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6. Humanity’s current (un)sustainable development: Scientific evidence.


6.1 Science clearing confusion.


Throughout this book and for clarity’s sake, we borrow from Professor William Rees (one of the co-inventors of the world-renowned Ecological Footprint tool for measuring human impacts on Earth). We highlight the “un” in “un”-sustainability by spelling the word as: (un)sustainability.[11]

And the clear scientific evidence and its warning calls to humans about our (un)sustainable development patterns have been publicly available and growing for decades. This science leads any objective reader to the unmistakable conclusion that human development patterns are (un)sustainable and negatively affecting Earth’s natural environment to the detriment of our own human species.

A sad reality for us is that so many leaders of human societies´, whether in government, business or industry, do not seem to like the message heard from science. To borrow from the title of former USA Vice-President Al Gore’s internationally-acclaimed movie on the subject of global warming, the message being given by science appears for many traditional leaders to be “An Inconvenient Truth”. However, leaders who ignore these messages from Earth as shared by science do so at the peril of all of the planet’s human beings.

We do not think this book actually need outline any of the abundant, growing and strong scientific evidence about the negative impacts of human development patterns on Earth’s natural environment. However, we also know that people throughout Earth are receiving conflicting media messages about the state of the planet’s environmental health.

To help clear out some of this confusion, we outline only three of the many scientifically-quantifiable examples about human-induced impacts on our planet’s natural environment. The examples given are the ones which we think are currently the most pressing for human life on Earth.


6.2 Global Warming.


Sun_shining_above_palm_trees_on_the_Gulf_of_Mexico_in_Tabasco.JPG
The sun shines above the palms on the Gulf of México coast in Tabasco.


In April 2008, a report presented to the Arctic Council identified that “…the Arctic climate is changing even more rapidly than scientists had predicted…” and that “…the vast Greenland ice cap is also thought to be shrinking more quickly than anticipated.”[12] This same year, scientists at the USA’s National Snow and Ice Data Center (NSIDC) stated that if current warming trends continue, the Arctic Ocean will be ice free by 2060.[13] Then if we look southward to the bottom of the Earth and the Antarctic, in February 2008 a 414 square kilometre piece of the Antarctic Wilkins Ice Shelf unexpectedly collapsed.[14] “We predicted this [global warming related ice collapse] would happen, but it’s happened twice as fast as we predicted”, said Dr. David Vaughan, a scientist of the British Antarctic Survey.[15]

The year 2007 also broke many global warming records. January 2007 experienced an average global temperature 0.85 Celsius above normal, well above the monthly norm for any month of the year since humans began keeping weather records back in 1880. England had its warmest April in 348 years of record keeping. The World Meteorological Association noted that, for the first time in recorded human history, “... the disappearance of ice across parts of the Arctic opened the Canadian Northwest Passage for about five weeks....”[16]

In the 2006-2007 rainy season of Los Angeles, California, the City experienced its driest year on record, receiving only 8.15 centimetres (3.21 inches) of rain.[17]

The objective science related to climate change, more commonly known as Global Warming, has little doubt that the Earth is indeed warming. And science increasingly points to human activities as being the primary cause of the heating Earth.

The recent United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) Fourth Assessment Report, released in November 2007, is only one of many reports outlining the science of Global Warming.[18] This Report concludes that the:

“Warming of [Earth’s] climate is unequivocal, as is now evident from observations of increases in global average air and ocean temperatures, widespread melting of snow and ice, and rising global average sea level.”[19]


Even when natural causes are included, science determines that global warming is being primarily caused and accelerated by humans.

  • “Most of the observed increase in globally-averaged temperatures since the mid-20th century is very likely due to the observed increase in anthropogenic [human] GHG [greenhouse gas] concentrations”. [20]


This IPCC Report implies that the problem of global warming can continue for centuries, causing melting polar caps (both the Arctic icecap, including Greenland, and Antarctic cap) which will result in:

  • “...sea level rise that would continue for centuries due to timescales associated with climate processes and feedbacks, even if GHG [greenhouse gas] concentrations were to be stabilised.”[21]

A media report in 2006, which noted even then that the Antarctic icecap was also “..shrinking at a faster rate…” than scientists expected, further identified that Antarctica “…contains enough ice to raise ocean levels by about 60 metres, a deluge that would put every major coastal city in the world deep under water and uproot hundreds of millions of people.”[22]

In a point clearly evident to those of us who live in the Caribbean hurricane zone of México, this IPCC Report additionally identified that human-induced global warming observationally seems responsible for “…an increase in intense tropical cyclone activity in the North Atlantic since about 1970….”[23]

So as the climate change situation is as presented by science, residents of Cancun and the Riviera Maya – a coastal city and region located on the Mexican Caribbean – need be immediately concerned about two things related to global warming. These are our area’s already experienced reality of increased intensity of hurricanes and the prospect of our area eventually being flooded from rising sea levels caused by melting ice at both poles of Earth.

Hurricanes Gilbert, Wilma and Dean demonstrated to our region the serious social, economic and environmental consequences of increasingly strong hurricanes. And our Riviera Maya cities would be significantly impacted should ocean levels rise 6 metres let alone 60 metres.

We respectfully suggest that, with the growing scientific evidence of global warming and its potential devastating consequences for humans, it is not just short-sighted but increasingly irresponsible –possibly even immoral - that our national and state politicians do not take this objective science seriously and now act on it.

Mexicans need our governments to help us develop international, national, state and local solutions to stop scientifically-documented rising temperatures on Earth. The long-term survival of the human species and other species on Earth necessitates this.

Mexicans also need our politicians to urgently and collectively work with the people of México on developing solutions for us to learn about how our country’s people can live with the now seemingly inevitable consequences of global warming on Earth.


6.3 Biodiversity Loss and connexions with human population growth.


6.3.1 Biodiversity explained.


All living things on Earth, whether plant, animal or micro-organisms, form Earth’s biodiversity. Biodiversity is the variety of life on Earth which collectively forms the essential building block upon which all of Earth’s life, including human life, depends.

Mariposa_-_Santuario_Mariposa_Monarca_El_Campanario.JPG
Monarch Butterfly: Santuario Mariposa Monarca in Michoacan.

Biodiversity can be divided into the following levels:
  • Ecosystems;
  • Species (plant, animal and microorganisms); and
  • Genetic diversity.

As the Secretariat of the United Nations´ Convention on Biological Diversity points out to humans:
  • “Protecting biodiversity is in our self-interest. Biological resources are the pillars upon which we build civilizations. Nature's products support such diverse industries as agriculture, cosmetics, pharmaceuticals, pulp and paper, horticulture, construction and waste treatment. The loss of biodiversity threatens our food supplies, opportunities for recreation and tourism, and sources of wood, medicines and energy. It also interferes with essential ecological functions.”[24]

Iguana.JPG
Iguanas are found throughout México.

It is important humans understand that science is increasingly becoming aware that life on Earth is interconnected in so many unexpected ways. It is also essential for humans to understand that, even with so many modern scientific discoveries, the majority of interconnexions in Earth’s natural environment remain unknown by science and so continue as a mystery to humans.

The United Nations Environmental Programme (UNEP) identifies the effects of biodiversity loss as being:
  1. Threatened food supplies;
  2. Interference with essential ecological functions including species balance, soil formation, and greenhouse gas absorption;
  3. Reduction in the productivity of ecosystems, thereby shrinking nature’s food and other resources from which humans rely; and
  4. Destabilised ecosystems that then weakens their ability to deal with natural disasters.[25]

Tabasco_Crocidillo.JPG
Crocodile on the Usumacinta River in Tabasco.

And the last word on biodiversity relates to tourism. Importantly for tourist areas such as Cancun and the Riviera Maya, the UNEP also relates that the “…loss of biodiversity in fact means loss of tourism potential….”[26]


6.3.2 Human population growth.


The Judaic Torah and Old Testament of the Christian Bible speak of historic locusts and plagues affecting humans of old. Yet humans of today are increasingly appearing as the modern version of these plagues and locusts of old. This is because we have now become the single biggest threat to Earth’s biodiversity. Our (un)sustainably large growth in human population numbers over the past 100 years, along with modern human technological advances, are resulting in increasing human-caused pressures and stresses on our planet’s natural environment and biodiverse species.[27]

The global population of humans has increased from:
  • 150 million people in 1 A.D. (100 years after the birth of Jesus Christ), to;
  • 300 million people in 1350 A.D. (a 100% increase in human population that took 1,250 years), to;
  • 600 million people in 1700 A.D. (a 2nd 100% compounded increase in humans that took only 350 years), to;
  • 900 million people in 1800 A.D., to;
  • 1.6 billion people in 1900 (a 166% compounded increase in humans, but now in only 200 years), to;
  • over 6.6 billion people today (a 312% compounded increase in human population in only 108 years time), with;
  • our human population now projected to be at 8 billion people in 2020 A..D.[28]

People_everywhere_-_Danza_El_Pocho_in_action.JPG
Humans are everywhere: The Pre-Hispanic (ancient Mayan) Danza el Pocho; in progress in Tenosique, Tabasco.


We ask you and in full honesty. Do you really think that, with continued high growth expected in human population numbers, the Earth can continue to sustainably support many more humans in addition to its countless other biodiverse life forms?

When it comes to population growth, a challenge for humans and other species is as Rees identifies:

  • “The main biological factor at cause of the (un)sustainability crisis is a natural predisposition that humans share with other species. Unless constrained by negative feedback...populations tend to expand to fill all suitable habitats and to use all the resources prevailing technology makes available to them.[29]

Yet a population growth challenge specific to humans may be our evolution in to Homo economicus: a phrase of at least 100 years of age and one used as a play on words for the traditional Latin name for the human species; Homo sapiens.[30] Increasingly, this term of Homo economicus is being used in the field of sustainable development to refer to a modern human mindset. It captures modern human tendencies to almost singularly focus on the concepts of economy over all else. Even to the point, such as is also attributed to The Economist, that our species seems to welcome (un)sustainable population growth as being necessary to human economic growth.

  • “It has long been assumed that population growth goes hand in hand with economic progress. Not only that, but it is also assumed to be inevitable.”[31]

However, a paradox seems to exist for Homo economicus. Researcher Andrew Nikiforuk, as quoted by Rees, pointedly states that “The more godlike he becomes the less godly Homo economicus behaves”.[32] Or, as Karr specifically puts it: “...the paradox: for the past 150 years, human knowledge has expanded beyond imagination, but we seem incapable of using that knowledge to protect human society from itself.”[33]

And what does the scientific record say is the historical consequence of other species in nature when any one of Earth’s many biodiverse species overruns or over-extends its habitat? Or when localized human populations have historically chosen to live in (un)sustainable ways? The simple answer is as captured as the title of the New York Times best selling book written on this very subject by UCLA (University of California, Los Angeles) Geography Professor, Jared Diamond. The answer is: Collapse.[34]

Calakmul_-_staircase_to_no-where.JPG
Staircase to nowhere: Calakmul Mayan ruins in Campeche.


The scientific record is that over-extended species and over-extended human societies simply tend to collapse in on themselves. And as Karr directly points out: “Ignoring these collapses... violates a fundamental rule in history and science.”[35]


Calakmul_-_Gran_Pyramid.JPG
The Great Temple: In the once prosperous Mayan city of Calakmul, located in modern day Campeche (near the Guatemala border).

We think it so very important for people to realise that, after a collapse, the Earth continues on rotating in space quite nicely with or without any lost species or faded human societies. For Earth doesn’t need humans or any other species to survive. Earth survives on its own. It is us humans and other species that require Earth for our very survival.


6.3.3 Collapsing eco-systems?


Around Earth, we think it can be argued through reference to science that humans are seeing clear evidence of collapsing ecosystems through the high degrees of biodiversity loss being experienced on our planet.

Globally, science has helped identify about 1.75 million species that live worldwide today (and scientists think that there are anywhere from 3 to 100 million species on Earth, with most of these still to be identified).[36] México, with only 1.4% of Earth’s surface land, holds almost 12% of all known species on the planet and ranks third of all countries on Earth for biodiversity.[37]

Yet today, through human pressures, Earth’s diverse species that have taken billions of years to evolve are now disappearing at 50-100 times their natural rate.[38] Then add on additional species losses arising from the impacts of human-induced global warming and concerns about the health of species biodiversity should increase. The IPCC, in its noted Fourth Assessment Report, suggests that should average warming temperatures on Earth exceed 1.5-2.5 degrees Celsius, climate change alone will threaten 20-30% of all species on Earth with their likely extinction.[39] The IPCC further outlines, of specific concern to biodiverse Mexico, that global warming poses a “risk of significant biodiversity loss…in many areas of tropical Latin America”.[40]

Now with that said, do remember our earlier noted statistic of the record breaking average global temperature of 0.85 Celsius above normal in January 2007. That record suggests that the undesirably higher temperature increases on Earth, ones at which the IPCC says will result in significant biodiversity loss on Earth, are frighteningly reachable.

And biodiversity loss is already happening in Mexico. México’s Past President Vicente Fox had bravely admitted that:

  • “Se han extinguido 15 especies de plantas y 32 de vertebrados en México. En nuestro país se han dado 5.2% de las extinciones del mundo en los últimos 400 años. [In our country, 15 plant species and 32 vertebrates have become extinct. In the last 400 years, 5.2% of global species extinction have occurred in México.]”[41]

Gran_Rio_Grijalva_at_Uyotot-Ja_and_Pantanos_de_Centla_Biosphere_Reserve.JPG
Grijalva River flows in to the Usumacinta River at Uyotot-Ja: Pantanos de Centla Biosphere Reserve in Tabasco.

One example of many on biodiversity and its threatened loss in México is the Usumacinta Ecoregion in Tabasco. This is an area containing over 370 species of plants, 60 species of fish, 26 amphibians, 85 reptiles, some 279 birds, and more than 130 mammals, of which 30 are native to México. Yet of the more than 1,460 species of aquatic and land organisms found here, approximately 90 – over 6% - of all these species are now endangered.[42]


6.3.4 Final thoughts: Biodiversity & Humans.


Accordingly to the Popol Vuh, the Mayan peoples’ story of creation, maize and cacao came from the region we today know as Tabasco.[43] Imagine how different Earth would now be for modern humans if the Mayan civilisation of old had lived in a way to have made the biodiverse crops of maize and cacao go extinct. In such a scenario, two basic food staples of 21st century humans would not exist.

Cacao_tree_in_Comalcalco,_Tabasco.JPG
Cacao plant in Comalcalco, Tabasco.

Modern humans do not know those among nature’s many current biodiverse species which have the potential to be of significant importance to future humans and other life forms on Earth. Species lost today could have future potential as food sources or use for health reasons or even be essential in ways that current humans could not even contemplate (such as being an unknown linchpin in some way related to basic evolutionary survival). By us humans not caring about the losses of other species today, simply because we now think of many species as being disposable life, we take a very short-sighted view to the great complexity of life on Earth.

Just as ancient Mayans cared enough for the Earth to preserve the cacao and maize that are so important to human diets of today, similarly so we modern humans need ensure we take the same care of Earth’s existing biodiversity, whether that be plant or animal or insect. And that we do so to leave those future generations of human beings who follow us with an equally healthy and biodiverse environment of evolved life-forms on Earth.


6.4 Fresh-water loss.


Misol-Ha_in_Chiapas.JPG
Misol-Ha waterfall in Chiapas.

Water is essential to human lives. The human body is comprised of 61.8% water by weight and our species is said to need to drink anywhere from 1 to 3 litres per day for our survival.[44] That said, while Earth’s surface is comprised of 71% water, only about 2.50% of this fresh water of the planet can be drunk and used by human beings.[45] The fresh water humanity uses is mostly found in glaciers, but is also located in groundwater, lakes and rivers.

Humans use otherwise drinkable and ecosystem usable fresh water in many activities that are seen as essential to our lives and our societies. This includes for: industrial agriculture, cooking, cleaning, washing, farming, transport of people and goods, industry, generation of energy, watering of household plants, sewage, watering of golf course lawns, and so much more.

“People now use more than half of the planet’s accessible freshwater”.[46] Approximately 70% of all of this freshwater drawn by humans is used for agriculture, with industry using about 23% of this freshwater supply and humans directly using only about 7% of all the freshwater our species takes from Earth.[47] This use of freshwater is entirely separate from the freshwater used by the countless other biodiverse life forms living in Earth’s many ecosystems.

The substantial and growing quantities of human use of water are resulting in decreasing fresh water supplies on Earth. This has become such a serious problem that the United Nations has publicly stated that the Earth is in a water crisis. In 2003, the UN issued a report under this very title: The World’s Water Crisis - The First UN World Development Report: Water for people, water for life.[48]

A recent World Economic Forum document on water, issued in 2008, identifies at its outset the reality of an existing water crisis on Earth:

“Significant business disruptions due to water scarcity... are a reality today, and are projected to worsen in the
future
, as a result of climate change and demographics.” (emphasis as placed in the original document.)[49]

This shortage of fresh water is also affecting México, with our country realising both a scarcity of fresh water and polluted fresh water supplies in our north, and experiencing inaccessible and poor quality fresh water in the centre and extreme southeast of our country.[50]

The former Secretary-General of the United Nations, Boutros Boutros Ghali, predicts that “Water will be more important than oil this century”.[51] Yet importantly, for it implies that human solutions are indeed possible and achievable, The World Economic Forum notes that: “The main cause of water shortage is overuse”.[52]

Unfortunately, climate change is also adding to fresh waters diminishment. Global warming is causing the melting of glaciers and ice: a necessary concern to humans since 68.7% of all of Earth’s freshwater supplies come from glaciers.[53]

Climate change related impacts on water availability, as well as human population increases and our species’ related need for more and more water, results in what is now referred to as water stress. 1.2 billion people, about 20% of Earth’s human population, live in areas identified as having “water stress” and that “…by 2025, the number of people in water stressed regions will rise to 3 billion people” or about 40% of all of Earth’s human population.[54] Add in the ongoing fresh water needs and uses of Earth’s natural environment, which are excluded and separate from identified human needs, and water stresses on Earth would look certain to increase unless humans quickly respond with solutions to the existing water crisis.

Solutions will necessarily require less human pollution of Earth’s freshwater. Water contamination has become a major factor in reductions in Earth’s fresh water supplies. Some countries, such as México, do not widely provide water treatment of grey-water (dirty water), which then results in polluted water residues flowing in to the sea, mangrove areas, lakes, lagoons and rivers. These pollutants then become absorbed by plants and eaten by fish and other animals, which are then themselves often eaten by humans. Dirty water out of the sight of humans does not mean it has no impact on humans.

In some places where water is not properly treated, humans who consume this dirty water get sick and can die. In 2003, more than 25,000 people died everyday of malnutrition and another 6 000, people, the majority of whom were children, died from water-borne illnesses.[55]

Earth has an identified water crisis now. We call on our governments in México to work with our Mexican population, along with the United Nations and other international organisations like the World Economic Forum, to help identify and implement solutions to resolve this water crisis. We need to do so for the benefit of humans of today, for next generations of humans, and for other forms of life on Earth.

Canyon_Sumidero_-_Chiapas.JPG
The Usumacinta River flowing through the Sumidero Canyon in Chiapas.


Homo economicus and other species on Earth can live without economics, but not one of us is yet known to be able to live without water.




[11] Rees, William E. 2008. Toward Sustainability with Justice: Are Human Nature and History on Side? In Soskolne, Colin L., ed. SUSTAINING LIFE ON EARTH. Plymouth, UK: Lexington Books (Page 81 - 93). (As found starting on page 82).
[12] Weber, Bob (2008). Arctic is thawing faster than expected, report says. The Globe and Mail - globeandmail.com, Friday April 25, 2008 [online]. Available from:
http://www.theglobeandmail.com/servlet/story/RTGAM.20080425.wclimate25/BNStory/National/home [Accessed: 28 April 2008].
[13] Zellen, Barry S. (2008). We should warm to the idea of melting poles. The Globe and Mail - globeandmail.com,
Monday April 28, 2008 [online]. Available from: http://www.theglobeandmail.com/servlet/story/RTGAM.20080428.wcomment0428/BNStory/specialComment/?cid=al_gam_nletter_newsUp [Accessed: 29 April 2008].
[14] Borenstein, Seth (2008). Massive chunk of Antarctic ice shelf collapses. The Globe and Mail - globeandmail.com, Tuesday March 25, 2008 [online]. Available from:
http://tinyurl.com/5v5zol [Accessed: 26 March 2008].
[15] Morales, Alex (2008). Antarctica’s Wilkins’ Ice Shelf Risks Collapse, U.K. Group Says [online]. Bloomberg.com. Available from: http://www.bloomberg.com/apps/news?pid=20601086&sid=amx1sGjrgtlM&refer=latin_america [Accessed: 18 April 2007].
[16] Borenstein, Seth (2007). Year weather records fell. The Toronto Star - thestar.com, Thursday December 27, 2007 [online]. Available at: www.thestar.com [Re-accessed: 26 March 2008].
[17] World Economic Forum, 2008a. Managing Our Future Water Needs for Agriculture, Industry, Human Health and the Environment - Discussion Document for the World Economic Forum Annual Meeting 2008. Cologny/Geneva, Switzerland: World Economic Forum (Page 5).
[18] IPCC - Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change: UNEP - United Nations Environmental Programme. (2007). Climate Change 2007 – Synthesis Report: Summary for Policymakers of the IPCC Fourth Assessment Report [online]. Available from:
http://www.ipcc.ch/ipccreports/ar4-syr.htm [Accessed: 06 March 2008].
[19] ibid. (page 2). [Accessed: 06 March 2008].
[20] ibid. (page 5). [Accessed: 06 March 2008].
[21] ibid. (page 12). [Accessed: 06 March 2008].
[22] Borenstein, Seth (2006). Ominous Arctic melt worries experts. The Toronto Star - thestar.com, Wednesday December 12, 2006 [online]. Available from:
www.thestar.com [Re-accessed: 26 March 2008].
AND
Mittelstaedt, Martin (2008a). Antarctic ice sheet shrinking at faster rate. The Globe and Mail - globeandmail.com, Monday January 14, 2008 [online]. Available from: http://tinyurl.com/5udy7g [Accessed: 14 January 2008].
[23] IPCC - Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change: UNEP - United Nations Environmental Programme. (2007). Climate Change 2007 – Synthesis Report: Summary for Policymakers of the IPCC Fourth Assessment Report [online]. Available from:
http://www.ipcc.ch/ipccreports/ar4-syr.htm (page 2). [Accessed: 06 March 2008].
[24] UN Convention on Biological Diversity. (2007a). Sustaining Life on Earth [online]. Available from:
http://www.cbd.int/convention/guide.shtml?id=changing [Accessed: 16 April 2008].
[25] UNEP – United Nations Environmental Programme, Production and Consumption Branch: Tourism. (2004). Environmental Impacts Of Tourism At the Global Level – Loss of Biological Diversity [online]. Available from:
http://www.uneptie.org/pc/tourism/sust-tourism/env_global.htm [Accessed: 23 April 2008].
[26] ibid.
[27] Karr, James R., 2008. Protecting Society from Itself: Reconnecting Ecology and Economy. In Soskolne, Colin L., ed. SUSTAINING LIFE ON EARTH. Plymouth, UK: Lexington Books (Page 95 - 108). (Quote on page 98).
[28] Tanton, John H. (1995). Maps from “End of the Migration Epoch”, as reproduced in Human Population through History 1 A.D. to 2020 [online]. Demographic, Environmental, and Security Issues Project. Available from:
http://desip.igc.org/populationmaps.html [Accessed: 16 April 2008].
[29] Rees, William E. 2008. Toward Sustainability with Justice: Are Human Nature and History on Side? In Soskolne, Colin L., ed. SUSTAINING LIFE ON EARTH. Plymouth, UK: Lexington Books (Page 81 - 93). (Quote on page 85).
[30] Curry, Patrick,2006. Ecological Ethics: An Introduction. Cambridge, UK: Polity Press. (Quote on page 106).
AND
In light of the following quote from the World Economic Forum:
“Studies have shown that although [Wikipedia] entries vary in quality and contain errors, the frequency of errors is comparable to that of traditional encyclopaedias.”
As found in:
World Economic Forum, 2008b. Crowd wisdom: user-centric innovation - Technology Pioneers 2008. London, UK: British Telecom. (Quote found on page 5).;
the following is one of only two Wikipedia references used in this book:
Wikipedia - the free encyclopedia. (2008a). Home economicus [online]. Available from: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Homo_economicus [Accessed: 05 May 2008].
[31] triplepundit - people planet profit. (2006). Economist on Population Decline - Not Always a Bad Thing [online]. Available from:
http://www.triplepundit.com/pages/economist-on-population-declin-001688.php [Accessed: 10 May 2008].
[32] Rees, William E.. 2008. Toward Sustainability with Justice: Are Human Nature and History on Side? In Soskolne, Colin L., ed. SUSTAINING LIFE ON EARTH. Plymouth, UK: Lexington Books (Page 81 - 93). (Quote on page 85).
[33] Karr, James R., 2008. Protecting Society from Itself: Reconnecting Ecology and Economy. In Soskolne, Colin L., ed. SUSTAINING LIFE ON EARTH. Plymouth, UK: Lexington Books (Page 95 - 108). (Quote on page 106).
[34] Diamond, Jared M., 2005. Collapse: How Societies Choose To Fail Or Succeed. NYC, NY: Penguin Books.
[35] Karr, James R. 2008. Protecting Society from Itself: Reconnecting Ecology and Economy. In Soskolne, Colin L., ed. SUSTAINING LIFE ON EARTH. Plymouth, UK: Lexington Books (Page 95 - 108). (Quote on page 98).
[36] UN Convention on Biological Diversity. (2007b). Sustaining Life on Earth [online]. Available from:
http://www.cbd.int/convention/guide.shtml [Accessed: 16 April 2008].
[37] Nadal, Alejandro. (no date). Natural Protected Areas and Social Marginalization in Mexico [online]. El Colegio de México. Available from:
http://www.colmex.mx/programas/procientec/docsenlinea/nadal%20natural%20protected%20area.pdf (page 2). [Accessed: 09 May 2008].
[38] UN Convention on Biological Diversity. (2007a). Sustaining Life on Earth [online]. Available from:
http://www.cbd.int/convention/guide.shtml?id=changing [Accessed: 16 April 2008].
[39] IPCC - Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change: UNEP - United Nations Environmental Programme. (2007). Climate Change 2007 – Synthesis Report: Summary for Policymakers of the IPCC Fourth Assessment Report [online]. Available from:
http://www.ipcc.ch/ipccreports/ar4-syr.htm (page 11). [Accessed: 06 March 2008].
[40] ibid. (page 13). [Accessed: 06 March 2008].
[41] Presidencia de la República, Estados Unidos Mexicanos. (2001). Plan Nacional de Desarrollo 2001-2006: Mensaje del Presidente de la República [online]. Available from:
http://pnd.fox.presidencia.gob.mx/index.php?idseccion=8 [Accessed: 14 April 2008].
[42] National Geographic. (2001). Usumacinta mangroves [online]. Available from:
http://www.nationalgeographic.com/wildworld/profiles/terrestrial/nt/nt1437.html [Accessed: 16 April 2008].
AND
World Wildlife Fund. (2001). Usumacinta mangroves [online]. Available from: http://www.worldwildlife.org/wildworld/profiles/terrestrial/nt/nt1437_full.htm [Accessed: 16 April 2008].
[43] Castledine, David B. (Translator). (2001). POPOL VUH: The Sacred Book of the Ancient Mayas-Quiche. México City: Monclem Ediciones (page 88).
[44] e.notes.com. (2008). The Human Body – What Percent if Human Body Weight is Water? [online]. Available from:
http://www.enotes.com/science-fact-finder/human-body/what-percent-human-body-weight-water [Accessed: 23 April 2008].
[45] Natural Resources Canada. (2006). Freshwater [online]. Available from:
http://atlas.nrcan.gc.ca/site/english/maps/freshwater/1 [Accessed: 23 April 2008].
AND
The Atlas of Canada. (2000). Pie Chart of The World’s Water Supply [online]. Available from:
http://atlas.nrcan.gc.ca/site/english/maps/freshwater/world_water.gif/image_view [Accessed: 23 April 2008].
[46] Rees, William E.. 2008. Toward Sustainability with Justice: Are Human Nature and History on Side? In Soskolne, Colin L., ed. SUSTAINING LIFE ON EARTH. Plymouth, UK: Lexington Books (Page 81 - 93). (Quote on page 83).
[47] World Economic Forum, (2008a). Managing Our Future Water Needs for Agriculture, Industry, Human Health and the Environment - Discussion Document for the World Economic Forum Annual Meeting 2008. Cologny/Geneva, Switzerland: World Economic Forum (Page 4).
[48] UNESCO - United Nations Educational Scientific and Cultural Organization. (2003). The World’s Water Crisis – The First UN World Development Report: Water for people, water for life [online]. Available from:
http://www.unesco.org/water/wwap/wwdr/wwdr1/pdf/chap1.pdf [Accessed 15 April 2008].
[49] World Economic Forum, (2008). Managing Our Future Water Needs for Agriculture, Industry, Human Health and the Environment - Discussion Document for the World Economic Forum Annual Meeting 2008. Cologny/Geneva, Switzerland: World Economic Forum (Page 3).
[50] Central Intelligence Agency. (2008). The World Factbook: Mexico [online]. Available from:
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