Mankind Is Using Up Global Resources Faster Than Ever

Published on Monday, August 16, 2010 by the Telegraph/UK

Mankind Is Using Up Global Resources Faster Than Ever

The growing world population and increasing consumption has pushed the world into ‘eco-debt’ a month earlier this year, according to the latest statistics on global resources.

by Louise Gray

Think tank the New Economics Foundation (NEF) look at how much food, fuel and other resources are consumed by humans every year. They then compare it to how much the world can provide without threatening the ability of important ecosystems like oceans and rainforests to recover.

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This year the moment we start eating into nature’s capital or ‘Earth Overshoot Day’ will fall on 21st August, a full month earlier than last year, when resources were used up by 23rd September.

Andrew Simms, Policy Director at NEF, blamed increased consumption. 

He said people in developing countries like China are consuming more meat and demanding cars and other energy-intensive goods. Even with green developments and energy efficiency, rich countries are also consuming more as individuals demand the latest technology, food fad or car.

He explained that the earlier humans use up Earth’s resources, the more strain is put on resources, forcing up fuel prices and driving climate change. Ultimately ecosystems like fisheries and even the Earth’s climate system will suffer and future generations will experience food shortages and rising global temperatures.

Mr Simms called for a transition to a more sustainable way of living to prevent poverty and starvation in the future.

“The banking crisis taught us the danger of a system that goads us to live beyond our means financially,” he said. “A greater danger comes from a consumer culture and economic policy that pushes us to live beyond our means ecologically.”

© 2010 The Telegraph

5 Comments »

  1. 1
    David Says:

    This, of course, flies in the face of the fact that you could fit all the people on earth comfortably into a space the size of the Texas and cultivate the rest of the world to produce enough food for everyone sustainably. Giving each person 1085 sq. ft. So every family of four could get 4500 sq. ft. Admittedly, this is like having one massive subdivision, but get the point. The earth is vastly able to serve the needs of mankind without much fear of using up everything. If you ever took physics you know that matter can neither be created nor destroyed (except, of course, by God).

  2. 2
    chrisy58 Says:

    ” If you ever took physics you know that matter can neither be created nor destroyed (except, of course, by God).” (David said)

    I never took a physics class. lol

    The climate is changing as one can feel and see the changes that are coming upon us because of climate change. Climate change is real. The only debate is if man is adding to the problem or if it is a natural change?

    I think man adds to the problem by our actions. We blast away whole mountains with mountaintop removal mining for coal. Who are we that we can think we can destroy the beautiful creation of our mountains. If we are truly being good caregivers of the planet as I feel God commands us to be, than how do we excuse allowing men for their greed to destroy God’s creation by blasting whole mountains away?

    We men add to the problems of the ocean by overfishing, creating dead zones in the ocean where no life can exist because of the use of chemicals in farming that get into the ocean every Summer in the gulf of Mexico. Our oceans have more acid in them which is adding to the killing of the beautiful reefs. There are more and more beaches being closed to swimming because of the unsafe levels of toxins in the water. When I lived in MA I don’t remember the beaches being closed for Summer as much as they are now.

    I just believe that we as human beings can and should try and live in such a way as to make sure that future generations will inherit a planet that is healthy. I worry that we are leaving future generations a planet that will make their lives difficult because of extreem weather, not being able to grow the crops we have now, and not having enough drinking water for all the people alive on the planet. I believe my concerns are valid.

    Hope you have a nice day David. I have to go to one of my doctor’s today to discuss my meds. There is one place in Scotland that I would love to go too. I will check it out some more, but the thing that interests me is the woman into holistic healing and everything there is organic. I don’t know if I can go because of several reasons but one of the biggest reasons is my sweet Benji has seperation anxity when he is away from me and they don’t allow dogs. I don’t know how he will do one night away from me when I go to the hospital to have my thyroid taken out because of the cancer cells. Just take one day at a time and try to do the best I can everyday with the tools I am given in life.

  3. 3
    David Says:

    You said “Climate change is real, the debate is if man is adding to the problem…” I absolutely agree.
    Who are we to…? We are God’s creation. All of the earth was made for our dominion. God reveals to us how to use ‘stuff’, whether it’s eggs or coal. Eggs don’t take much time to make, coal takes a long time. Who says we’re destroying God’s creation? Who are we to think we can ‘destroy’ God’s creation? We can’t. We even try to do that when we allow God’s children to be murdered. Do we ever really destroy something God made? I don’t think so. You speak of overfishing, but when the particular fish population becomes scarce, prices go up and people like me choose to eat more plentiful fish, so then the other population will go up again. Nature is self regulating. Dead zones? There’s no such thing. Something can live there, and start the process again. There’s even crabs and shrimp and plankton that can live in sulfurous vents in the ocean. And did you know that microbes are eating up all the oil spilled by BP in the Gulf? At God’s pace.

    I absolutely believe we should police ourselves. Conservation means intelligent use. But the earth is vast, and we really don’t know all the resources that are in her. And as things and people die, they return to ash, and pressure makes more/different fuel. Did you know that Everest, at one time, was no more than a hill? That the Applalachians were the height of the Rockies now? Did you know that the ‘pitch’ that used to be used to seal cracks in ocean vessels came from tar balls that were found on the beach? Just consider, we cannot control God’s creation, we can only use it.

    God bless Chrisy.

  4. 4
    chrisy58 Says:

    David,

    Once again we will have to agree to disagree, lol. It is ok, as I have a lot of people that I say that with,lol.

    Oh, I have been watching a little more of Glen Beck. I think he has a strong Christian faith. He is not afraid to say we need to pray to God about what is going on. So many are afraid to say God’s name let alone we should be praying for our nation.

    I was watching re-runs of little house on the parrie and they showed the family praying. I remember the Waltons too had praying to God and in the 70’s and 80’s they had a good concept of God on tv. There was touched by an angel and the other show of Michael Landons where they travel around. Today it seems like God is in a negative way in shows and movies. Why has God suddenly become a bad word and those of us who have a strong Catholic/ Christian faith are made out as haters who hate? That isn’t right! We don’t hate others but love God and try to live our lives the best way we can to reflect our faith and love in God.

    I remember the charmed ones and that represented the Pagan faith. It was a little out of touch, but all in all I thought it was a good show. Why can’t all religions be represented in a good way. Why do they have to be made out to be crazy just because they have a strong faith?

    Do you believe in God’s Judgement? I do. I believe that if we don’t follow him or be good caregivers of the planet and just allow our greed to take and take and take without putting anything back that yes, we could run out of all the resources as a judgement against us. If we as man refuse to act in the way that God wants us to act then he will judge us and we won’t like what is coming down the pike.

    I believe God is going to judge us for destroying the planet by mountaintop removal mining, over fishing to the point that some fish are no longer there. I remember growing up in CA we had abolonie( sp) and it was overfished as it was so good. Then one day the first was almost extint and so they didn’t allow people to fish for it anymore. It has been over 30 years and one still can’t order abolonie on a menu and if you can get it the cost is very expensive. God will let man destroy himself for our greed and sin. As I said we have to agree to disagree. You seem to think that man can do anything they want and that God will not make us suffer from the effects of that sin. I think we are starting to see the effects of our sin and if we don’t change our behavior we will continue to see more and more bad things coming down the pike toward us.

  5. 5
    David Says:

    Chrisy, I never said we can do what we want. We’re not God’s spoiled children, though we are spoiled by God’s infinite generosity. We will be held accountable, absolutely. What I said is that God will not let us destroy the earth. We may run out of oil and have to find another fuel, but according to the principal I started with, nothing is ever destroyed. It becomes something else, which is useful for doing something else, and so on.

    If it helps any, every generation has said that “this” generation is terrible, we should look to the past to find the way to live in the future. It’s never true. We all always live in an imperfect world, and do the best we can with the gifts God gives us.


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