Humans currently consume 1.6 times more resources than the Earth can regenerate
Many animals are being driven to extinction, as humanity imperils the world’s natural resources
“HUMAN BEINGS have overrun the world.” So laments Sir David Attenborough, a world-famous nonagenarian naturalist, in his new film, “David Attenborough: A Life on our Planet”. The film charts the “devastating changes” that humans have wrought on the planet’s biodiversity. All told, we have driven at least 680 vertebrate species to extinction since 1500.
Sir David and his followers have cause to be worried. The Living Planet Report, published in September by the WWF, a conservation organisation, found that the world’s populations of wild mammals, birds, amphibians, reptiles and fish have fallen by an average of 68% since 1970. Using data on 20,811 populations of 4,392 animal species, WWF estimated that animal populations fell by 94% on average in Latin America and by 65% in Africa (see chart).
Part of the reason why so many animals (and plants, for that matter) are imperilled is that humanity overspends its “biological budget”. The Global Footprint Network, a think-tank, calculates this in terms of the amount of land and sea required to produce the quantities consumed; in the case of greenhouse gases emitted from burning fossil fuels, the impact is expressed in terms of the amount of land needed to absorb those emissions. Since 1970 humanity’s ecological footprint has exceeded the planet’s natural rate of renewal. According to the think-tank, people currently consume 1.6 times more resources than the Earth can regenerate. Most of the impact comes from carbon usage, which accounts for 60% of people’s ecological footprint. Repurposing land for crops (19%) and cutting down trees for fuel, pulp and timber (10%) also contribute to the ecological deficit (see chart).
Rich countries are the worst offenders. The report calculates that the average person in the world uses around 2.5 hectares of land or sea to sustain their consumption habits (a sustainable amount would be 1.6 hectares each). But much of Europe, North America and Australia use an average of more than five global hectares per person, whereas India and much of Africa use less than 1.6.
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susipudjiastuti WTF_1971 ie. 90% of the planet (each zone) ought to be off-limits to humans. Humans ought to contain themselves to 10% of each zone for all living and activity. The rest is needed to create balance for the planet as a whole to be a viable life support system. Agree One day we will realise that population is the biggest problem, yet no one debates it and even fewer are prepared to mention it.
Capitalism is killing environment, not population growth. Just to remind. We need zero emissions technology and legislation to stop emissions from all smoke stacks and exhaust pipes and pipes releasing pollutants into our air water and soils, we need to plant trees to rebuild forest levels seen 2000 years ago
This used to be a good magazine.... Ah, 'Some humans currently consume ...' Yeah, it's the old figures don't lie but liars can figure scam. The average is true but doesn't account for Al Gore helicopter skiing or Epstein's Pedophile Airlines. How many at the top consume as much as all others? That's the question.
Cropland could perhaps be reduced with generous application of urban farms, therefore giving back some carbon absorbtion. Maybe covid and the need to have a food source in proximity will accelerate this. TimmermansEU diederiksamsom jesseklaver JoeBiden AOC KamalaHarris SymoneDSandersbSpeakerPelosi TeamPelosi SenSchumer BernieSanders PeteButtigieg JustinTrudeau AbeShinzo elonmusk dijkhoff RobJetten hugodejonge LodewijkA AndrewYang narendramodi Chinamission2un
😔 Here's the likely scenario of human self-extinction, which will certainly happen before the end of the 21st century: Here's why there is no hope (besides the fact that it's too late to turn the situation around): Man is his own enemy ! Is Malthus awake? If people didn't buy what they didn't need, we wouldn't be in this mess!
They have names Are you sure ? Could be the factories producing excessively to get more profit ..... bullshit Indian / Chinese/ muslim.r problem. The difference is carbon, so reducing consumption of carbon will get us back into balance. It’s not a population problem; this is good news. God Damnit... The Economist arguing on behalf of Thanos...
This is the biggest threat to US National Security as well as world. Correction. The rich currently consume more resources than the Earth can regenerate
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