I shall explain it as simply as i can: 1. Is a metaphor/analogy:
"We are goldfish in the goldfish bowl. If we don't clean the bowl we will meet the fate of any other species on the earth-we will cease to be. The earth will just find some other species that is more adapted to the environment."
2. You may look this up on the web:
Right before the Beijing Olympics, the Chinese government instituted traffic restrictions to clear up the air pollution in the city. What they discovered in the 30 day period (which is now part of a United Nations report). That children born at the beginning of the restrictions compared to those born at the end of restriction showed a 20% increase in birthweight. Wow!