Planet Earth in a tight spot.
Mankind is draining the earth’s resources so quickly the globe would be bled dry before the end of the century at this rate, a new report shows.
Humans are living outside their means, depleting natural resources like forests, air and water 50% faster than the planet can renew, according to the 2012 World Wildlife Fund’s “Living Planet Report” released this month.
If the trends aren’t reversed, by 2030 we’d need more than two Planet Earths to sustain human activity, according to the study.
“If we just do business as usual. . . we’re just going to continue moving in this direction. At some point, the earth’s going to just give out. We don’t know when. But that’s a pretty scary thing to think about,” said Colby Loucks, director of conservation science at WWF. “The question is, we don’t know what the tipping point is.”
According to research by the WWF the demand on the planet’s natural resources has doubled over the last 50 years, with most of the burden falling on poorer nations.
Wealthy countries can have up to five times the “ecological footprint” as low-income countries, because consumption is much higher.
The people in high-earning countries tend to eat more, eat processed foods, drive more and drive further, Colby said. And they’re often importing the resources for this lifestyle from low-income nations.
“If all of humanity lived like an average resident of Indonesia, only two-thirds of the planet’s biocapacity would be used,” the WWF report states. “If everyone lived like an average resident of the USA, a total of four Earths would be required to regenerate humanity’s annual demand on nature.”