Ecological footprint formula

Ecological Footprints – a good idea gone bad
May 21, 2016 – 07:21 am

Guest Post by Willis Eschenbach

In “Another day, overshot to hell” Anthony Watts commented on the “Overshoot Day” promoted by Mathis Wackernagel and the Global Footprint Network (GFN). This is based on the idea of the “ecological footprint”. Your “ecological footprint” (EF) is how many acres (hectares) of land it takes to support you, to grow the grain for your bread and the timber for your house and so on. It’s a simple and visual way to measure our impact on the planet.

Unfortunately, the particular form of the EF as advanced by Mathis Wackernagel and the GFN contains three fatal flaws. It wildly underestimates the available rain-fed cropland. It assumes that people in Britain farm like people in Africa. And it arbitrarily assigns huge weighting to CO2.

Earth’s Overdraft Notice

On August 21, we exceed nature’s budget

It has taken humanity less than nine months to exhaust its ecological budget for the year, according to Global Footprint Network calculations.

Today, humanity reaches Earth Overshoot Day: the day of the year in which human demand on the biosphere exceeds what it can regenerate. As of today, humanity has demanded all the ecological services – from filtering CO2 to producing the raw materials for food – that nature can regenerate this year. For the rest of the year, we will meet our ecological demand by depleting resource stocks and accumulating greenhouse gases in the atmosphere.

“If you spent your entire annual income in nine months, you would probably be extremely concerned, ” said Global Footprint Network President Mathis Wackernagel. “The situation is no less dire when it comes to our ecological budget. Climate change, biodiversity loss, deforestation, water and food shortages are all clear signs: We can no longer finance our consumption on credit. Nature is foreclosing.”

First, the mandatory disclosure of personal interests.

Mathis Wackernagel was the co-developer of the idea of the “ecological footprint”. He has since built it into a business called the Global Footprint Network (GFN), licensing out the software to do the calculations. From 2001 to about 2005 I discussed these issues both in person and by email with Mathis. I invite him to respond on this thread, and I’m sure that I speak for Anthony when I say that he is more than welcome to write a guest post for WUWT. Onwards to the issues.

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Can anyone tell me what the formula for the ecological footprint is? | Yahoo Answers

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