Posts Tagged ‘ecology’

Make you Fink on Friday

Never mind the economic deficit. What about the environmental one?

Today is Earth Overshoot Day [19th Aug], when we’ve consumed more natural resources than our biosphere can replace over a year

Earth Overshoot Day: ‘an estimate of the moment in the year when humanity has consumed more natural resources and created more waste than our biosphere can replace and safely absorb over a 12-month period.’ Photograph: Corbis

Two contradictory ideas shape UK politics. First, the argument for austerity, that the nation cannot and should not live beyond its financial means. Second, the notion that we can and must, in effect, live beyond our environmental means. That is why any increase in our spending and consumption is hailed as economic success.

Today, the world goes into ecological debt, or “overshoot” – an estimate of the moment in the year when humanity has consumed more natural resources and created more waste than our biosphere can replace and safely absorb over a 12-month period.

Since the 1970s we’ve been living beyond our means, going into ecological deficit before the end of each year. And, the day when we hit “overshoot” has been creeping ever earlier. This year it falls two days earlier than in 2012. It now takes about 18 months for the biosphere to compensate for a year’s worth of human consumption and waste. Conservatively, here in the UK we’re using the equivalent of three and a half times the natural resources we have as a nation. For a country like Japan the figure is seven times. Many low-consuming countries in Africa are ecological creditors. Indonesia has been a creditor, but rising consumption and deforestation are running down its natural assets and pushing it over the brink.

For how long we can get away with not balancing the ecological books is a question that exercises many scientific minds, if unfortunately few political and economic ones. It’s a bit like Jenga, the game with the tower of wooden blocks; you can keep taking them away for a while until, with a suspenseful amount of uncertainty, the whole thing collapses.

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jenga-towerThe tower is already teetering dangerously, how many more blocks can we remove before the tower collapses?

The monied are oblivious to the tremors. They are blind and cannot/will not see the wobbles that are about to bring doom to us as a race.

We have a choice, spend more and save the economy, or spend less and save the environment.

The equation is simple.


Ecuadorian-UN accord that puts ecology over oil drilling hailed as model for world

White-banded Swallows perching of a tree stump on the bank of Rio Tiputini, Yasuní National Park in Ecuador

23 September 2011 – An Ecuadorian accord to leave vast oil reserves, conservatively valued at $7.2 billion, untapped to protect biodiversity in a national park in return for half that amount from the international community was heralded at the United Nations today as a model in the fight to save the planet.

“It is not often that a government chooses sustainable development over easy money,” Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon told a high-level meeting on the Yasuní-ITT Initiative, under which the UN Development Programme (UNDP) and Ecuador agreed last year to set up a trust fund to protect the Yasuní National Park, a World Biosphere Reserve in the country’s Amazon region, with an estimated 846 million barrels of crude oil lying under it.

“The initiative is helping Ecuador move on multiple fronts towards achieving the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs),” he told the event, held on the sidelines of the General Assembly’s annual general debate in the presence of Ecuadorian President Rafael Correa.

“It is supporting indigenous livelihoods and culture. It is protecting biodiversity. It will help to avoid emissions of greenhouse gases. And it is showing the contribution that can be made through an innovative financial mechanism.”

Source: UN News Center Read more


Ecuador is one of the lesser known countries in South America, perched between Colombia and Peru.

With all that is going on in the world it is gratifying to see such a small country making the effort and putting the world’s major powers to shame and disgrace.

Ecuador is indeed a model for the rest of the world.

Let’s hope that others follow the leader.


Yasuní National Park

Such beautiful areas of the planet should be left… beautiful and not fall victim to man’s greed for power and money.

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