Friday, December 29, 2006

Back to 1951

According to my curve fits, the world ecological footprint per capita for sustainability would be what it was in 1951 (about one acre per person); and we would have to reach that point between 2013 and 2017 to avoid casualties from over-consumption. Any improvements to the equivalent lifestyle would need to be zero-waste.

If we start reducing our footprint at the end of 2006, the annual rate of decrease in the footprint will need to be 14 percent; if we wait until the end of 2007, the required rate will be 17 percent; and if we wait until the end of 2008, the rate will be 21 percent. If we wait until the end of 2012, we will be unable to avoid casualties.

I did realize that what I was calling zero population was actually about what the population was projected to be in 1915, about one billion people. Although what happens when the population takes a nosedive can accurately be described as a crash, I can’t legitimately say that the population will drop to zero (though it could).

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