The Living Planet Report

A major weakness of most economic analysis is that once one gets away from the blackboard the real side of the economy is forgotten. Everything is considered in financial terms and people tend to assume unlimited financial resources.  We assume the potential for growth is unlimited.

Last week the WWF (World Wildlife Fund)  offered some evidence as to where the physical aspect of the economy is at with the release of it’s Living Planet Report. This report claims our ecological footprint exceeds the earths biocapacity by 50 percent and that by 2030 we will need two earths to support sustainable life on the planet.

Humanity is currently consuming renewable resources at
a faster rate than ecosystems can regenerate them and continuing to
release more CO2 than ecosystems can absorb.

If this is true, and there is probably some truth in it, then it must be having some impact on the world economy.  Probably some people would be experiencing a decline in their standard of living, resources would become more difficult to extract and therefore more expensive and there might even by a major recession.

Perhaps the real economic challenge of our time is to adjust our economy to cope with zero or even negative growth with a minimum of human suffering.

 

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One Response

  1. […] Recently we noted a report by the World Wildlife Fund that the world’s population is currently using resources at 150 per cent of the sustainable level. I wonder if we were using resources at 100 percent level about 1973?  February 16, 2011  Art Powell Categories: Economics Tags: economic growth, economic history, Economics, growth, prosperity, The Limits to Growth LikeBe the first to like this post. […]

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