Gadget by The Blog Doctor.

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Consuming the Planet

The video below is a new documentary compiled from lectures by William Rees, who is the co-creator of the Eco-Footprint concept. He is a Professor in the School of Community and Regional Planning at the University of British Columbia.

Dr. Rees has measured humanity’s use of the planet’s resources, and has concluded - not surprisingly - that humans are using more resources of the Pale Blue Dot than the planet can supply us with sustainably.

Warning To the People of Earth from Bruce Mohun on Vimeo.

For more discussion by Dr. Rees of the issue of Ecological Footprints and their implications for the world follow this link

Here are some quotes from the link above:

Humankind now seems to be the victim of a global "catch-22" of its own making. More material growth, at least in the poor countries, seems essential for socioeconomic sustainability, yet any global increase in material throughput is ecologically unsustainable.

If just the present world population of 5.8 billion people were to live at current North American ecological standards (say 4.5 ha/person), a reasonable first approximation of the total productive land requirement would be 26 billion ha (assuming present technology). However, there are only just over 13 billion ha of land on Earth, of which only 8.8 billion are ecologically productive cropland, pasture, or forest (1.5 ha/person). In short, we would need an additional two planet Earths to accommodate the increased ecological load of people alive today. (Note the quotation above was written in 1994, the current world population is close to 7 billion people.)


Follow this link for a Wikipedia article on Ecological Footprings

For another take on the issue of planetary boundaries see this post on the work of the Stockholme Resilience Center.

Professor Tim Jackson discusses the econimic and social implications of growth in a finite planet at this post.

Ecosystem services and biodiversity loss are issues related to the theme of this post - see this post for details.

Here is a link to an article from the Post Carbon Institute about the End Of Growth.

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