Ecological Footprint Revisited

Just an update from my post yesterday: Since I have many non-US readers, I’ll point out that the site claims that the average “ecological footprint” for people living in the US is 25. So I’m at least below average for where I live, though we have a pretty high footprint in general.

Really, I kinda think this site is mostly a silly scare tactic to get people thinking about how much they consume and impact the environment. Which is a good thing, of course, but their methods leave a bit to be desired.

According to my score (the lower of the two), if everyone lived like me, we would need 3.9 planets. Jasper lives in The Netherlands, and while their average much lower than in the US, he even overshoots it by quite a bit.

They claim that the actual per-person resource availability (on a global scale) is 1.8. That means in order to have a stable ecology, the actual worldwide average needs to be 1.8. I’ll admit that I’m not as eco-friendly as I could be, but I’m by no means a huge offender (by local standards, anyway). That means there are plenty of people “worse” than I am. If that’s truly the case, shouldn’t the planet be an uninhabitable wasteland by now?

There’s a pretty in-depth FAQ list about the footprint quiz. They seem pretty serious about pushing its accuracy, and actually claim that they’re being conservative. Since I really don’t have the time or inclination to research this properly, I can only take it with a grain of salt. If anyone is interested enough to look into it and comment here as to what all of this means and how these numbers are calculated (and why we aren’t all dead yet), I’d be curious to hear it.