Ecological crisis

By Meggan McCarthy

According to the New Economics Foundation, the world is in “ecological debt”, as all the natural resources available for this year have been depleted.The foundation has said that humans have been producing more waste, such as carbon dioxide, than the planet can absorb. We are also using up resources such as forests and fisheries faster than they can be regenerated. According to Dr Mathis Wackernagel, executive director of the Global Footprint Network, humanity is “dipping into our ecological reserves and borrowing from the future” from now onwards. The network calculates humanity’s ecological footprint every year. They do this by taking the demands humanity puts on the planet and then comparing it to the capacity of the Earth’s ecosystems to generate resources and absorb waste. The network has calculated that humans are currently using up the capacity of 1.4 planets, and consumption is increasing. According to the foundation, the failure to live within our ecological means is the cause of many of the most serious environmental concerns, including global warming, collapsing fisheries, and factors contributing to the current global food crisis.

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