- "We lose four acres a minute, 6,000 acres a day
and 2.19 million acres annually caused by population growth in the USA."
Mike Matz, Denver Post "Losing Spaces"
- In this series, let's create a discussion where none
exists thus far in the media or general public. Today, our topic stems
from human impact on the planet, called 'ecological footprint'. You may
investigate several websites to determine your own personal footprint.
- As the United States adds 3.1 million humans annually-on
its way to 100 million added persons by 2035, what kind of a world can
we expect for ourselves, the animals and plants that share this planet
with us and our children's future?
- What constitutes an ecological footprint? What about
the United States? How can it moderate its ecological footprint in order
to remain a sustainable civilization? What constitutes America's ecological
- "According to the Footprints of Nations the
ecological foot print of one average American is 10.3 hectares or 25.45
acres. That is five city blocks plus about two lots (using 5 acre blocks
divided into 24 lots). That is how much land it takes to supply all the
energy, food, paper, building materials, and consumer goods to keep one
average person living the life to which he or she has grown accustomed.
By contrast the ecological footprint of average world citizen is 2.8 hectares
or 6.92 acres. That is one city block plus about three lots. In India the
average person uses about 1.98 acres. That means that about nine city lots
supplies all that the average Indian survives on." www.allspecies.org ;
- You may not like this figure because it accelerates beyond
reason: America's average ecological footprint equals a low of 19.4 acres
of land and as high as 25.45 acres by some estimates.
- Find out your own footprint: http://www.footprintnetwork.org/en/index.php/GFN/page/personal_footprint/
- If everyone enjoyed the ecological footprint of an American,
it would take 5.1 Earths to maintain such a consumptive, pollution producing,
wasteful and prolific lifestyle.
- Top experts estimate that an average Ethiopian human
being takes up .4 acres of land in order to feed and house him or herself.
Such an agrarian lifestyle remains simple, bound to the natural resources
of the land and does little harm. However, when we take Ethiopia's current
82.2 million population-and add the projected 40 million net gain by 2050
to equal 100.2 million people-the 'ecological footprint' grows beyond their
'carrying capacity' of a finite landmass. The accumulative effect of population
growth overwhelms their carrying capacity. Result: water shortages, crowding,
starvation, famine, war and disease on a high level!
- CAN THE UNITED STATES PROTECT ITSELF FROM SUCH A FATE
NOW FACING 18 MILLION PEOPLE THAT STARVE TO DEATH ANNUALLY AROUND THE PLANET?
- One of the other aspects of America's accelerating ecological
footprint: it impacts the natural world. It creates mass extinction of
animals and plants that share this planet with us.
- Right now, via human encroachment on habitat, in other
words, outright destruction of wilderness, we cause the extinction of 250
animals every year, around 2,500 every decade. (Source: U.S. Department
of Interior) Thus, by 2050, at our current rate of growth, we will cause
the extinction of 10,000 living species. Remember that extinction finishes
that creature's species forever.
- How does that happen? When we destroy land at such an
astounding rate of speed, the other animals cannot adapt nor can they retreat.
Let's take 100 million people X's the lowest bid on American ecological
footprint within 25 years: 100,000,000 added people times 19.4 acres of
land destroyed for each person. That equals 1.94 billion acres of land
must be destroyed to support that added 100 million people.
- Where does it end since U.S. population projections show
our country doubling from 312 million in 2011 to 600 million within 70
years or less?
- The question grows: does anyone see a problem here?
If not, what kind of funny weed do you smoke? How intoxicated can you
be? How zoned out on the TV?
- "How would you describe the difference between modern
war and modern industry-between say, bombing and strip mining, or between
chemical warfare and chemical manufacturing? The difference seems to be
only that in war the victimization of humans is directly intentional and
in industry it is "acceptable" as a "trade-off." Were
the catastrophes of Love Canal, Bhopal, Chernobyl, and the Exxon Valdez
episodes of war or of peace? They were in fact, peacetime acts of aggression,
intentional to the extent that the risks were known and ignored."
- If we look at Mother Nature, she and her creatures cannot
combat human fecundity. She cannot 'reason' with us, but she will deal
with us at some point. She kills 18 million humans annually in 2010 and
every year via starvation and starvation related diseases. Can you imagine
what She will do as we add another 2.5 to 3.0 billion by mid century?
- The United States, her citizens and leaders need to examine
what direction this civilization intends to take? Toward endless growth
and ultimate environmental destruction-or toward a sustainable and survivable
future in the 21st century. We cannot accomplish that intention unless
we take action to reduce our 'ecological footprint' today.
- See: http://myfootprint.org/en/your_food_footprint/
- "Imagine a country which employs the principles
of personal responsibility, freedom and accountability for future generations.
Everything you do-counts! If you do nothing, that counts likewise. When
you read sobering information, do you want to give up or fall apart? Or,
do you want to engage like Thomas Jefferson, Ben Franklin, George and Martha
Washington, John and Abigail Adams, Lincoln, Susan B. Anthony, Dr. Martin
Luther King, Oprah, Barbara Jordan, John Muir and other Americans. You
represent the Jefferson's, Oprah's and Dr. King's of the 21st century.
Consider it your honor and privilege to become a part of the solutions.
Engage the present to change the future! Become an agent of the change
you wish to see." --FW