We would need 1.7 Earths to make our consumption sustainable

Article author: 
Denise Lu
Article publisher: 
Washington Post
Article date: 
6 May 2017
Article category: 
Our American Future
Article Body: 

... 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.
A country also has a biocapacity — that is, the country’s capacity to renew the resources demanded from its ecosystems. Because this measure is based on technology and land-management practices, biocapacity may change from year to year. The bigger a country’s biocapacity 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...
Of the countries running the highest ecological deficits, the United States has one of the highest biocapacities. This means that even though the country has a lot of resources, its consumption is still highly unsustainable...
Of the countries with the largest ecological reserves, most have biocapacities that are declining at a sharp rate. In other words, they may run into ecological deficits soon if the trend continues. In some countries, this can be attributed to a combination of rapid population growth and deforestation...
Even though the United States has been decreasing its ecological footprint, its consumption rate is still far from completely sustainable.



This article touches on ecological Carrying Capacity and the fact that most developed countries have outstripped the sustaining ability of their natural resources. (See the original article for several pertinent charts and maps.) The article also focuses on high consumption of developed countries.

But the article neglects to mention the other contributing factors in the fundamental environmental equation: population growth. Mass immigration is driving U.S. population to double within the lifetimes of children born today. Thus, in order to keep the same ecological impact that we have today, per capita consumption will have to be cut in half. Sort of like running full speed just to stay in place.

The fundamental ecological equation (I=PAT) is: Impact (I) = Population (P) x Affluence (A) x Technology (T). In other words, environmental impact is a product of total population times affluence (measured as per-capita consumption) multiplied by technological leverage that enables increased consumption.

It is unfortunate that articles such as this focus on only one component of the equation. The obvious question is: why is Congress intent upon doubling U.S. population via mass immigration - against the wishes of the American people?



Earth Day: A Time To Remember When Tightening The Border Topped The Green Agenda, Ian Smith, The Daily Caller, April 22, 2016

Sierra Club sells out on the immigration - population - environment connection for $100 million, SUSPS.org

Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) on United States Immigration Policy

Immigration, World Poverty and Gumballs, by Roy Beck, NumbersUSA:




CAIRCO Research

Population Driven to Double by Mass Immigration

Population and Immigration Data, Projections and Graphs - Colorado

Population and Immigration Data, Projections and Graphs - United States

Exponential growth, doubling time, and the Rule of 70

Fertility and Population Momentum