Monday, 17 November 2008

WWF Living Planet Report 2008

The WWF Living Planet report 2008 has been published, and provides a sobering reminder that the current economic crisis could pale into insignificance besides the consquences of continuing to live beyond our planet's resources. I found one page particularly poignant - it contrasts the ecological creditors and debtors from 1961 with the present day. I was born in 1961 so this really brings home to me the fact that so much harm has been done in my lifetime.

Debtor countries have an ecological footprint larger than their own biocapacity, and creditors exist within the limits of their biocapacity. Back in 1961 ecological creditors included the USA whose biocapacity was considered to be 50-100% larger than its ecological footprint; today its ecological footprint is considered to be 50-100% larger than its biocapacity. Other countries that have moved from ecological credit to debt include China (now at a deficit of 100 - 150%), eastern Europe and most of north Africa.

Humanity’s demand on the planet’s living resources now exceeds the planet’s regenerative capacity by about 30 per cent and at current rate of increase we will need two planets to support the World's population by the early 2030s. Despite these shocking statistics, WWF concludes that a sustainable world is not an unachievable goal: the solutions are there before us and within
our grasp given the personal and political commitment of individuals.

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