fitting into place (or not): the ecological footprint martha rosemeyer eco ag/eco design january 8,...

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  • Slide 1
  • Fitting into Place (or not): The Ecological Footprint Martha Rosemeyer Eco Ag/Eco Design January 8, 2004
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  • Wackernagel and Reese, Our Ecological Footprint
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  • General Concept of sustainability zSatisfying the needs of present generations without compromising the needs of future generations. Bruntland Commission 1987 zSo broad that it is devoid of operational significance zHow do we know that progress is being made toward sustainability?
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  • Measurement of how much we do or dont fit into place, an indicator of sustainability zWe want to measure the ability to consume sustainably in a number of different categories yfood yshelter ytransport ygoods and services zQuestion becomes how to aggregate these measurements
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  • Characteristics of an indicator of sustainability zRelatively easy to measure zCould be repeated zSensitive zCorrespond to level of aggregation that is appropriate zDeveloped in a participatory manner
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  • Concept of Ecological Footprint The quantity of bioproductive land that is required to support current consumption food, housing, transport, consumer goods, services Includes land needed for absorption of waste Wackernagel and Reese, Our Ecological Footprint
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  • Assumptions zThe data for resource consumption and waste present and accessible zWe have the data that allows conversion from these various categories to one currency, e.g. land zDoes not deal with pollution beyond carbon dioxide
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  • US Ecological Footprint- 2001 Redefining Progress website Note: new fishing numbers Total.7 5.4 0 5.2 0 4.3 0 5.8 0 2.8.7 23.5
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  • zConsumption in over 60 categories zAdd imports and subtract exports zResource use and waste emissions are expressed in land area required -- one unit
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  • Ecological footprints of nations - 1999 data zUS 24 acres zCanada 22 acres zSwitzerland 12.5 zGermany 10 acres zItaly 9 acres zChina 4 acres zIndia 2 acres Redefining Progress website 2002
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  • Energy land Land needed to absorb CO 2 Less 35% absorbed into ocean 2.47 acre/1 ha acre = football field
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  • Crop and range land zProductive land available for growing feed, oil, fiber, rubber zMost land of all categories zUnderestimates environmental effects zEffect of diet y0.78 ha/T (vegetarian) vs. 2.1 ha to produce 1T of animal-based food ydepends on how it is grown- high energy and agrochemical or low
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  • Forest use zFuelwood zFiber zPaper
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  • Transport
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  • Fishing zUse of biologically productive part of ocean (10% of ocean) zTotal FAO fish catch, including fish for fishmeal and 25% bycatch
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  • How can the ecological footprint be used? zGlobal scale zNational level zMunicipalities, e.g. Thurston Co. zHousehold/personal scale zIndividual items: tomatoes grown in greenhouse vs. in the field
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  • Global
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  • Overshoot Growth beyond carrying capacity or when demand exceeds ecological supply
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  • Humanitys Ecological Footprint- 20-30% larger than is sustainable
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  • zOnly 1.9 ha or 4.7 acres of biologically productive space per person on Earth zWorld average is 2.3 ha or 5.6 acres
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  • Recognition Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, July 2002 Concludes that since 1980s have exceeded regenerative capacity of biosphere 1999- 20% overshoot
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  • Global Ecological Demand over time in six categories Wackernagel et al. 2002 Energy footprint huge and growing!
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  • National EF with capacity and deficit
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  • Canadian E F Impact of 5 categories on yenergy, ydegradation ygarden ycrop ypasture yforest
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  • 1991 data About 1 acre
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  • Regional E F Lower Fraser River Valley BC zproblem can be trade
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  • Ecological Footprint of Thurston County According to new calculations that more accurately account for CO 2 emissions, Thurston County's ecological footprint is even bigger than reported in our 1997 Indicator Update. At 10.3 hectares (25.4 acres) per capita, sustaining our current population requires a land area ten times the size of Thurston County. At projected growth rates, we'll require one and a half times that amount of land to maintain our current quality of life unless many more of us redefine what quality of life means, adopt an ethic of voluntary simplicity, and radically reduce our consumption. --Dr. Paula Swedeen, Sustainable Community Roundtable
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  • Comparing systems Greenhouse vs. field grown (10x greater)
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  • Personal Calculation of individual ecological footprint
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  • Opportunity for personal reflection zAssignment due next Thursday, January 15.


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