Category

Ecological Deficit Day

New Study: USA demands twice the amount its ecosystems can provide

By | Ecological Deficit Day | No Comments

USA_farmhouse_eikosphere

July 14 marks the date the United States has busted its annual ecological budget in 2015, utilizing more resources and services than U.S. ecosystems can regenerate within the full year, according to a new report released by Global Footprint Network, an international sustainability think tank with offices in North America, Europe, and Asia.

The report, “State of the States: A New Perspective on the Wealth of Our Nation,” details the Ecological Footprint and resource availability of 50 states and the District of Columbia. Created in collaboration with Earth Economics in Tacoma, Washington, the report finds that resource consumption and availability varies dramatically state by state.

Highlights from the report include:

  • The population of the United States is using twice the renewable natural resources and services that can be regenerated within its borders.
  • The states with the largest per-person Ecological Footprints are Virginia, Maryland, and Delaware.
  • The states with the smallest per-person Ecological Footprints are New York, Idaho, and Arkansas.
  • Alaska, Texas, and Michigan are the most resource-abundant states based on biocapacity, a measure of bioproductive land. (See map below.)
  • The states with the least biocapacity are Rhode Island, Delaware, and Arizona.
  • California, Texas, and Florida have the highest ecological deficits. A state runs an ecological deficit when its demand for resources (Ecological Footprint) exceeds what nature can regenerate (biocapacity) within the state borders. An ecological deficit is possible because states can import goods, overuse their resources (for instance by overfishing and overharvesting forests), and emit more carbon dioxide into the atmosphere than can be absorbed by their own forests.
  • Alaska, South Dakota, and Montana have the greatest ecological reserves. A state has an ecological reserve when its biocapacity exceeds its Ecological Footprint.

“As both domestic and global pressures on nature’s resources increase, it is more important than ever to manage them carefully in order to ensure the most resilient future for our country and its states,” says Mathis Wackernagel, president of Global Footprint Network and co-creator of the Ecological Footprint. “We strongly believe it is possible to live within the means of nature, without sacrificing human well-being. But doing so requires decision-makers to make strategic investments in infrastructure and our natural capital and set policies aimed at conserving our planet’s resources.”

Learn more about the “State of the States” Report at www.footprintnetwork.org/states.

 

 

 

Photo courtesy of Catherine Cunningham/Nature’s Reflection Photography. 20% of net sales from print purchases will be donated to Global Footprint Network with coupon code GFN2015.

June 30: India Ecological Deficit Day

By | Ecological Deficit Day | One Comment

India_656

June 30th marks the ecological deficit day of India in 2015 . The nation’s demand for food, timber and carbon dioxide absorption now exceeds what the nation’s ecosystems can renew over the full year, according to Global Footprint Network’s 2015 National Footprint Accounts. It would take two Indias to support India residents’ Ecological Footprint.

When a nation like India is in ecological deficit it meets demand by importing, liquidating its own ecological assets and/or using the global commons by emitting carbon dioxide into the atmosphere. See how much nature India has and how much its residents use in the figure below:

blog_india_timeseries

Indians consistently have one of the lowest per capita Ecological Footprints in the world, among the lowest 15% of all countries for 2011. The cropland and forest Footprints were the largest components of India’s overall Ecological Footprint until the late 1980s, when the carbon Footprint exceeded the forest Footprint, and the late 2000s, when carbon exceeded the cropland Footprint.

Photo courtesy of Catherine Cunningham/Nature’s Reflection Photography. 20% of net sales from print purchases will be donated to Global Footprint Network with coupon code GFN2015.

Germans Demand Resources Equivalent of 2.1 Germanys

By | Ecological Deficit Day | No Comments

June 22 marks Germany’s Ecological Deficit Day. The nation’s demand for food, timber and carbon dioxide absorption now exceeds what the nation’s ecosystems can renew over the full year, according to Global Footprint Network’s 2015 National Footprint Accounts. It would take 2.1 Germanys to support German residents’ Ecological Footprint.

When a nation like Germany is in ecological deficit it meets demand by importing, liquidating its own ecological assets and/or using the global commons by emitting carbon dioxide into the atmosphere. See how much nature Germany has and how much its residents use in the figure below:

Germany

Germany appears to be closing its ecological deficit, primarily by reducing its per capita carbon Footprint and increasing crop biocapacity at the same time.

June 14: Portugal Ecological Deficit Day

By | Ecological Deficit Day | No Comments

Portugal_656

June 14 marks Portugal’s Ecological Deficit Day. The nation’s demand for food, timber and carbon dioxide absorption now exceeds what the nation’s ecosystems can renew over the full year, according to Global Footprint Network’s 2015 National Footprint Accounts. It would take 2.2 Portugals to support Portuguese residents’ Ecological Footprint.

When a nation like Portugal is in ecological deficit it meets demand by importing, liquidating its own ecological assets and/or using the global commons by emitting carbon dioxide into the atmosphere. See how much nature Portugal has and how much its residents use in the figure below:

Portugal

May 19: Ecological Deficit Day of Greece

By | Ecological Deficit Day | No Comments

Greece_656

May 19 marks the ecological deficit day of Greece. The nation’s demand for food, timber and carbon dioxide absorption now exceeds what the nation’s ecosystems can renew over the full year, according to Global Footprint Network’s 2015 National Footprint Accounts. It would take 2.6 Greeces to support Greek residents’ Ecological Footprint.

When a nation like Greece is in ecological deficit it meets demand by importing, liquidating its own ecological assets and/or using the global commons by emitting carbon dioxide into the atmosphere. See how much nature Greece has and how much its residents use in the figure below:

Greece

May 14: Ecological Deficit Increases in China

By | Ecological Deficit Day | No Comments

China_656

May 14 marks China’s Ecological Deficit Day. The nation’s demand for food, timber and carbon dioxide absorption now exceeds what the nation’s ecosystems can renew over the full year, according to Global Footprint Network’s 2015 National Footprint Accounts. It would take 2.7 Chinas to support Chinese residents’ Ecological Footprint.

When a nation like China is in ecological deficit, it meets demand by importing, liquidating its own ecological assets and/or using the global commons by emitting carbon dioxide into the atmosphere. See how much nature China has and how much its residents use in the figure below:

China

The Chinese have maintained a steady per capita biocapacity over time predominantly by steadily increasing total crop biocapacity (more than triple since 1961). The increasing ecological deficit is primarily a result of an increased Ecological Footprint, the majority of which comes from the carbon Footprint. China’s balance of trade is increasingly shifting towards being a net importer of biocapacity.

Photo courtesy of Catherine Cunningham/Nature’s Reflection Photography. 20% of net sales from print purchases will be donated to Global Footprint Network with coupon code GFN2015.

United Kingdom Sees Ecological Footprint Decline

By | Ecological Deficit Day | No Comments
UK_flickr_656

Photo by Natesh Ramasamy from Flickr

April 30 marks the ecological deficit day of the United Kingdom. The nation’s demand for food, timber and carbon dioxide absorption now exceeds what the nation’s ecosystems can renew over the full year, according to Global Footprint Network’s 2015 National Footprint Accounts. It would take three U.K.s to support U.K. residents’ Ecological Footprint.

When a nation like the U.K. is in ecological deficit it meets demand by importing, liquidating its own ecological assets and/or using the global commons by emitting carbon dioxide into the atmosphere. See how much nature the U.K. has and how much its residents use in the figure below:

United-Kingdom_600

The drop in the U.K.’s Ecological Footprint in recent years is likely related to the recession.

The majority of the U.K.’s biocapacity, 48 percent, is cropland, which has more than doubled since 1961.

 

April 13: Ecological Deficit Day of Switzerland

By | Ecological Deficit Day | No Comments

Switzerland_656

April 13 marks the ecological deficit day of Switzerland. The nation’s demand for food, timber and carbon dioxide absorption now exceeds what the nation’s ecosystems can renew over the full year, according to Global Footprint Network’s 2015 National Footprint Accounts. It would take 3.5 Switzerlands to support Swiss residents’ Ecological Footprint.

When a nation like Switzerland is in ecological deficit it meets demand by importing, liquidating its own ecological assets and/or using the global commons by emitting carbon dioxide into the atmosphere. See how much nature Switzerland has and how much its residents use in the figure below:

Switzerland_600

Switzerland has a large carbon footprint as a percentage of total Ecological footprint, particularly compared to other European countries.

Forests makes up 53 percent of Switzerland’s biocapacity, which has increased slightly since 1961. Switzerland’s cropland and grazing land biocapacity appear to have peaked in the 1990s, and declined since then slightly.

Photo courtesy of Catherine Cunningham/Nature’s Reflection Photography. 20% of net sales from print purchases will be donated to Global Footprint Network with coupon code GFN2015.

Italy Has 3rd Largest Ecological Footprint Among Med Nations

By | Ecological Deficit Day | No Comments

Italy_656

April 5 marks the ecological deficit day of Italy. The nation’s demand for food, timber and carbon dioxide absorption now exceeds what the nation’s ecosystems can renew over the full year, according to Global Footprint Network’s 2015 National Footprint Accounts. It would take 3.8 Italys to support Italian residents’ Ecological Footprint.

When a nation like Italy is in ecological deficit it meets demand by importing, liquidating its own ecological assets and/or using the global commons by emitting carbon dioxide into the atmosphere. See how much nature Italy has and how much its residents use in the figure below:

Italy_600

Italy has the third-highest Ecological Footprint per capita of Mediterranean countries, trailing France and Slovenia, and fourth-highest ecological deficit per capita of the EU 27 countries (trailing Belgium, Netherlands, and Cyprus). Italy also ranks third worldwide among countries that net import the most total biocapacity, trailing only Japan and Mexico.

Photo courtesy of Catherine Cunningham/Nature’s Reflection Photography. 20% of net sales from print purchases will be donated to Global Footprint Network with coupon code GFN2015.

No April Fool’s Day Joke: The Netherlands’ Ecological Budget Goes Into Red

By | Ecological Deficit Day | No Comments

Netherlands_flowers_eikosphere

April 1st marks the ecological deficit day of The Netherlands. The nation’s demand for food, timber and carbon dioxide absorption now exceeds what the nation’s ecosystems can renew over the full year, according to Global Footprint Network’s 2015 National Footprint Accounts. It would take four Netherlands to support the Dutch residents’ Ecological Footprint.

When a nation like The Netherlands are in ecological deficit it meets demand by importing, liquidating its own ecological assets and/or using the global commons by emitting carbon dioxide into the atmosphere. See how much nature The Netherlands have and how much its residents use in the figure below:

Netherlands_nocap_600

Photo courtesy of Catherine Cunningham/Nature’s Reflection Photography. 20% of net sales from print purchases will be donated to Global Footprint Network with coupon code GFN.