Measurable Dangers by 2004

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Paul R. Ehrlich and Stephen H. Schneider are Professors in the Department of Biological Sciences, Stanford University.
"We wager $1000 per trend that each of the following 15 continental and global scale indicators will change in the direction indicated ("get worse") over the next decade":
1. The three years 2002-2004 will on average be warmer than 1992-1994 (rapid climatic change associated with global warming could pose a major threat of increasing droughts and floods).
2. There will be more carbon dioxide in the atmosphere in 2004 than in 1994 (carbon dioxide is the most important gas driving global warming).
3. There will be more nitrous oxide in the atmosphere in 2004 than in 1994 (nitrous oxide is another greenhouse gas that is increasing due to human disruption of the nitrogen cycle).
4. The concentration of tropospheric ozone globally will be greater in 2004 than in 1994 (tropospheric ozone has important deleterious effects on human health and crop production)
5. Emissions of sulfur dioxide in Asia will be significantly greater in 2004 than in 1994 (sulfur dioxide becomes sulphuric acid in the atmosphere, the principal component of acid rain, and it is associated with direct damage to human health).

6. There will be less fertile cropland per person in 2004 than in 1994 (as the population grows, some of Earth's best farmland is being paved over).
7. There will be less agricultural soil per person in 2004 than in 1994 (about a quarter of the world's topsoil has been lost since World War II, and erosion virtually everywhere far exceeds rates of soil replacement).
8. There will be on average less rice and wheat grown per person in 2002-2004 than in 1992-1994 (rice and wheat are the two most important crops consumed by people).
9. In developing nations there will be less firewood available per person in 2004 than in 1994 (more than a billion people today depend on fuel-wood to meet their energy needs).
10. The remaining area of tropical moist forests will be significantly smaller in 2004 than in 1994 (those forests are the repositories of some of humanity's most precious living resources, including the basis for many modern pharmaceuticals worldwide).
11. The oceanic fisheries harvest per person will continue its downward trend and thus in 2004 will be smaller than in 1994 (over-fishing, ocean pollution, and coastal wetlands destruction will continue to take their toll).
12. There will be fewer plant and animal species still extant in 2004 than in 1994 (continuing habitat destruction is wiping out organisms that are the working parts of humanity's life-support systems).
13. More people will die of AIDS in 2004 than did in 1994 (as the disease takes off in Asia).
14. Between 1994 and 2004, sperm counts of human males will continue to decline and reproductive disorders to increase (over the last 50 years there has been a roughly 40 percent decline in the count worldwide. We bet this trend will continue due to the widespread use of hormone-disrupting synthetic organic chemical compounds).
15. The gap in wealth between the richest 10 percent of humanity and the poorest 10 percent will be greater in 2004 than in 1994.