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Conservation Science for a Healthy Planet

We would need 1.7 Earths to make our consumption sustainable

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We would need 1.7 Earths to make our consumption sustainable by Dennis Lu, Washington Post, May 4, 2017

…The United States is one of the world’s biggest consumers, and U.S. policies can have global environmental effects. As of 2013, the world’s population would need 1.7 Earths to support its demands on renewable natural resources, according Global Footprint Network, a nonprofit organization that calculates human demands on the planet’s ecosystems.

Global Footprint Network measures human consumption relative to what the planet can regenerate with a measure called the ecological footprint. The footprint takes into account how much in biological resources, such as fishing grounds and forest land, are necessary to fulfill the consumption of a country and absorb its waste. This includes imports and excludes exports. The smaller a country’s footprint is, the better.

…Therefore, a country has an ecological deficit if its ecological footprint is greater than its biocapacity and ecological reserve if its biocapacity is greater….Though there are many solutions, the fastest way for a country to reduce its ecological footprint, according to Global Footprint Network, is to switch to greener energy sources. Even though the United States has been decreasing its ecological footprint, its consumption rate is still far from completely sustainable.

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