Biocapacity and ecological footprint relationship quotes

ecological footprint as a comprehensive indicator of sustainable consumption. Both available biocapacity and the eco-efficiency of the economy can change over globalised economy, geographic location of environmental pressures has little relation to .. Numerous press articles quote the need to reduce the ecological. This document includes quotations about the report, definitions of key . Ecological Footprint will be per cent larger than the planet's biocapacity – that is, it. approach, and (d) discusses key relationships. between .. Note: EF = Ecological Footprint; BioC = Biocapacity quote is troublesome as to live sustainably.

For example, using one of the indicators of welfare in tandem with another more focused on the pressure on resources. This might perhaps show whether a country is nearing or exceeding its optimal macroeconomic level.

Or, more crucially, how far it might be from its maximum point of sustainability. The comparison of two indicators like these might even reveal possibilities of economic decline and ecological catastrophe. The perspective of adopting two or three indices, however, was bound to run into the impossibility of finding them, that is, of choosing indicators capable of revealing something significant in a coherent form.

They might be excellent as databases, but are so heterogeneous that, strictly speaking, they should not even be understood as indicators. Because of this, we will only consider the other two approaches here: In the first category, the initiative that earned greatest repute was the proposal of researchers from Yale and Columbia Estes et al. The first contains 76 variables that cover five dimensions. The second aggregates the same 76 variables with 21 intermediating indicators.

As much as they might be reasonable ways to assemble a great amount of information and serve as an invitation to pay more attention to some of their components, all these kinds of exercises are highly precarious from a strictly statistical point of view. Even more so, when variables with an objective character, such as infant mortality rate, are mixed with subjective variables, such as a score assigned to the environmental agencies of each country Among the indicators focused on the degree of pressure on resources, two quite different ones have achieved great visibility: ANS, also known as genuine savings, or genuine investment, is an indicator entirely aimed at evaluating of stocks of wealth, instead of flows of income, consumption or production World Bank, Its theoretical root is in the idea that sustainability essentially requires maintenance of an ongoing stock of extended wealth: This assumes, of course, that full substitutability among them is possible, which is the most controversial idea.

And in spite of all the efforts supported by The World Bank, this approach stumbles into the immense methodological obstacle of how to price many fundamental assets, especially strategic natural resources. Because of this, the results have been neither convincing nor persuasive.

The opposite happens with the Ecological Footprint, since it does not involve the type of juggling required by the monetary approaches, and, furthermore, conveys a notion that can be easily assimilated by everyone concerned with finding good indicators of sustainability.

The Ecological Footprint only intends to show how much of the regenerative capacity of the biosphere is being used in human activities consumption. However, the apparent simplicity of the Ecological Footprint also hides serious technical problems that were emphasized in three recent reports: There is no lack of incoherence in the Footprint methodology.

The same happens with evaluation of pasture biocapacity. Thus, within the national scope, the ecological deficit of these lands will always be equivalent to the trade deficit of the sector. And worldwide there will never be an ecological deficit or surplus in cattle breeding. For this reason, more recent versions of the methodology to calculate the footprint emphasize that the ecological surplus of a nation cannot be interpreted as a criterion of sustainability.

Moreover, authors of the methodology have gone on to insist that the footprint of each country should be compared to global, rather than national, biocapacity Moran et al. This then forces the Ecological Footprint to be understood as an indicator of the contribution made to global non-sustainability, rather than an indicator of sustainability of this or that country, region or locality.

There are similar flaws in the calculation methods for constructed areas, forest areas and fishing. However, more important than criticizing them is to call attention to the fact that in the concept of the footprint there is an underlying or intrinsic proviso. Furthermore, according to this conception, it is granted that replacing forests with cultivated lands would increase available biocapacity, thereby alleviating the ecological deficit, which makes absolutely no sense.

For these and other reasons, what is necessary to grasp is the basic idea of measuring the various human pressures on ecosystems in order to compare them to the latter's support capacity. But without aggregating them. In other words, comparing, for example, carbon emissions with the area of forest that would be necessary for their absorption.

Finally, this brief presentation of the three parallel movements could not omit reference to the efforts to establish environmental accounts connected to the national accounting system green accounting. Inthe magazine Ecological Economics 61 was dedicated to Seea System of Environmental and Economic Accountsshowing that the old controversies about this project tend to increase rather than decrease. The Second Great Turnaround in September It is no longer possible to speak seriously of indicators of sustainability without starting from the messages and recommendation contained in the Report by the Commission on the Measurement of Economic Performance and Social Progress Stiglitz-Sen-Fitoussi, The first major contribution of this Commission was to show very clearly the existence of three quite different problems, which should have neither been mixed nor isolated, as all indicators have done for almost 40 years.

One thing is to measure economic performance, another is to measure quality of life or welfareand a third is to measure developmental sustainability. And for these three points the report provided much more radical guidance than was assumed by almost all observers: In other words, the report proposes overcoming production accounting, opening the pool of the quality of life, and all the pragmatism possible with sustainability. Since the two first issues are not part of the central scope of this article, readers interested in them should consult the fourth chapter of Veiga bwhich contains a summary of the report.

The commission chose to deal with sustainability from a much broader standpoint than the adjective "sustainable" usually suggests when used in combination with any other term. It is necessary to remember that the idea originally expressed by the adjective "sustainable" referred to the need for the socio-economic process to conserve its natural bases or its biocapacity.

It was from the progressive abandonment of the adjective in favor of the noun that the idea of non-biophysical "components" of sustainability arose.

In other words, instead of emphasizing the indispensable environmental sustainability of the process usually called development or social progress, this specific kind of sustainability is treated alongside various others, in what could be a quite long list, contributing to a serious dilution of the original idea.

In the first, there are deviations of temperature, ozone and particle concentrations, availability of water, or fragmentation of natural habitats, together with indicators of education and health-adjusted life expectancy.

In the second, indicators of energy, mineral, timber and marine resources, along with indicators of capital produced, human and natural and of foreign investments.

In other words, the aggregate of sustainable development indicators proposed by this workgroup of consolidates two groups: The most important guidance of the report on sustainability was to emphasize that any monetary indicator should remain focused only on strictly economic aspects.

In other words, contrary to what seems to be suggested in the rough draft of the report released in early June, 7the Commission's final report wound up moving away from the approach advocated by the World Bank: The major agreement is that the combination of indicators that might measure sustainability should provide information concerning the variation of stocks that sustain human well-being.

But the strongest emphasis of the Commission's final report is the absolute necessity that the properly environmental aspects of sustainability be accompanied by use of well chosen physical indicators. The message is clear: It is possible, then, to infer that if the carbon emissions of the economies are calculated correctly, they could become indicators of national contributions to global non-sustainability. It would be even better if there were to arise similar measurements for the commitment of water resources and for the erosion of biodiversity.

Perhaps these three would be enough to show how far we still have to go on the road to sustainability. Finally, last but not least, there is a definition of sustainability found on page Measuring sustainability differs from standard statistical practice in one fundamental aspect: Measuring sustainability also necessarily requires some prior answers to normative questions.

In this aspect also there is great difference from the standard statistical activity. Measuring sustainability also involves a further difficulty in the international context, since each country's sustainability cannot be evaluated in isolation.

Because the problem is global, above all in its environmental dimension, what is of greatest interest is the contribution that each country might be giving to global non-sustainability. Conclusion Even if we do not agree with the recommendation of Patterson, the retrospective description made in this article confirms the general line of his proposal, recently strengthened by the final report of the Stiglitz-Sem-Fitoussi Commission Evaluation, measurement and monitoring of sustainability will necessarily require a tripartite conjunction of indicators, since it is statistically unthinkable to merge in the same index only two of its three dimensions.

The resiliency of ecosystems can certainly be expressed by non-monetary indicators, for example, in relation to carbon emissions, to biodiversity and water safety. But the degree of ecosystem resiliency will not say much about sustainability if it cannot be collated with the other two. First, economic performance cannot continue to be evaluated in terms of the old bias of economic production, but rather by the measure of available family income. Second, it will be necessary to have a metric for quality of life or well-being that incorporates scientific evidence of this new branch called economy of happiness.

Notes 1 "We must acquire a life style which has as its goal maximum freedom and happiness for the individual, not a maximum Gross National Product". As a matter of fact, he is not even identified as an ecologist.

Perhaps this is because he was widely known at the time and his words were taken from some large circulation newspaper or magazine. The cost of economic growth, by Ezra J. Mishan, was published in by F. Praeger, New York, and was only translated in with the title Desenvolvimento.

On the opposite side, Wilfred Beckerman began in with the article "Why do we need economic growth?

Life Expectancy and Ecological Footprint | Ronald A Harris -

Init was Geogescu-Roegen and Kenneth Boulding's turn. In a long introduction to his first book, Analytical Economics, Georgescu anticipated the ideas developed in his book The Entropy Law and the Economic Process, both published by Harvard University Press.

biocapacity and ecological footprint relationship quotes

Boulding published some thirty books between andbut his first major contribution was also in As a matter of fact, it was only widely used afterwith publication of the report "Our Common Future," by the Brundtland Commission, and not enshrined until in the famous Rio Conference. In the first five years, the discrepancy was quite significant: But in the last five years it greatly diminished: Spatial sustainability, trade and indicators: For the Common Good. Nations with ecological deicits, like the United States, Japan, and United Arab Emirates, are expropriating biocapacity.

Globalization Globalism brings new things to developing countries, both good and bad. Although it brings innovative technology to transform local economies, it also creates dependence on foreign trade to sustain new things. Wars have resulted from resource conlicts as nations seek to extract natural resources by force from others. Recent oil wars in the Middle East epitomize the nature of such conlicts. People in developed countries have processing economies that require natural resources to continue the sustained economic growth that brings them wealth and health.

Without foreign trade, they are unable to continue their present path of global development: Developing economies that depend on the extraction and export of natural resources likewise have a higher propensity to corruption, poor governance, mass poverty, social fragmentation, and violent conlicts Omeje, Natural resources play a key role in conlicts and civil wars involving extraction.

Transparency In- ternational ranks and scores countries with a corruption perceptions index CPI. The Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative began in to disclose trade inform- ation about extractive economies. The EITI consists of countries focused on trade transparency in extractive industries to promote sustainable development.

The CPI was used to measure governmental corruption as a proxy for extraction of natural resources. A failed state is a country that is so dysfunctional that it can no longer exist as a nation.

In Table 1, the irst 20 of countries were ranked on the FSI to compare them with other indicators, such as longevity, ecological footprint, ecological reserve, human develop- ment, and corruption.

They are engaged in processing natural resources. But HDI is a construct that contains economic growth and life expectancy at birth, among other factors. Scandinavian countries rank high on HDI. In Table 2, the last 20 of countries ranked on FSI are compared with these indicators.

Failed states rank low on the HDI. They are the least transparent with the most perceived corruption for extracting natural resources. They have relatively small ecological footprints and small ecological reserves.

These countries are involved in conlicts over nat- ural resources with forces of globalization. The former Soviet Union broke apart in after a 12 year-long proxy war in Afghanistan against the Mujahedeen, sponsored by the United States. In Russia, male life expectancy at birth fell 6.

Somalia was a sponsored state, economically dependent upon the former Soviet Union. After the Soviet Union break up, Somalia collapsed.

SinceSomalis live in anarchy nowadays. With chainsaws, they slashed forests and burned the wood for charcoal trade. The ecological de- struction led to famine. Subsequent humanitarian relief efforts failed, partly because war- lords ruled and taxed ethnic clans. Somalis now live in a Hobbesian state of nature. The tragedy of the commons will follow Hardin, In these arenas, humans seek to dominate or co-exist with other creatures over the earth.

To sustain ourselves, sustainability theory holds that we ought to preserve natural resources for ourselves and future generations. Sustained economic growth has beneited many people in the world by alleviating poverty. Given limits to growth, Herman Daly says sustainable economic growth is an oxy- moron. Daly warns about the perils of free trade: The concept of generational equity is that people today should replenish natural resources so that future generations will have their fair share.

Sus- tainable development, according to Chichilnisky and Chichilnisky, et al. They identify the problem for environmental economics from irreversible consumption or destruction of natural resources.

Oil is an obvious example of an extractive resource used for energy that is being consumed irreversibly: What about human longevity? How long a person lives is partly determined by the wealth of nations to which they are born.

Health equity is discussed as either horizontal equity or vertical equity, but seldom in terms of generational equity. Horizontal equity is where equals are treated equally. Vertical equity is where unequals are treated equally. Generational equity implies fairness across successive life spans, between and among people born at different space-times.

Present actors cannot coordinate activities with future generations. Rather, current actors have preferences over future states of the world and act on those states on behalf of the unborn.

Human longevity is broadly determined by biosphere utilization. But utilization of the biosphere is unequal across populations. Whether inequities resulting from globalization yield unequal lifespan outcomes, remains to be shown here.

James Rice describes ecological unequal exchange this way: While this seems like a mercantilist view of absolute advantage or viewing trade as a zero-sum game, that is not the case. If the state strikes inequitable bargains in exchange, either through loss of sovereignty or corruption in leadership, then its population will have reduced life expect- ancy. Higher mortality may be inequitable, but not necessarily deprive the country of con- tinuation.

Rather, some members of society will beneit and most members lose in bargains struck in a globalized economy where capital is mobile.

The processing economy hypothesis H1 is that: An increase in economic processing leads to an increase in human longevity.

biocapacity and ecological footprint relationship quotes

The extractive economy hypothesis H2 is that: An increase in economic extraction leads to a decrease in human longevity. The next section discusses statistical analysis. Analysis In this section, data on human health, economic indicators, and ecological measures are de- scribed and analyzed with statistics.

The cross-sectional data for most countries in the world are used for model estimation to make predictions about life expectancy at birth under spe- ciied conditions. Small countries were sometimes excluded from this analysis, because their limited available data did not match on key variables with other databases.

Human longevity, measured as life expectancy at birth inis a health predictor and the dependent variable Central Intelligence Agency, GDP is the broadest measure of a country's economic health.

Unemployment and inlation measure the economic health of nations also. There is a strong positive relationship between the unemployment rate and many adverse health outcomes Jin, et al. Here it is assumed that the unemployment rate is stable and chronic, ignoring seasonal luctuations that may exist.

We are looking across nations at their political economies as one way to predict long- term health outcomes. These outcomes are captured as lifespan. Industrial production growth rate is measured as the annual percentage increase in indus- trial production for manufacturing, mining, and construction Central Intelligence Agency, Healthcare expenditure by country was measured and standardized with per capita purchase power parity in U.

The Human Development Index HDI that ranks countries is a construct that contains economic growth and life expectancy at birth, among other factors. Infant mortality is embedded in life expectancy at birth. Neither HDI nor infant mortality is more preferred for modeling human biosphere utilization, than life expectancy at birth. Population when divided by the area of a country measures its population density Central Intelligence Agency, This variable indicates over-population and perhaps level of development.

The CPI is a proxy measure of governmental corruption leading to the failure of nation states in the world. Life expectancy is related to independent variables, like gross domestic product.

Indicadores de sustentabilidade

The modeling strategy to discover statistical relationships among variables is as follows. The correlated indicators were entered into a regression model and a stepwise algorithm was run to search for the best model to predict Life Expectancy at Birth. Model selection was based on most plausible explanations of discovered relationships derived from the theory.

A statistical analysis was conducted using cross-sectional data for most countries in the world. Correlation coeficients were estimated on indicators that could be used for specifying regression models.

Then, a multivariate model was estimated to predict life expectancy at birth by economic growth, unemployment, and ecological reserve. Next, a bivariate model was estimated to predict ecological footprint using speciied indicators. Table 3 shows life expectancy at birth in years correlated with globalization economic and sustainability ecological variables. Data are available for nearly all of the countries in the world.

The global linkage on longevity, the health and wealth gradient is conirmed. Life expectancy at birth is not correlated with carbon dioxide releases. Life expectancy is correlated with external debt, but this relationship is slight.

This relationship between energy consumption and external debt may relect dependence on foreign energy for certain nations. Globalization requires the development of energy across nations for resource extraction. Sustainability theory does not support global access to the natural resources of other countries, especially where this development path may lead to conlict and war. Energy consumption was removed from modeling, because of collinearity with external debt.

Foreign Direct Investment at home and abroad was removed, because of the limited number of observations.

The Failed States Index was also removed, because it proxies numerous factors in human longevity. Ecological footprint was removed whenever ecological reserve is included in the model and vice versa, because their sum is unity. A backwards removal strategy was used with 0.

This modeling strategy retained the maximum number of predictors in models. Results are discussed in the next section. Beta T P-Value Constant To interpret the magnitude of the effects, descriptive statistics are shown in Table 5. Descriptive Statistics Variable Mean Min. When ecological reserve is varied and the remaining indicators are held constant at their mean values, then the magnitude of its impact on longevity can be observed.

Entering the minimum value for ecological reserve increases life expectancy at birth, from Entering the maximum value for ecological reserve decreases life expectancy at birth, from This reveals a paradox where: The corruption perceptions index shows the impact of governmental corruption on life ex- pectancy at birth. Entering the minimum value for corruption rank increases life expectancy at birth, from Entering the maximum value for corruption rank decreases life expectancy at birth, from The effect of corruption on human longevity is ten years!

If you are born into a corrupt country, then you live ten years less than if you were born into a transparent country. What does this mean? Countries that process natural resources usually have transparent governments, while countries that extract natural resources usually have corrupt governments. Many extracting countries want to become processing countries for parity. This desire drives globalization, far beyond comparative economic ad- vantage into an unsustainable world.

Industrial production growth rate provides another paradox.