Earth’s degradation threatens major health gains: study

AFP reports: The unprecedented degradation of Earth’s natural resources coupled with climate change could reverse major gains in human health over the last 150 years, according to a sweeping scientific review published Thursday.

“We have been mortgaging the health of future generations to realise economic and development gains in the present,” said the report, written by 15 leading academics and published in the peer-reviewed medical journal The Lancet.

“By unsustainably exploiting nature’s resources, human civilisation has flourished but now risks substantial health effects from the degradation of nature’s life support systems in the future.”

Climate change, ocean acidification, depleted water sources, polluted land, over-fishing, biodiversity loss –- all unintended by-products of humanity’s drive to develop and prosper –- “pose serious challenges to the global health gains of the past several decades”, especially in poorer nations, the 60-page report concludes. [Continue reading…]

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