photo by b|m (Flickr CC)

Ready for some doom and gloom, alarmist and generally pessimistic news that will either make you want to not care at all (the current favorite option) or join the Dark Mountain Project?

Talking about the environment and pretending to be eco-friendly by wearing a ‘Kiss me, I’m Green’ button has apparently not saved the Earth from going to Hell in a proverbial hand basket. Ready for some shocking, but (honestly) to be expected, figures from the new ‘Living Planet’ report compiled by the WWF, the Zoological Society of London and the Global Footprint Network?

Let’s get on with the ecocide then, shall we?

In a nutshell, the environment, which is really just a euphemism for ‘everything’, is getting worse. 20 years on from the first Earth Summit in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil and not only has the state of the planet not improved, it’s declined. Big time. Here are just a few low points of what’s happened Earth-wise while we were busy buying iPhones, eating burgers, driving SUVs and generally not giving a shit:

  • Global demand for resources has doubled since 1996
  • CO2 emissions have gone up by 40% in 20 years (mostly in the last 10 years)
  • The biodiversity index in developing countries dropped by 60% (global biodiversity sunk by 28%) since 1970

OK, OK, I’ll end with a positive note: global population should peak sometime this century. Not good enough? Well here are a few suggestions from the authors of the report.

From a WWF press release:

While these findings are concerning, The Living Planet Report outlines a number of solutions needed to reverse the declining Living Planet Index and bring the Ecological Footprint down to within planetary limits. These are set out as 16 priority actions, and include improved consumption patterns, putting an economic value on natural capital, and creating legal and policy frameworks that manage equitable access to food, water and energy – particularly at the upcoming Rio+20 Earth Summit.

So don’t run to the hills yet. Or do, why should I mind? Nothing wrong with the hills; plenty of fresh air and water left, clover, mountain goats and things like that, as long as you choose the right hills. I wouldn’t know, personally. All I know is that I’m a bit bummed out reading this news, but I will try to be positive again, soon. Really I will.

Read more on the story in the Guardian.