Leading ecologist and eminent scientist Professor Frank Fenner predicted this week that humanity could disappear within a hundred years through famines driven by global warming.
'Climate change is just at the very beginning. But we're seeing remarkable changes in the weather already,” the highly respected onetime winner of the Albert Einstein World Award for Science told an Australian newspaper, “The human species is likely to go the same way as many of the species that we've seen disappear,” he predicted.
Britain’s prestigious magazine New Scientist magazine broadly agreed with his assessment, apart from taking him to task over using the term ‘extinction’, noting that most other scientists instead expect ‘social and economic collapse with some human die-off’.
“More and more people who study the prospects for human well-being in coming decades agree that food will be the key limiting factor,” New Scientist continued.
“Demand will skyrocket, fuelled, as Fenner says, by both population growth and "unbridled consumption". Meanwhile climate change will make it harder to produce more food,” the magazine suggested. (New Scientist: The End of the World is Nigh, Maybe: http://tinyurl.com/2bmxd8s )
Professor Fenner’s predictions appeared just as the Irish Times published the findings of a massive new EU survey on economic wellbeing which revealed that ‘three our of ten people (in Ireland) fear they cannot pay for food’. The same study revealed that 83% of French people ‘perceive a rise in poverty’ compared to 75% of Italians.
“The crisis is taking its toll and a significant proportion of Europeans are finding it difficult to make ends meet,” said EU social affairs commissioner Laslo Andor. (Irish Times)
The survey also revealed that one in three Irish people are struggling to afford health care, mirroring the situation in the US where an uninsured woman was this week facing criminal charges after she shot herself in the shoulder to try and receive treatment for an unrelated shoulder injury.
Kathy Myers, 41, told reporters she decided to shoot herself after being unable to afford to see a specialist for her shoulder pain though her plan failed as doctors just treated the gunshot wound alone.
"They said it would have to be life-threatening or imminent danger for them to do anything, so I was making it be imminent danger that something had to be done," she told WSBT TV, explaining her actions.
"I have no suicide wish," she added. "My life sucks right now but I want to live. I've got lots to live for and there's more good than bad in everything in my life, so that's not what it was about at alI . . . I just want to take the pain away."
Ms Myers, one of 1.2 million people uninsured in Michigan, promised not to shoot herself again, the New York Daily News said, though could still face charges of ‘shooting a weapon within city limits’. (Daily News)
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