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Science

Already Too Late for Humanity says Expert

Eminent Australian scientist Professor Frank Fenner believes that humanity will die out, maybe in one hundred years.

In a recent and rare interview, Fenner, who is emeritus professor of microbiology at the Australian National University in Canberra, said that homo sapiens will not survive the current population explosion and what he termed the “unbridled consumption” that is taking place across our planet.

“Homo sapiens will become extinct, perhaps within 100 years,” he says. “A lot of other animals will, too. It’s an irreversible situation. I think it’s too late. I try not to express that because people are trying to do something, but they keep putting it off.

Fenner is most widely known for overseeing the eradication of smallpox while he was Director of the John Curtin School of Medical Research at ANU. He announced to the World Health Assembly in 1980 that smallpox had been eliminated, and is still seen as one of the greatest chievements of the World Health Organisation.

“We’ll undergo the same fate as the people on Easter Island,” he says. “Climate change is just at the very beginning. But we’re seeing remarkable changes in the weather already.”

“The Aborigines showed that without science and the production of carbon dioxide and global warming, they could survive for 40,000 or 50,000 years. But the world can’t. The human species is likely to go the same way as many of the species that we’ve seen disappear.”

The human population has undergone an almost impossible spoke over the last millennia, and Fenner believes this, in conjunction with our consumption of the planet’s resources and the effect we have had on the environment will be our death.

“Frank may be right, but some of us still harbour the hope that there will come about an awareness of the situation and, as a result, the revolutionary changes necessary to achieve ecological sustainability,” said Fenner’s colleague and long-time friend Stephen Boyden, a retired professor at the ANU.

“That’s where Frank and I differ. We’re both aware of the seriousness of the situation, but I don’t accept that it’s necessarily too late. While there’s a glimmer of hope, it’s worth working to solve the problem. We have the scientific knowledge to do it but we don’t have the political will.”

Source: The Australian




3 comments
  1. W. Ying

    Our planet will certainly be saved if everybody really unerstand the validity of happiness.
    (See "Is Your Happiness Valid?" Kindle/paperback book at Amazon.com)

  2. Robert J. Walker

    Fenner's forecast mirrors one made last year by John Beddington, England's chief scientific advisor, who warned that climate change, population growth and the world's rising demand for food, energy and water constituted a "perfect storm" that could be very disruptive by 2030. Building upon that, the Population Institute today unveiled a scenario for 2030 that looks more closely at what that "perfect storm" might look like and what type of harm might be inflicted. For more information go to: http://www.populationinstitute.org/newsroom/news/… and http://blog.populationinstitute.org/2010/06/30/20

    Robert J. Walker, Executive Vice President of the Population Institute

  3. Thanhtu

    An incredibly scary thought! I just wish people knew the environmental impact they have on the world. Its so easy to become "environmentally friendly", yet people opt not too. Leaving lights and appliances on, wasting food, and choosing to use plastic bags when the environmental bags are much more comftorable to carry and can hold a lot more than plastic bags.

    People need to become aware of the impact they are having and they need to become inspored to make a change. It is blogs like this and independent news sites that can achieve this awareness. An online magazine that I'm working for http://ifprojectblog.com/ is launching in 35 days, and we aim to achieve this. Personally, this blog has been great as mainstream news sites usually skip or give less relevance to the issues you discuss.

    Good job!

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