War on terror a mere distraction compared to environmental collapses, warns UN Millennium director

Grim picture: Addressing the two-day forum’s main topic – the
feasibility of sustainable development for billions of people worldwide
– Sachs painted a grim picture of systemic environmental collapse,
coupled with war, famine and pandemic disease.

Burden beyond what world can carry: He said the astonishing pace
of economic growth in Asia and the increasing demands of development in
the industrialised world would impose a burden in a few decades far
beyond what the world was already woefully failing to carry.

All major ecological systems under stress: “It is the central
challenge we face on the planet,” he said. “Every single major
ecological system we have is already under profound stress.”

Not an esoteric issue for scientists: While highlighting climate
change, deforestation, oceanic degradation and population growth,
Sachs, who is also director of the Earth Institute at Columbia
University, warned against viewing the problems associated with
unsustainable development as an esoteric issue for scientists.

White House needs subscription to Scientific American:
“Politics is central,” he said, condemning what he called the
“scientifically antagonistic” policies of the current US administration
under President Bush. “We’re fighting all the wrong wars in this
country,” Sachs said, adding that what the White House really needed
was a subscription to Scientific American magazine.

Reference: Digest of latest news reported on website of Climate
Change Secretariat of United Nations Framework on Climate Change
Control (UNFCCC). 29 March 2006. Address: PO Box 260 124, D-53153 Bonn.
Germany. Phone: : (49-228) 815-1005, Fax: (49-228) 815-1999. Email: press@unfccc.int

http://www.unfccc.int

Erisk Net, 5/4/2006

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