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Caribbean coral reefs could vanish in 20 years

Posted on 3rd July 2014

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This report on the BBC reminds us all that our planet is not healthy.

The story describes the findings of a recent study, which concludes that many of the Caribbean's coral reefs could vanish in the next 20 years.

The cause seems to be overfishing and disease, leading to a reduction in the populations of sea urchins and parrot fish, both of which graze on algae. The result is that reefs are being swamped by green algae, killing off the coral and thus eliminating the other reef-dwelling species.

All this is just more of the same bad news. Another BBC report, here, presents an overview of the impact that the human race is having on planet earth, describing humans as a "super-organism" and likening us to slime-mould and ant colonies. One of the key problems with this super-organism is that, whilst individual humans are intelligent (self-aware and able to learn from experience - two of the key scientific tests for intelligence), the collective whole does not seem to be: the human super-organism does not seem to be self-aware, and it constantly demonstrates its inability to learn from experience.

If the human race does not solve this basic problem, in particular limiting the irresponsible exploitation of natural resources due to individual self-interest, there really is no hope for our world.