The obvious choice

The world has reached an environmental crossroads, according to the third Global Environment Outlook (geo-3) report. And the choice between greed and humanity will decide the fate of millions of people for decades to come. While painting a bleak picture of the future, the document stated that present human actions would be most crucial. The report painted four possible scenarios ranging from the greed-driven "markets first' future to the caring and sharing "sustainability first' approach. Under the first scenario, by 2032 three per cent of the Earth's surface would become concrete, more than half the population would live with drought, 70 per cent of the remaining land and animals would be under threat and 16 billion tonnes of carbon dioxide would be released from fossil fuels annually. Under the sustainability approach, cities and highways would eat up less land, better water management would prevent droughts, the pressure on land and animals would be eased and carbon dioxide emissions would stabilise.