Thursday, March 11, 2004

Overconsumption

"Quality of life isn't the same as consumption and that beyond a certain point consumption makes us worse off, not better". 1

Our over-consumption in the UK can be shown by our Ecological Footprint. This means the amount of land needed to produce the resources we consume. There are 1.7 hectares available per person on the planet (is this including the oceans???). The worldwide average is 2.3. The UK figure is about 5, and the USA figure is about 10. (From the 1997 study ‘Ecological Footprints of Nations’ on the website www.bestfootforward.com)

"20 per cent of the Earth's population currently consumes over 80 per cent of available resources. Whilst most Westerners lead lives of unprecedented material comfort fuelled by spiralling consumption patterns, 1.3 billion people exist on less than US$1 per day." 2

"Compared to the average citizxen of India, the average US citizen uses 50 times more steel, 56 times more energy, 170 times more synthetic rubber, 250 times more motor fuel, and 300 times more plastic." 3

1. Roger Levett, 11 March 2004, A rave review from Roger Levett (published in EG magazine), http://www.amazon.co.uk/exec/obidos/ASIN/1853835110/ref=ed_ra_of_dp/202-1775575-1928651.
2. Earthscan, Tomorrow's World Summary, http://www.earthscan.co.uk/asp/bookdetails.asp?key=1918.
3. Derrick Jensen, March 2004. Most discussion of population misses the point. The earth simply cannot support our lifestyle, The Ecoligist.