GLOBAL ENVIRONMENTAL CRUNCH October 31, 2008Posted by wmmbb in Humankind/Planet Earth, Natural Environment.
Planet Earth is heading for bankruptcy and a global environmental “credit crunch” according to the latest Living Planet Report. We need to better manage resources and protect biodiversity.
The BBC reports:
The Living Planet Report is the work of WWF, the Zoological Society of London and the Global Footprint Network. The document contends that our demands on natural resources overreach what the Earth can sustain by almost a third. It says that more than three quarters of the world’s population lives in countries where consumption levels are outstripping environmental renewal.
. . . This makes them “ecological debtors”, meaning that they are drawing – and often overdrawing – on the agricultural land, forests, seas and resources of other countries to sustain them. The report concludes that the reckless consumption of “natural capital” is endangering the world’s future prosperity, with clear economic impacts including high costs for food, water and energy.
. . .The countries with the biggest impact on the planet are the US and China, together accounting for some 40% of the global footprint. The report shows the US and United Arab Emirates have the largest ecological footprint per person, while Malawi and Afghanistan have the smallest.
The report elicits other facts:
- There is 2.1 hectares per person actually available for the global population (and presumably to be shared with other living creatures).
- In a direct comparison with the financial crisis, the more than $2 trillion (£1.2 trillion) lost on stocks and shares was dwarfed by the up to $4.5 trillion worth of resources destroyed forever each year.
- The report’s Living Planet Index, which is an attempt to measure the health of worldwide biodiversity, showed an average decline of about 30% from 1970 to 2005 in 3,309 populations of 1,235 species. An index for the tropics shows an average 51% decline over the same period in 1,333 populations of 585 species.
- A new index for water consumption showed that for countries such as the UK, the average “water footprint” was far greater than people realised, with thousands of litres used to produce goods such as beef, sugar and cotton shirts. “In Britain, almost two thirds [62%] of the average water footprint comes from use abroad to produce goods we consume,”
These dire warnings beggars the question is how homo sapien sapien got into this situation. What cultural or economic practices are they that ignore, and continue to ignore wisdom, which we human beings, I believe correctly, presume ourselves of having in part intrinsically and in part having a capability to develop.
I suggest we might also note that the system of violence associated with world empires, or aspiration to world empires, is intrinsically part of the problem.