One Planet Is Enough
We often hear the story of humans voraciously exploiting the world’s resources and living way beyond Earth’s means. On “Earth Overshoot Day”, campaigners such as the Global Footprint Network claim that, by August 2, we have already exhausted this year’s supply of natural resources and Earth is now sliding into “ecological debt” for the rest of 2017.
For more than a decade, the World Wildlife Fund and other conservation organizations have performed complicated calculations to determine our total “ecological footprint” on the planet. In their narrative, population growth and higher standards of living mean that we are now using 1.7 planets and are depleting resources so quickly that by 2030, we would need two planets to sustain us. If everyone were to suddenly rise to American living standards, we would need almost five planets. The message is unequivocal – WWF tells us we face a looming “ecological credit crunch”, risking “a large-scale ecosystem collapse.”