Here population nearly doubled in 10 years, and home prices tripled and urban planning circles hailed the boom as the new America at the far exurban fringe. But others saw it as the residential embodiment of the Edward Abbey line that "growth for the sake of growth is the ideology of the cancer cell. Owners of 1 in 10 mortgages owe more than their houses are worth, and many just walk away.
Rees, The University of British Columbia Conventional wisdom suggests that because of technology and trade, human carrying capacity is infinitely expandable and therefore virtually irrelevant to demography and development planning.
By contrast, this article argues that ecological carrying capacity remains the fundamental basis for demographic accounting.
A fundamental question for ecological economics is whether remaining stocks of natural capital are adequate to sustain the anticipated load of the human economy into the next century. Since mainstream neoclassical models are blind to The use of ecological footprinting structure and function, they cannot even properly address this question.
The present article therefore assesses the capital stocks, physical flows, and corresponding ecosystems areas required to support the economy using "ecological footprint" analysis. This approach shows that most so-called "advanced" countries are running massive unaccounted ecological deficits with the rest of the planet.
Since not all countries can be net importers of carrying capacity, the material standards of the wealthy cannot be extended sustainably to even the present world population using prevailing technology.
In this light, sustainability may well depend on such measures as greater emphasis on equity in international relationships, significant adjustments to prevailing terms of trade, increasing regional self-reliance, and policies to stimulate a massive increase in the material and energy efficiency of economic activity.
Please address correspondence to Dr. According to Garrett Hardin"carrying capacity is the fundamental basis for demographic accounting.
Their vision of the human economy is one in which "the factors of production are infinitely substitutable for one another" and in which "using any resource more intensely guarantees an increase in output" Kirchner et al.
As Daly observes, this vision assumes a world "in which carrying capacity is infinitely expandable" and therefore irrelevant. Clearly there is great division over the value of carrying capacity concepts in the sustainability debate. This article sides solidly with Hardin.
I start from the premise that despite our increasing technological sophistication, humankind remains in a state of "obligate dependence" on the productivity and life support services of the ecosphere Rees, Thus, from an ecological perspective, adequate land and associated productive natural capital are fundamental to the prospects for continued civilized existence on Earth.
However, at present, both the human population and average consumption are increasing while the total area of productive land and stocks of natural capital are fixed or in decline.
These opposing trends demand a revival of carrying capacity analysis in sustainable development planning. The complete rationale is as follows: Carrying Capacity and Human Load An environment's carrying capacity is its maximum persistently supportable load Catton For purposes of game and range management, carrying capacity is usually defined as the maximum population of a given species that can be supported indefinitely in a defined habitat without permanently impairing the productivity of that habitat.
However, because of our seeming ability to increase our own carrying capacity by eliminating competing species, by importing locally scarce resources, and through technology, this definition seems irrelevant to humans.
Indeed, trade and technology are often cited as reasons for rejecting the concept of human carrying capacity out of hand. The reason for this becomes clearer if we define carrying capacity not as a maximum population but rather as the maximum "load" that can safely be imposed on the environment by people.
Human load is a function not only of population but also of per capita consumption and the latter is increasing even more rapidly than the former due ironically to expanding trade and technology. As Catton observes: As a result of such trends, load pressure relative to carrying capacity is rising much faster than is implied by mere population increases.
The Ecological Argument Despite our technological, economic, and cultural achievements, achieving sustainability requires that we understand human beings as ecological entities. Indeed, from a functional perspective, the relationship of humankind to the rest of the ecosphere is similar to those of millions of other species with which we share the planet.
The major material difference between humans and other species is that in addition to our biological metabolism, the human enterprise is characterized by an industrial metabolism.Due Diligence - various UK Land Trust sites.
The Land Trust is a charity committed to the long term sustainable management of open space that delivers environmental, social and economic benefit. The Ecological Footprint tracks the use of six categories of productive surface areas: cropland, grazing land, fishing grounds, built-up land, forest area, and carbon demand on land.
On the supply side, a city, state or nation’s biocapacity represents the productivity of its ecological assets (including cropland, grazing land, forest land. Hear how Scott Morrissey, Director of Environmental Services at Denver International Airport, manages day-to-day operations using a management system, which actively addresses environmental and sustainability issues.
"Ecological footprinting" is where researchers look at how much land, sea and other natural resources are used to produce what people consume - how many potatoes they eat, how much milk they drink.
Ever wondered how much “nature” your lifestyle requires?
You’re about to find out. The Ecological Footprint Quiz estimates the amount of land and ocean area required to sustain your consumption patterns and absorb your wastes on an annual.
"Show off your green side – it's easy and doesn’t cost the earth" Welcome to the Green Achiever Scheme - a scheme for Green Business If you are, or aspire to be, a Green Business with Green Credentials, why not show your customers, suppliers, shareholders and anyone that’s interested in your business, what you’re doing for the environment?