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On biotic regulation
and the perspectives for life's persistence

Below is the English translation of the popular biotic regulation overview as presented in Russian here under the above title. Biotic Regulation Overview in English is here. This document has not been translated to English so far. Originally published in Russian July 6, 2002 at www.biotic-regulation.pl.ru/Russian/brr-pop1.htm; updated November 12, 2003.

1. Contents
2. Our environment
What are these environmental problems all about? Wildlife extinction ... not only the problem of clean or dirty streets and/or air ... life-compatible environmental temperature ... In modern Russia ... natural forest ecosystems are being exterminated ... leads to degradation of water cycle on land ... large-scale problems of water deficit ... catastrophic situations in large cities ... Vladivostok and Artem ... One environmental characteristic ... the biotic control of which is not merely important, but absolutely essential for the very possibility of life existence ...
3. Too hot or too cold?
... two important parameters affecting Earth surface temperature ... planetary greenhouse effect... can be compared to a fur coat ... The main greenhouse substance is atmospheric water ... leads to physical instability of terrestrial climate ... could lead to complete evaporation of the oceans on Earth ... Conversely, if surface temperature dropped accidentally ... until complete glaciation of Earth surface... life has existed for about four billion years ... What are the causes of such remarkable sustainability?

Climate of Earth is physically unstable Stability of Earth's climate is of biotic nature

4. Natural ecosystmes undisturbed by humans stabilise Earth's climate
... life-compatible environmental temperature on Earth is maintained... by natural ecosystems on land and in the ocean ... The biota of Earth represents a mechanism ... taking off the fur coat ... when the planet is "too hot" ... putinng on the fur coat, when it is too cold ... Destruction of natural ecosystems by man ... is equivalent to elimination of the stable climatic pit, where we exist ... when this pit becomes too shallow ... the climate of Earth rapidly goes to one of the two physically stable but life-incompatible states.
5. Could we regulate the planetary climate ourselves?
... to perform global environmental regulation the humanity would have had to create a network of microscopic computers, to input the unknown regulatory program and spread this network over the entire planetary surface with a density of about one computer per square micron ... unrealistic ... the only real possibility is the conservation of natural ecosystems over globally significant areas.
6. How much undisturbed natural biota do we need?
... go into the details of how natural ecosystems are organized ... large animals ... in natural ecosystems are allowed to consume no more than one per cent of primary productivity ... the share of global primary productivity claimed by humans has risen to ten per cent ... means that in order to restore environmental stability ... it is necessary to diminish the anthropogenic pressure by ten times ... i.e. to restore natural ecosystems on most part of land and stop cultivation of the ocean ...

Distribution of energy flow over different-sized organisms in natural ecosystems

7. Russia and its forests
... impossible to stop industrial and agricultural activities immediately. However some measures can be urgently taken which can substantially slow down the on-going degradation of global environment... ... complete abandonement of forest exploitation ... forest industry input into the world Gross Domestic Product is no more than one per cent ... ... assign the value of world heritage to the remaining natural forests... economical and political benefits for ecological services on environment stabilisation ... good perspectives for Russia ... cultivation of Russian forests is a dead end ... undermining the strategic environmental safety of the state...
8. The problem of Homo sapiens
... dwell on the ultimate reasons of the on-going degradation of global environmental conditions ... natural ecological community cannot accomodate species-lazybones or species-gangsters... the unique ability of humans for accumulating cultural heritage... ... until the middle of the nineteenth century the global population number of humans did not exceed the ecological threshold ...
9. The population numbers race
... modern population density is unnatural for Homo sapiens ... massacres of conspecifics ... Why is the problem of population number control is so unpopular? ... No nation would like the global population number to decrease at the expense of this very nation ... ... children that are being born become a tool in political games... ... the arena of political fight has changed... race of population numbers is even more dangerous than the nuclear arms race ... As far as the planetary surface is of limited size, to sustain environmental conditions suitable for their own existence people will have to considerably reduce their population numbers. Such reduction is necessary, first, for allowing natural ecosystems to perform their work on stabilisation of the environment favourable for human life and, second, for ensuring normal conditions of human existence that are coded in the genetic program of Homo sapiens and imply free communication with undisturbed nature and absence of overpopulation threatening the physchological and physical health of people.

Growth of human population

10. Literature
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