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Humanity Falls Into Deep ‘Ecological Deficit’

A press release from a crackpot organization gets treated like a legitimate news item by the Agence France-Presse:

Humanity falls deeper into ecological debt: study

By Marlowe Hood
September 20, 2011

Humankind will slip next week into ecological debt, having gobbled up in less then nine months more natural resources than the planet can replenish in a year, researchers said Tuesday.

The most dominant species in Earth’s history, in other words, is living beyond the planet’s threshold of sustainability, trashing the house it lives in.

At its current pace of consumption humankind will need, by 2030, a second globe to satisfy its voracious appetites and absorb all its waste, the report calculated.

Earth’s seven billion denizens — nine billion by mid-century — are using more water, cutting down more forests and eating more fish than Nature can replace, it said.

At the same time, we are disgorging more CO2, pollutants and chemical fertilizers than the atmosphere, soil and oceans can soak up without severely disrupting the ecosystems that have made our planet such a comfortable place for homo sapiens to live.

And Bill Clinton says we can’t even question such lunacy without making our country look like a joke.

Counting down from January 1, the date when human activity exceeds its budget — dubbed "Earth Overshoot Day" — had receded by about three days each year since 2001.

Obviously, all of the current and costly climate measures around the world have only made things worse. So why should we continue with them?

The tipping point into non-sustainability happened sometime in the 1970s, said the Oakland, California-based Global Footprint Network, which issued the report.

Right after people stopped predicting a new ice age.

This year, researchers estimate that the equivalent of Earth’s resource quota will be depleted on September 27.

"That’s like spending your annual salary three months before the year is over, and eating into savings year after year," Global Footprint Network President Mathis Wackernagel said in a statement.

"Pretty soon, you run out of savings."

Mr. Mathis Wackernagel is a Swiss-born sustainability advocate. He is the founder of the Global Footprint Network. He has a degree in mechanical engineering, and a Ph.D. in community and regional planning. So naturally he is an expert at such things.

Still, it would be more apt if his first name were ‘Malthus.’ (See below.)

Even as Earth’s capacity to host our ever-expanding species diminishes, the demands on "ecosystem services" — the term scientists use to describe Nature’s bounty — continues to grow.

"From soaring food prices to the crippling effects of climate change, our economies are now confronting the reality of years of spending beyond our means," Wackernagel said

Perhaps Mr. Wackernagel can point to one example where we have been crippled by climate change?

Still, wouldn’t it be nice if governments would worry about spending beyond their means? Especially on nonsense like ‘climate change.’

The United States is the biggest ecological deficit spender, according to an earlier calculation by the same group.

Naturally. By the way, notice that Mr. Wackernagel has decided to live in the US.

If all people adopted the American lifestyle — big house, two cars, huge per-capita energy consumption — the world’s population would need about five "Earths" to meet its needs.

By contrast, if everyone on Earth matched the average footprint of someone in India today, humanity would be using less than half the planet’s biocapacity.

Some of us are old enough to remember when India was held up as the most pathetic case of a nation in poverty – not as an ideal to strive for. How times have changed.

By the way, back in 1798 the Reverend Thomas Malthus predicted in his Essay on the Principle of Population that:

"The power of population is so superior to the power of the earth to produce subsistence for man, that premature death must in some shape or other visit the human race. The vices of mankind are active and able ministers of depopulation. They are the precursors in the great army of destruction, and often finish the dreadful work themselves. But should they fail in this war of extermination, sickly seasons, epidemics, pestilence, and plague advance in terrific array, and sweep off their thousands and tens of thousands. Should success be still incomplete, gigantic inevitable famine stalks in the rear, and with one mighty blow levels the population with the food of the world."

One of these professional doomsayers is bound to be right one of these days.

This article was posted by Steve on Wednesday, September 21st, 2011. Comments are currently closed.

9 Responses to “Humanity Falls Into Deep ‘Ecological Deficit’”

  1. River0 says:

    The perfect ploy for tyranny! “Do as we say or you and the planet are doomed! Never mind that our corruption, mismanagement, greed for power, arrogance, and utter ignorance stymied and strangled innovation and cultivation of resources. Just obey us now. We are gods, and we know far better than you what’s good for you!”

  2. proreason says:

    They never get tired of this crap, do they?

  3. David says:

    We’ll just borrow some more ecology from China. There problem solved Democrat style!

  4. bill148 says:

    You know, Malthus might be on to something, writing as he did back when our own enlightenment came to fruition with the Declaration of Independence and Constitution. I believe those were divinely inspired documents. I have come to see America as the last hope for mankind’s survival. The last bastion of strength and reason for God’s plan. With the evil islam being the antichrist in the whole scenario. Evil has always nipped at our heels as we seek the right way to live. Just look through history, I won’t do it for you. The petty demons of baal and isis,etc. being joined into one allah asshole by the first antichrist – mohammderinajar – remember legion? – 600 years after Jesus Christ, my Lord and Saviour. Since then its been a bunch of petty crap like napoleon, hitler, polpot – just to add to the background. No, now is when the proverbial stuff is hitting the proverbial fan. God is pissed off and just letting us know about it with various recent events

  5. BigOil says:

    Sure…humanity just ‘falls’ into ecological debt by merely existing.

    It is never oppressive and corrupt governments that create ecological damage. Take a stroll through a city in Mexico. View the putrid air and water behind the iron curtain and modern day China. Wade into the cesspools that masquerade as rivers in the paradise that is India. Travel to any third-world country on our purportedly dead planet.

    Of course – environmental whackos refuse to allow what is right in front of their face interfere with their ideology.

  6. Papa Louie says:

    Man’s ecological deficit is nothing that more CO2 can’t fix. Animals like plants. Plants like CO2. Humans like both animals and plants, and love using energy that puts out CO2. CO2 makes plants grow faster, which increases the planet’s biocapacity. If more CO2 also happens to warm the planet and increase the growing season, even better! It’s a win-win situation.

    The self-hating and God-hating left has been preaching overpopulation for hundreds of years, yet the population keeps expanding and the quality of life keeps improving. Now they want us to stop enjoying life, stop having children, and go back to the dire poverty of the stone age. What they really want is for us all to be as miserable as they are. But I’m content to let nature run its course. Nature is fully capable of reducing human population anytime it feels the need to do so. We certainly don’t need to create a man-made crisis to do it for her based on the neurotic predictions of gloom and doom coming from the left.

  7. beautyofreason says:

    “Humankind will slip next week into ecological debt…”

    As opposed to government debt, which Thomas Jefferson compared to a chain around one’s neck

    “having gobbled up in less then nine months more natural resources than the planet can replenish in a year, researchers said Tuesday.”

    What natural resources? This article has no details — just gloom. Due to modern agricultural practices an average acre of corn yields over twice as much as it did 50 years ago. But it seems like the green thumpers have a problem with the scientific advancements, such as pesticide use and modified crops that provide us with higher yields. They would rather we build miniature organic gardens on co-ops and live on what few, locally grown products are available per season. Go to little farmer’s markets in Soho or the Upper East Side and pick from the small gourmet “organics” priced up to 2 times the cost of other produce.

    Nobody is saying that unsustainable population doubling every 50 years or waste are good things, but the greens would have us living in the stone age. In the end though, it’s not about carbon. It’s about adding a few billion in job perks to for their green “initiatives.” Ban a few things that the libs disapprove of, like regular light bulbs and plastic bags. Put those greedy, fat, SUV-driving, fast food-loving Americans in their place. Regulate the unenlightened masses.

  8. sticks says:

    Yes Mr Wackenoodle food prices are soaring and the ecological component of that is tied directly to bat brained (sorry bats) wing nut idiots like yourself who wanted to use corn for fuel, didn’t even the Alligortor admit that was a bad idea?
    All that aside all this talk of ecological disaster is just a smoke screen for redistributing American money, I’m 100% positive Mr wackenoodle doesn’t want to go back to the days of living in a cave, wearing deerhide and killing little fuzzy bunnies to eat, I bet he likes Obammacare though.

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