I greatly enjoyed reading “The Millennium Assessment,” by Fred Powledge (BioScience 56: 880–886). It presented a reasonable program to discover how bad things are, which is, I suppose, frequently necessary to have fresh ammunition to use in trying to wake up our national leadership.
What I find lacking in the whole approach, not only in this article but in the profession as a whole, is the failure to openly recognize that none of it matters as long as we fail to correct the underlying cause of nearly all of our problems: overpopulation. We already know enough to recognize that without a reduction of the population of humans, no proposed programs will have any real effect. The human population grows more rapidly than any ecological protection or amelioration program can be produced or take effect.