programs
- Develop partnerships
with the private sector, policymakers and aid donors to broaden
support for reproductive health
- Measure Progress
More and more young people on every continent want to start bearing children later in life and to have smaller families than at any
time in history. Likewise, in greater proportions than ever, women and girls in particular want to go to school and to college, and
they want to find fulfilling and well-paid employment. Helping people in every country obtain the information and services they
need to put these ambitions into effect is all that can be done, and all that needs to be done, to bring world population growth
to a stable landing in the new century.
May the DIVINE WILL
come into our lives and show us the way.
May our higher purpose
in life bring us closer to the Soul of Humanity and God.
Germain Dufour, President
Community Organization (ECO) and Earth
Website of the Earth
Community Organization and of Earth Government
Copyright © 2000 Earth Government for Earth Community