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Title: The most important message in the history of mankind
Authors: Skubała, Piotr
Keywords: extinction; land and marine ecosystems; loss of biodiversity; Earth-system processes; anthropocene; Biosphere 2; Tragedy of the Commons
Issue Date: 2016
Citation: "Environmental & Socio-economic Studies", 2016, Vol. 4, iss. 2, s. 26-33
Abstract: It the long history of life on the Earth five major mass extinctions were observed. Nowadays, the impact of human activities on the planet has accelerated the loss of species and ecosystems to a level comparable to a sixth mass extinction, the first driven by a living species. Surprisingly, this fact rarely reaches the public consciousness. The negative influence of human activity is observed in whole area of land ecosystems, whereas marine ecosystems are at risk of entering a phase of extinction unprecedented in human history. We have domesticated landscapes and ecosystems causing unforeseen changes in ecosystem attributes. Humanity has already overshot global biocapacity by 50% and now lives unsustainabily by depleting stocks of natural capital. Three the Earth-system processes - climate change, rate of biodiversity loss and interference with the nitrogen cycle - have already transgressed their boundaries. Human activities are of sufficient magnitude to suggest that we have triggered a new geological epoch, the Anthropocene. The “Biosphere 2” project revailed that we are not able to build and control a different system life and that we are totally dependent on the present biosphere. The experiment known in the literature as “The Tragedy of the Commons” reminds us that we need frugality and cooperation to solve environmental problems and survive.
DOI: 10.1515/environ-2016-0009
ISSN: 2354-0079
Appears in Collections:Artykuły (WNP)

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