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October 27, 2017 9:31 pm

Human Impact on Environment Some Good and Not So Good News

Tuesday, August 23, 2016 @ 8:00 AM

Prince George, B.C. – The global impact of human activities on the natural environment is extensive, but those impacts are expanding at a slower rate than the rate of economic and population growth.
That is one of the key findings  of  a team of researchers  from UNBC,  the University of Queensland, the Wildlife Conservation Society (WCS), and six other universities.

The team developed a map  which shows  75% of the planet  has been  significantly altered by human activity,  and  97% of the most species-rich places on Earth  have  been seriously altered.

The original human footprint map was created in 1993 says Dr. Oscar Venter of UNBC,  one of the co-authors  of the  map, “We created  two maps,  one for present day (2009)  and one for 1993  so we can look at  trajectories and see  how things have changed over the last  two decades and learn from that.”

Dr.  Venter UNBC says  there is some encouraging news in that human impacts  are expanding  at a rate slower than  the  rates of economic and population growth “it means we are becoming more efficient in how we use natural resources.”

In developing the map,  Dr. Venter says they looked at a “range of human pressures on the environment”.

  1. he extent of built environments,
  2. crop land,
  3. pasture land,
  4. human population density,
  5. night-time lights,
  6. railways,
  7. roads, and
  8. navigable waterways

Dr. Venter says the  map  has produced mixed results “It’s encouraging in that we saw a number of countries grow their economies quite a lot over the last  20 years,  while  actually shrinking the impact they are having on the environment.  So it appears   it is possible to de-couple economic growth, which is something everybody wants,  from environmental impacts which is something many people don’t want.   That was a positive finding   for us.  On the other hand there were a number of negative findings that were negative.  Almost everywhere on the planet,  most eco-systems  on the planet have deteriorated over the last 20 years.  Additionally,  if we look at the most species rich part of the planet, there were very few of those places that remain in a natural unmodified condition.  Only 3%  of them were still  natural.”  Dr. Venter says   that  is quite concerning to him .

Looking at specific areas  on the planet,  Dr. Venter says  Canada overall,  looks  ok  “We are a very big country without  a  very large population, and a lot of the population is concentrated in cities.  But that said, there were some important things we  didn’t manage to map on a global scale and one of them was mining,  and the other was forestry because industry specific data was not available on a global  scale,  so we might have been underestimating some of the impacts we are having in northern Canada and Northern B.C.”

The work is far from over says Dr. Venter “something I am looking forward to doing since I moved to   UNBC is to undertake this sort of work on a scale of  Canada, or potentially  the scale of British Columbia, developing a map  of the footprint,  including the footprint of important industries, for our region.”




The second last paragraph in the article states; “But that said, there were some important things we didn’t manage to map on a global scale and one of them was mining, and the other was forestry because industry specific data was not available on a global scale,…”

Yet there are plenty of studies out there that are tracking global deforestation on a global scale:



Perhaps UNBC just needs to do its homework?

    “and the other was forestry because industry specific data was not available on a global scale”. The key words are “industry specific”, the articles you provided links to say, “Not all the degradation is due to logging — some of it is due to forest fires”. I would hazard a guess that deforestation due to disease & natural predation were not figured into Forest Watch Canada’s study as well. It is alarming the extent that our forests are disappearing, but there are other factors involved.

Wonder if they looked into the enviromental impack of windfarms and solar arrays. Oh wait that is an untouchable subject.

    If it is as untouchable as you stated why do you keep touching it?

      Because of the hypocrisy, money sucking scam and ignored environmental impacts.

      Partnered with the university of Queensland, interesting. Did they skype, or was there taxpayer funded trips down under during a Prince George winter?

      Haha good one

The Heartland Institute could not have picked a better date to take the picture . The very bottom of the great global recession in March 2009 .

Actually woodlands around the world are getting denser, interesting article just ignore the C02 BS. Though at issue biodiversity may be suffering.

ht tp://www.dailymail.co.uk/sciencetech/article-1394692/Forget-deforestation-The-worlds-woodland-getting-denser-change-help-combat-climate-change.html#ixzz1OZVs3KdI

The part left out is the increase in density is a result of increasing C02, of which mans contribution is only 3-4%. An inconvenient fact for the grant seeking doom and gloomers.

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