Problems

This page is under development. Check back in the next couple of weeks for loads more about the many issues that this blog addresses. But here’s an introduction of sorts…

This graph indicates the earth’s capacity, and the growth in demand for resources over the last forty years. As you can see, we currently need our planet to be larger by about a quarter to sustain our current lifestyle. (Some resources replenish themselves every year, which is why it’s possible to ‘overshoot’ the limits of the earth in the graph.)

In other words, the earth cannot afford our lifestyle. We’re using it up.

Secondly, the earth’s resources are unevenly distributed. If the earth’s resources were divided into equal portions, the average Briton uses three times their share. We have 1% of the world’s population and use 3% of its resources. Sustainability is an environmental issue, but it’s also a matter of justice and equal rights.

“Put simply, the earth cannot afford our lifestyle. No, the answer is clear: we must cut back our standard of living if there is ever to be anything approaching a just distribution of the world’s resources.” – Richard Foster

16 comments

  1. cant we plant bio plant tree thingys in the desert,it can be done.so cant people even consider that, then cut down the rainforest, which we acually need!

    1. We actually need!?
      What about the millions of creatures that live there and the indigenious people.
      What we need is less people there are too many greedy self absorbed westerners in the world consuming the planet and i suspect you are one of them.

  2. Excellent clear description of the current situation (and note the situation has been this way for quite a while now).

    Well done.

  3. We actually need!?
    What about the millions of creatures that live there and the indigenious people.
    What we need is less people there are too many greedy self absorbed westerners in the world consuming the planet and i suspect you are one of them.

    +1

  4. Hey, where are you getting a measure of demand in units of ‘Earths’? chart doesn’t mean anything without a definition and source for this.

  5. What are you opinions on the sustainability of the agriculture/meat industry? I’ve seen several vegan documentaries claiming these areas are actually our greatest source of CO2 emissions and least sustainable. (I used to work in oil and gas, so that made me feel better…!)

    1. Yes, the meat industry is a major source of emissions, and one of the most neglected. Fossil fuels are still a bigger problem, and some of the documentaries exaggerate the impact of meat in my experience – but it’s definitely something we need to look into. I’ve written quite a lot about it, as there are all sorts of solutions. You’ll find lots of posts here: https://makewealthhistory.org/tag/meat/

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