There are many scenarios and prognoses as well as data and observations supported by an increasing number of peer reviewed publications (in top journals such as Nature) that illustrate that planet Earth is heading to severe and double global collapse, i.e. in terms of economy and most importantly of ecology. Shrinking economy means increased poverty and degradation in ecology means increasing diseases. It is not hard to comprehend: wealthy and healthy environment means high quality of life; unwealthy planet with unhealthy environment means death or in best cases poor quality of life. It is already a growing and severe inconvenient reality in many parts around the world, just tens or hundred meters away from luxury hotels and beaches, there are densely populated slums in mega cities.
Affordable, accessible, safe and clean energy that can support the growing population and the increasing needs of consumption is an ideal painting of a rather gray reality facing a common fate for our planet. With expected future production and consumption of “net” energy and the considerable pressures on the natural “capital” resources, the global production of waste and pollution due to an accelerating urbanization keeps doubling. According to the UN Inter-Agency Mechanism on all freshwater related issues (including sanitation) it has been an increase of 20%, during the period 2000 to 2008, in the number of individuals in cities and towns of all sizes in the world who lack access to basic water and sanitation facilities. In 2011, a reported of 2.5 billion people in the world did not use improved sanitation facilities and this number keeps increasing. Urban settlements are also a growing main source of point-source pollution even in best countries around the world including Scandinavia where anti-biotic keep injected from wastewater treatment plants to natural surface water systems with serious impacts on the flora and frequency of resistant bacteria. It is not strange that humans will face an increasing number of threats from known, such as Ebola virus disease, and yet other unknown diseases to emerge.
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