Providing for 7 billion. Or not.Leave a Comment
- After looking at data on quality of life and use of resources from some 150 countries, they found that no nation currently meets the basic needs of its citizens in a sustainable way.
- Only Vietnam came close to meeting both measures of providing the basics of a good life without excessive cost in resources.
- The United States provides a relatively high quality of life but fails on every measure of sustainability in the study. For example, it emits 21.2 metric tons of carbon dioxide per person per year, while the study’s sustainability threshold is 1.6 metric tons.
By John Schwartz Feb 15 2018 read full NY Times article here
Can we provide good lives for the seven billion people on Earth without wrecking the planet? Daniel O’Neill of the University of Leeds and colleagues asked this enormous question in a recent paper in the journal Nature Sustainability and on an accompanying website.
Their answer is uncomfortable. After looking at data on quality of life and use of resources from some 150 countries, they found that no nation currently meets the basic needs of its citizens in a sustainable way. The nations of the world either don’t provide the basics of a good life or they do it at excessive cost in resources, or they fail at both….
…Providing a good quality of life to everyone on the planet would require “two to six times the sustainable level for resources,” Dr. O’Neill said. “Something has to change.”
…The conclusions have caused a stir, especially in conservative circles. National Review denounced the paper as a call for “global wealth distribution,” saying “the goal clearly is a technocracy that will undermine freedom, constrain opportunity, not truly benefit the poor, and materially harm societies that have moved beyond the struggle for survival.”…