Humanity Outstripping Earth’s Resources, Biodiversity in Decline

Humanity Outstripping Earth’s Resources, Biodiversity in Decline

Print Friendly, PDF & Email

The world’s biodiversity is down 30% since the 1970s, according to a new report, with tropical species taking the biggest hit. And if humanity continues as it has been, the picture could get bleaker. Humanity is essentially using the resources of one and a half Earths every year, according to the 2012 Living Planet Report, produced by conservation agency the World Wildlife Fund (WWF).

Humanity is essentially in debt to Mother Earth, conservationists find. As of 2008, the most recent year for which data is available, humans were outstripping Earth’s biocapacity by 50%. Biocapacity is the amount of renewable resources, land, and waste absorption (such as sinks for carbon dioxide) the Earth can provide. In other words, it takes the planet 1.5 years to restore what humanity burns through in a year. The report scientists calculated a country’s ecological footprint by determining each nation’s productive land capacity and comparing it to the actual population and consumption per person. The United States has the fifth-largest ecological footprint of any nation on Earth, according to the report.

Social media & sharing icons powered by UltimatelySocial