Please see updates at the end of the journal.
I just finished reading the book COLLAPSE, How Societies Choose to Fail or Succed by Jared Diamond.
The book presents a detailed and sometimes tedious list of reasons for which some past societies have disappeared. A major reason, or in some cases the only reason, for that collapse is the mismanagement of ecological problems. Either the problem was neglected, or was discovered but not solved appropriately or solved with the wrong response.
We are generally well informed about global warming and probably tend to simplify the problem by taking just this issue. Al Gore's "The Inconvenient Truth" has contributed to clarify and spread this danger. However, the book in question identifies 12 major ecological problems, one of which is global warming.
As a very brief and biased summary of the book, I include below the list of the 12 problems.
1. Destruction of natural habitats.
2. Overuse of wild foods, especially fish.
3. Extermination of wild species.
4. Soil erosion.
5. Fossil fuels depletion.
6. Freshwater acquifers depletion.
7. Photosynthetic capacity.
8. Industry pollution.
9. Impact of alien species on native species.
10. Escape of gases into the atmosphere. (Global warming).
11. Population growth is not sustainable.
12. Improvement of Third World living standards is not sustainable.
I think each one of us should be aware of this list and evaluate if we are doing enough to help find solutions or avoid/minimize the problems.
Of course if you want to go deep into the subject, I highly recommend the book which is also available for Kindle.
Update 11-MAR-2012: The first modern victim of global warming is already with us. The island Nation of Kiribati considers buying 2,500 hectares of land in Viti Levu, the major of the Fiji islands, to move there some 103,000 inhabitants which represent mostly all the present population.
(Spanish) or [link]
Update 22-OCT-2012: I discovered a gold mine of information in the Science Daily website: [link]
Whenever you feel like willing to investigate over any of the environmental issues, this is one prime place to go.
Update 7-NOV-2012: The NASA charts included here [link]
are a dramatic proof that climate change has come to stay and are destroying our planet. Please note that some of the graphs are interactive so you can see the deterioration of our environment through the years.
Update 4-APR-2013: The city of Buenos Aires, capital of Argentina, and the city of La Plata, capital of the Buenos Aires province (the biggest), have suffered floodings due to heavy rains producing 54 deaths so far. Probably they will be more as they are 20 missing persons.
Climate change is not the single cause of the problem but it has been the trigger to show the many deficiencies we have as a nation. Wild urbanization, lack of infrastructure proportional to the increase in population, political fights in the governing party preventing the acceptation of already granted credits for infrastructure, mismanagement of public funds going mainly to salaries, corruption and vote purchasing.
In summary, a very sad confirmation that we are going in the wrong direction, with developed countries only interested in buying and selling rights to contaminate but not even consider the solution of a problem as their impact would only be seen 50 or 100 years from now.
For those of you who read Spanish, here is one graphic image of the tragedy. [link]