RPubs - Exploring Ecological Footprint and BioCapacity
Ecological Footprint helps us measure the human demand being placed on the This report looks at China's Ecological Footprint in relation to its biocapacity. The difference between the biocapacity and Ecological Footprint of a region or reported type of Ecological Footprint, it is defined as the area used to support a. Ecological footprint and biocapacity. The view from planets to support. London's levels of High correlation between EF and house prices. Footprint per .
Environmental educators and activists have used the EF to raise awareness of unsustainable consumption patterns, often with the goal of encouraging a change in lifestyles and, less frequently, to promote awareness of wider structural forces driving such patterns.
Many online footprint calculators have appeared on nongovernmental organization Web sites with such goals in mind. Those calculators allow people to calculate their personal EF and to make comparisons with estimates of available biocapacity or to average footprints of other people locally and globally. Meanwhile, social scientists have used the EF as a comprehensive indicator of the ecological impacts of humans on the planet in order to test empirically different social theories of the forces driving those impacts.
Although EF analysis can lead to a radical critique of the current economic and social order, it has found increasing mainstream acceptance among businesses and governments. A number of national governments—such as those of Wales, Switzerlandthe United Kingdom, Japan, the United Arab Emirates, and the European Union as a whole—as well as metropolitan areas have also considered or embraced the concept. Critiques of the EF Despite its rapid ascent and widespread use, the EF has faced a wide range of criticism.
However, such aggregation requires simplification of a complex reality; for example, an assumption built into the EF is that technology is the same across the globe and through time.
Critics also argue that the EF methodology rewards more-intensive production methods that increase yields per unit of land in the short term but might actually be less sustainable in the long run—for example, accelerating land degradation. Similarly, organic farming methods with lower yields than conventional agriculture could appear to have a bigger footprint despite other ecological benefits.
Others argue that EF analysis is overly anthropocentric, focusing only on land and sea area that is useful to the human economy and failing to allocate space for the needs of other species.
Biocapacity - Wikipedia
Indeed, the EF does not measure changes in biodiversityfor which other indicators are needed. EF advocates acknowledge that it cannot include all significant environmental impacts, given the lack of data for some issues and the difficulty of converting some types of ecological demands, for which no regenerative capacity exists, into a measure of land area.
Among the key impacts not reflected in the EF are those related to toxic substancesgreenhouse gases other than carbon dioxide, and water consumption. The first set of standards for proper calculation and communication of the EF was produced inand continual revisions are occurring. A review in produced for the European Commission concluded that, although complementary sustainability indicators and further improvements in data quality and methodology are needed, the EF is a useful indicator of sustainable natural resource use that is easy to communicate and understand.
The more a person consumes, the larger that person's ecological footprint, but consuming more does not necessarily mean a better quality of life. A person who walks or takes public transportation has a smaller footprint than someone who commutes alone fifty miles to and from work in a car especially if that car only gets 15 miles to the gallon A vegetarian has a smaller footprint than someone who eats a lot of meat A house or office park with a small amount of lawn has a smaller ecological footprint than a house or office park with acres of lawn treated weekly with chemicals and water.
Indicator Evaluation This indicator was selected because gets at the heart of sustainability -- how much of the earth's resources does a person consume compared to the amount of resources available? In the short term, comparing ecological footprints of different people is a measure of intra-generational equity.
In the longer term, the ecological footprint is a indicator of whether future generations will be able to meet their needs. Carrying capacity of the community capital Natural capital - This indicator focuses our attention on the need to consider the limits of the resources and ecosystems available for supporting the human population of the world. This indicator also reflects the third part of natural capital, beauty of nature.
Social capital - This indicator is not directly linked to social carrying capacity. A small ecological footprint may only reflect less consumption and waste due to poverty. However, a community that intentionally sets out to reduce the need for automobiles by reducing sprawl or improving public transportation will also improve social connectedness as result.
Linkages - This indicator links economy, environment and society in one package. Our mainstream societal habits are characterized by working long hours to pay for timesaving appliances and single use products that are then added to the waste stream. Long term view - When we look at the footprint of the average North American, it is clear that we would exceed the carrying capacity of the earth if in the future, other populations adopted our average lifestyle.
Even with the current world population count it is clear that our patterns of consumption are not sustainable, and projected future populations make it dramatically less so. Understandable - This indicator converts relatively abstract concepts and large amounts of data relating to sustainability and carrying capacity into an easily visualized graphic representation.
Ways the Indicator Has Prompted Change The ecological footprint is a useful indicator for educating people about the extent to which human consumption is overtaking the ability of the earth to support life.
While there is a long way to go to before this becomes a widely accepted guideline for either personal or public decision making, it is nevertheless an excellent educational tool.