Tuesday, January 04, 2011

The use of land

I have read estimates along this order:

1. The average American requires about 24 acres worth of land productivity to produce all the food, textile, wood, and similar land products, produce energy, and manage the garbage that he or she consumes in life.

By comparison, the average available land on the planet per person is something less than 5.

You can run a "footprint" that meets some international ecological footprint standards on "earthday.org"

*The model obviously has some biases, at least for North America - for example I suspect the presumption if I eat meat is that it's coming from some sort of factory/industrial-based production (with the resultant energy inputs) when, in fact, we each much of our own meat grown right on our little acreage. But, even so, the real consumption is in petro-based or supported things like cars, airplanes, and electricity (we have a lot of hyro-power here, but still the support, transmission, distribution, and access and parts to maintain those points is supported by fleets of trucks moving goods and services hither and thither).

2. Another estimate is that it takes about 9-10 acres of land to support the average New Yorker - even though they don't have the land and it's "out of sight" to them, it's still necessary. That's some "food for thought."

Time's a-comin' when this unsustainable life of luxury will finally bite us in the @ss. Some suggest the next 10 - 20 years.



Blogger Ρωμανός ~ Romanós said...

I think it is already beginning to bite us in the aff. What we perceive as the worldwide recession may be the first signs of it.

4:28 PM  
Blogger John said...

I agree. It is on its way, and it won't be pretty.

6:36 PM  
Blogger James the Thickheaded said...

Can we speak about the oceans? How about the depletion of the seas of eatable fish? Already many of the Asian seas have mostly jelly fish... now gargantuan in size... due to overfishing. Sushi is the worst ecological nightmare EVER. Not to mention... it's still bait IMHO.

7:31 PM  
Blogger Hilarius said...

Indeed, ocean fishing is a concern in many areas, although the collapse and restructuring of fish stocks is still quite mysterious (e.g., sardines in Monterey Bay - not gone forever as once thought, albeit not back like they were; Salmon runs in the PNW defying predictions this last year . . . ).

I wonder how the decline availability in cheap oil will affect fish stocks . . massive ocean fishing has been dependent on the availability of cheap fuel for years.

8:49 AM  

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