Thursday, October 30, 2008
World Facing Brutal Eco Crunch
29 October 2008, Wednesday
The US have the have the largest ecological footprint per person. Photo by WWF
The planet is headed for an extreme ecological "credit crunch," as demands on natural resources overreach what the Earth can sustain by almost a third, a new report issued by conservation groups show.
The Living Planet Report, which is the work of WWF, the Zoological Society of London and the Global Footprint Network, says 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 overdrawing on the agricultural land, forests, seas and resources of other countries to sustain them.
The countries with the biggest impact on the planet are the US and China, together accounting for some 40% of the global footprint. The US and United Arab Emirates have the largest ecological footprint per person, while Malawi and Afghanistan have the smallest.
"The events in the last few months have served to show us how it's foolish in the extreme to live beyond our means," said WWF's international president, Chief Emeka Anyaoku, as cited by BBC.
"Devastating though the financial credit crunch has been, it's nothing as compared to the ecological recession that we are facing."
"If our demands on the planet continue to increase at the same rate, by the mid-2030s we would need the equivalent of two planets to maintain our lifestyles," said WWF International director-general James Leape.
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