The year 1975 may turn out to be one of the most pivotal in history. At or around that time, the populations of other species, according to the World Wildlife Fund’s Living Planet Index, began to drop precipitously.
Meanwhile, the amount of bio-productive land consumed by humans (the ecological footprint) was eight billion global hectares and growing exponentially. By next year, that number will have doubled and the LPI may have fallen to half of its 1975 level.
If we could suddenly replace all of the land and other resources we have taken out of service to Nature along with the creatures we have killed, then with our larger population the average person would be consuming less than one and a quarter hectares, or half of today’s average value. It can’t be stressed enough that simply cutting back our present consumption by that much will only buy time until our own population peaks; we must actively repair or replace what we’ve taken already.