The purpose of this post is to understand the relationship between the economy, energy, and the environment. I later look into Chris Martenson’s theories and overall understanding of the current economic crisis.

So, what is an economy? An economy is basically the amount of wealth that a firm, industry, government etc. receive from their goods/service/resources. It determines our standard of living and quality of life.

What is an environment? Our environment is everything that surrounds us; it is also the conditions we live in, with every living and non-living species.

What do these two terms have in common? Our economy and environment need energy. What is energy exactly? Well of course we all know that energy is a force that accomplishes something. Our environment provides us with physical energy to live our everyday lives. As humans, we generate energy to help keep our economy alive. Economies supply ‘energy’ in different forms to us and our environment.

For example, if we set the word energy in terms of an economy, energy, for an industry that produces solar panels, would be the amount of money spent on producing the actual panel. The amount of electricity produced would be the amount of energy the solar panel gives off. Economists always think in terms of growth and constant production and expansion. This widely influences our view on production of any resource. There is always a fixed cost for producing any good. So in basic terms, a producer needs to give up some of their production in order to produce more. If we set the word energy in terms of an environment, we can see how unsustainable some of the world’s production is. In order to produce barrels of oil, it requires oil to operate the machinery. In the long run, it is quite obvious that this is inefficient resource extraction. The aspect of energy is common sense, but we rarely take a look at it on the other side of production.

Image 1: of Chris Martenson[i]

Chris Martenson has received both a PhD and a post-doctoral program in neurotoxicology at Duke University, and an MBA in Finance at Cornell. His theories are not biased, and he takes a look at both sides of situations. Martenson is a reliable source because he gathers his data himself and. He has spent a large portion of his time researching and gathering statistics to develop his theory of a “Crash Course”.[i]

Martenson defines a ‘Crash course’ as a lens that he looks through at the world. This lens that he looks through shows him the troubling events that are occurring worldwide. Martenson assumes that modeling what we think is about to happen, based on what just happened, is the wrong way to approach the global economic crisis. He assumes there are going to be a lot of disruptive changes to the economy and environment if we don’t act soon. Since we are expected to only have a few ‘minutes’ left, we need to act soon. The importance of our decisions today are magnified in every move the global economy makes. This is where the economy and environment get tricky.

In Martenson’s presentation he makes the point that barely any of the resources we use today are being produced at a linear rate. Instead, Ex. environmental cases: forest’s loss fisheries exploited water use species extinction, are all experiencing exponential growth. Martenson is right when he says we live in a world that is dominated and nominated by exponential growth. This is because markets globally try their best to expand and develop. This has become a norm to both society and economists to want more. The demand for the latest technology, the newest and most efficient products and machinery will continue to increase. One question one might ask is, why has the average person been so demanding for growth?

Figure 1: Exponential Growth of Resource Depletion (ii)

“There’s a physical cap on top of the population and expansion of humans.” This is a reasonable point that Martenson states about human population. It does make sense for the earth to have a maximum amount of geography for humans to live on. However, does this mean our rates will discontinue? If we don’t act soon, population levels and resource production will suddenly decrease.

  Figure 2: Graph of Population and predicted population with cap (ii)“All money is loaned into existence.” There is always more debt than there is money. This is quite an interesting point that is often ignored but is completely true. Ever since the beginning of trade, a good/service (money) needs to be exchanged in order for another good/service to be given back. But over time, a person may be unable to exchange a good/service so they go in debt. A statistic that Martenson presented was that the US has 52 trillion dollars’ worth of total net liabilities and 14 trillion of debt. Total net liabilities are just payments that need to be paid. For example, pensions, entitlement programs, or other liabilities. This just goes to show how the US is physically incapable of paying off their debt. This is the case for several countries worldwide.

Figure 3: Graph of debts of selected countries (ii)

Martenson connects the economy and environment with ‘energy’ in a triangular form. He mentions how economists only think in terms of perpetual growth. When he speaks of environment, he is strictly speaking about the resources. In most extraction of resources, the energy used to produce it is more than the amount of energy produced. He analyzes the concept of energy by saying, the economy would be nothing without energy. For example, petroleum/oil needs oil (energy) to produce itself. He wishes for a better tomorrow, and that this large dilemma is solved by serious action as soon as possible. Martenson makes a valid point when he says there are no previous occurrences that can guide us through this and assist us with solving this large debt. We aim for a sustainable planet which allows every resource, the population, food, industrial output, and pollution to become stable. I believe that investing in exploration discovery is of mutual benefit to the world and economy. Martenson says how creative and innovative investments will provide economical solutions. The only question is, what are the investments heading for?

Figure 4: Graphs of two possible outcomes of specific factors[iii]

Martenson states that the old solution for the future used to be more energy and resources each year to improve reliable economic growth. He believes that the new solution for our future should contain less energy and resources each year. This is going to be incredibly hard to do for many reasons. There are always going to be other undiscovered plots of new or existing resources on this planet; thus not expanding would be a difficult process.

Figure 5:  Graph of past and predicted Oil usage and preservation (ii)

Another barrier to this solution would be the lack of experience to this paradigm. Martenson believes that economic shrinkage is the only extreme solution to the global economic crisis. Nevertheless, a decrease in the economic development would definitely tell society to weigh what we invest in and don’t invest in. We need a well-functioning economy that can cope with this economic shrinkage because it is the most dominant factor of modern day civilizations. This will preserve our standard of living and provide many more opportunities. We as humans are going to need time and patience to shift to a declining economy. But maybe we don’t need the new IPhone 5, or the new 3D television. What if the world were to just stop growing and just produce the same things we have now? If Martenson’s theoretical solutions commit, we are expected to have quite a stable global economy in the near future.


Sources Used

[i] Image 1:

[ii] Martenson, Chris. “UK Crash Course.” YouTube. Web. 21 Nov. 2011.

[iii] Grekinis, D. “Human Population”. Anatolia / ACT On-line Courses. Web. 21 Nov. 2011. <;











Image: Evolution cycle[i] 

The purpose of this post is to provide and evaluate the understanding of evolution. I will look at the relationship between the environment and human beings and other species.

Evolution is the biological change of an organism over time. The evolution of any organism consists primarily of genetic altercations and modifications from one generation to another. The evolution of any species requires vast amounts of biodiversity. For example, a fish that lives in rough waters or colder waters is bound to have stronger or thicker skin passed through generations because their environment requires it. In this case, the fish have ‘mutations’ or altercations in genes, to help them adapt to their environment. The evolution of humans has been influenced tremendously on the environments we are placed in. 

This leads me to my question…

In what ways has the environment affected the evolution of certain species?

Humans evolve every day. In our environment, we are constantly exposed to bacteria. Since there are an infinite amount of bacteria exposed to us as humans, we have been changing at a logarithmic rate. There are bacteria’s in which we are immune to, so the altercation of our physical form has no significant change. Although we may not necessarily notice any drastic changes, humans along with other species evolve over generations to adjust to their environment. The most basic example can directly relate to climate conditions. Most people who have lived closer to the North Pole or colder environments are typically able to withstand lower temperatures to that of a person who lives in the Gulf for example.

Image: Men from UAE experiencing snow  [ii]

Our environment is directly correlated with our evolution. Every life form on earth interacts with other organisms and/or their physical environment eventually. This was a statement made by PBS, which I truly agree with.[iii] The interaction between species is what primarily changes us physically. Everything that every life form has consumed or interacted with has a direct effect on the physical form of any species. Through the evolution of man, there has always been a desire for expansion and survival. This is vital to the evolution of man because it involves the actual consumption and instincts of a human being.[iv]

Image: Picture of Southern African tribe members [v]

A close friend of mine is an anthropology major in a university in Texas, and he was telling me about a indigenous tribe that is located in southern Africa. He said that this tribe is very excluded from the city center, and have no knowledge, experience nor access to any technology or any modern day utility whatsoever. He said that a group of anthropologists went to study this tribe and noticed that these people practically have super hearing and super sight and are physically built for hunting. They have been so excluded from industrialized society that their evolution of their community has led to them all having such unique adaptive traits. The group of anthropologists noticed that they use their super senses to plan out their hunting strategies. If this tribe had access to modern day environments, their adaptive traits that enhance their survival and reproduction would slowly diminish. Apparently our appendix used to be used for consuming meat. Also, researchers say, that the reason why humans get goosebumps is because when cavemen used to be cold, their long hair would sprout and keep them warmer. This just goes to show that humans do adapt to their environments and the


[i] Image:

[ii] Image:

[iii]   “Evolution: Frequently Asked Questions.” PBS: Public Broadcasting Service. Web. 5 Nov. 2011. <;.

[iv] Human Evolution.” One Life. Web. 06 Nov. 2011. <;.

[v] Image:

The purpose of this post is to ensure the difference between environmental components.


First I will introduce my audience to three terms and how they intertwine with one another. The terms are environmental ethics, environmental justice, and environmental economics.

Next I will discuss the environmental ethics and justice of the United Arab Emirates.

Then I will give examples of the environmental justice that the UAE has taken.


Figure 1: Picture of Camel after consuming trash in Abu Dhabi(1)

Environmental ethics, justice, and economics:


Environmental ethics involve the relationship between humans and their environment. Environmental ethics are primarily dependent on a person’s own ethical standards and their personal area of concern. People who believe that everything in their whole ecological system including nonhuman entities are called ‘ecocentrists.’ Environmental scientists and governments are frequently approached with the concept of preservation or conservation when it comes to environmental ethics.

Environmental justice involves the fair and equitable treatment of all people with respect to environmental issues. Positive environmental justice is not projected in the right way in almost every government worldwide. There is always at least one area of a country where the poor are exposed to a more polluted environment and don’t have access to luxuries (if any) within the city center.

Environmental economies or ecological economies are individual economies that primarily depend on the environment. Based on environmental economist’s theories, they believe that unstable economies, or less economically developed countries (LEDC’s), tend to have high population growth and are inefficient in the allocation and extraction of their provided resources. Ecological economists believe that it is nearly impossible for the world to.  They wish for revolutionary change in the consumption of earth’s natural resources so that economic growth slows down and eventually stabilizes[i]

All three of these components intertwine with one another because in order for an ecological economy to survive, the essential factors of justice and ethics need to be in place. The government needs to have policies regarding an equal treatment of the environment and that the idea of ceteris paribus remains constant. Or in other words, a stable green economy will remain the same if environmental justice and ethics remain equally



UAE’s Environmental Ethics and Justice

In Abu Dhabi in the UAE, there is a primary industrial zone, called ‘Mussafah’, a majority of where the construction workers and other foreigners in the lower working class live. This area is very polluted in comparison to the rest of the city of Abu Dhabi because the incentive to clean this location of the city is much lower than the rest.  Its location is right next to the desert so there is a constant haze of sand. Thanks to the amount of factories and workshops releasing this air pollution, it worsens the. In Figure 2 you can see how the city of Abu Dhabi to left is filled with greenery and nice homes, while to the right, Mussafah is strictly. The UAE does not dump their trash or intentionally pollute in this zone, it is just an area where factories and large projects are conducted because theirs space to do so, in the short run at least. The open plant for dumping garbage is the desert. This harms wildlife and is horrible because it is open to the environment.

Figure 2: Map of Mussafah and City of Abu Dhabi (2)


What makes my land any different?

I believe that a few environmental justice advocates do get their word across in Abu Dhabi. For example, a student named Cameron Oliver that went to a rivalry school of mine, actually raised a campaign to prevent littering in the desert. It was primarily a foundation to raise awareness about pollution killing camels in the desert through the consumption of our trash.[ii] For the case of Mussafah, the only way that the reduction of pollution could occur, is if the government set caps on the amount of pollution an industry can emit. For example, using alternative fossil fuels, or even having the government provide loans for technological advances.


Where do you stand as a environmentalist…if you are one

– A Preservationist would most likely ask:

Since there is a problem with the air pollution in Mussafah and the waste in the desert, why hasn’t the UAE forced a law that completely prevents further acts of this pollution (Ex. Replacing industries technology with greener and more sustainable substitutes)?

– A Conservationist would most likely ask:

Since the expansion of the industrial zone is increasing at such a high rate, why hasn’t the UAE set stricter limits on which industries can begin construction and ?

– An Environmental justice advocate would most likely ask:

Knowing that Mussafah is considered the poorest part of Abu Dhabi, why hasn’t the UAE been committed to maintaining Mussafah so that it looks just as nice as the rest of the city?

– A Neoclassical economist would most likely ask:

Since only a few people are aware that the UAE dumps their trash in the desert, would the government change their methods if the entire country knew?

– An Ecological economist would most likely ask: Why hasn’t the UAE made it a mission to switch their factories in Mussafah to more sustainable and less pollutant, and how come there is no recycling?



My Personal Opinion

My personal opinion about the pollution in Mussafah and poorer areas of the United Arab Emirates is that there should be more attention put forth upon the maintenance and development. The government should get more involved in setting a foundation for these underdeveloped areas so that the UAE will not have these unethical environmental injustices.


 Figure 3: Recycle

In conclusion, in the long run, there will be no space for expansion in the Mussafah area. This just means that industries will have to expand to other areas and pollute more environments. The only way that these poorer environments will be sustainable is if recycle or at least conceal the environment so that no pollutant fumes enter the atmosphere.

[i] Grekinis, D. “Lab PP Presentation.” Anatolia / ACT On-line Courses. Web. 09 Oct. 2011. <;.

Purpose of Post: Higher Education

In this blog I will be discussing the concepts of:

EF or Ecological Footprint expresses environmental impact in terms of the cumulative area of biologically productive land and water required to provide the resources a person or population consumes and to dispose of or recycle the waster the person or population produces.

Overshoot is the amount by which humanity has surpassed Earth’s long-term carrying capacity for our species.

Carrying Capacity is the interaction of physical, chemical, and biological attributes of the environment that restrain population growth. (5)



Below you will see a table (Table 1) displaying  the EF  per person of a list of a few chosen countries along with their proportion relative to world average, and their proportion relative to world area available. I also calculated my ecological footprint and calculated my proportion to world average and world area available. Using the credible database, CIA World Factbook, I noted the GDP per capita of the chosen countries. 

I later compare the EF’s and analyze the correlation of GDP per capita and EF’s of the countries in Table 1

Next, I speak of my personal EF in comparison to other countries including mine. I also have figures of my personal footprint displaying the different categories of my ecological footprint in percentages and numbers.

Lastly, I will speak of the conclusion that I made with EF’s per person and GDP per capita.




















GDP…Stop Picking on Environmental Footprints!

Through the eyes of ecological footprints (EF):

Bangladesh is so small primarily because it is a less economically developed country. They have an enormous population in such a small country. Using CIA World Factbook I discovered that they have a population of 159 million people in a radius of only 130,000 square km of land. It is safe to conclude that a majority of the homes and societies are all near each other and have access to rivers and oceans. The disadvantage of this is that it amplifies the rapidity of air-borne diseases and water-borne diseases. InSouth East Asia there tends to be quite a lot of floods and storms. This is a huge disadvantage because flooding and storms and other reoccurring disasters will continuously wipe out population, crops, homes etc.Bangladesh is located in an environment with strong disadvantages. With these disadvantages in the government and economy, Bangladesh will never grow past what it is today.

Australia has a higher ecological footprint per person primarily because they are a more economically developed country. Using CIA World Factbook I discovered that Australia has a population of 22 million people in a radius of 7.7 million square km of land. I know that Australia has a fairly high amount of oil production and other luxurious resources

The United Arab Emirates (UAE) has the largest ecological footprint per person in the world (15.99). The UAE is one of the world’s largest producers of oil; and with that oil they spend a majority of their income on development. The UAE is expanding and developing at such a quick rate that there are actually empty buildings in need of purchasing. Since the demand for luxury goods is so high, there are actually more cars in the UAE then there are people. The royal families of the UAE and the very wealthy locals have the highest demands for these luxury goods because they can easily afford them. The GDP per capita averages out to be $40,200 only because there are a high number of expatriates, especially in the lower working class (services). So this number evens out. Nevertheless, the extremely high amount of fossil fuels produced every day is the main reason why the country’s GDP is so high.

            I personally believe that GDP has a direct affect on ecological footprint. This is because the more developed a country is, the more income they receive; and with that income, they invest in industrialization and developing the government and society (tourism and housing). In Table 1 there are clear indications of GDP determining EF. For example, Ireland has a GDP of $37,600 per capita, and an ecological footprint of 9.43 per person. Compared to Sri Lanka where their GDP is $4,900 per capita, and an ecological footprint of 0.95 per person.

            In the Figure below, you can see that ever since the UAE has gained independence, we have had an exponential growth of our ecological footprint. It is scary to see how fast the environment is depleting. The biocapacity of the UAE, at the rate it is traveling now, would reach zero within the next 10 to 20 years. The only solution to this is if the implementation of more environmental campaigns involving the government were proposed.











The World would be Dust












My personal ecological footprint is 14.10 earths. This means that there would have to be 14.10 earths to withstand the amount of environmental consumption that I consume. If everyone were to live like me, the world would overshoot by 14x.

My personal ecological footprint compared to my home country, the United Arab Emirates is not a huge difference. The UAE’s ecological footprint per capita is 15.99; which means that there is only a difference of 1.89 earths. I think the main reason why this is, is because it is hard to not live in the UAE and not consume the amount of resources and energy provided. Although the population is quite small the labor is extremely cheap and the demand for luxurious items is extremely high. Since it is cheap to live an expensive lifestyle in the UAE, the consumption of capital is high. This is a clear indication of why my ecological footprint is so high.

Compared to Bangladesh’s EF per capita of 0.6 earths, my ecological footprint is 23.5x larger than their EF per capita. This is sad on my behalf, knowing that I am consuming that much more than such a poor underdeveloped country.

Compared to Egypt’s EF per capita of 1.7 earths, my ecological footprint is 8.3x larger than their EF per capita. Egypt is considered part of the Middle East, but having one of the largest populations on earth, it is hard to receive a high GDP. Since GDP directly affects EF, the GDP per capita of Egypt is $6,200 and the EF per person is 1.7. It can be established that this high population decreases the chance of an Egyptian receiving high amounts of capital.

Compared to Sri Lanka’s EF per capita of 0.95 earths, my ecological footprint is 14.8x larger than their EF per capita. Sri Lanka’s GDP per capita is $4,900. This is quite odd because in Nepal the EF is 1.01, but the GDP is $1,200. Sri Lanka must have a resource or advantage to its economy that is unobtainable in Nepal.


If everyone on this planet lived my lifestyle, we would need 14.10 earths. This is primarily because I live in the United Arab Emirates. The cheap labor, high capital, lifestyle, and accessibility to all of the above is much higher thanks to the fossil fuels UAE is able to produce. Since most of the population is in the working class (services) GDP per capita is average for an MEDC (more economically developed country).

It all boils down to this

As you can see countries with higher gross domestic product per capita have higher ecological footprints. This means that there is a direct correlation between GDP per capita and ecological footprints. In order for a country to have a high GDP, they need to obtain at least one resource or scarce technological machinery. In countries with low GDP, they tend to have less valuable resources. If a country has a valuable resource and a low GDP per capita, then the owner of the resource is most likely exporting more than the country is consuming. For countries with low GDP’s per capita, they tend to have similar attributes; where the rich stay rich, and the poor become poorer. Over time, as most economists and environmental scientists predict, the world will become even more economically and environmentally damaged to the point where collapses in countries will occur. This is of course a long term prediction, but as of today people need to create alternatives and switch to the green lifestyle. This is hard to do but over time I really do believe that scientists can create alternatives for the world to run on renewable energy and resources.


Sources Used 

  1. Nation Master. World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF). Date Accessed: Oct. 5th, 2011
  2. CIA World Fact book.
  5. Withgott, Jay. Brennan, Scott, Environment The Science Behind the Stories. Pearson.

A Little Bit about Me: 

Major: Business

Year in college: Freshmen

Purpose of blog: Higher Education

Topic of Interest: The skeptic side of Global Warming, and the theories that only a few scientists obtain.

Significant environmental issue this year: Hurricane Irene. This environmental disaster took place west of the Atlantic Ocean.

It affected several areas of Eastern United States and other countries near the south east of the USA.

Fig. 1

Place of origin: In the United Arab Emirates (UAE) over 60% of the country is desert. In Abu Dhabi, my home, the city-center is only a few kilometers from the desert. This is why when the frequent sand-storms occur, pollution enters the air people breathe.

Fig. 2

All year round there are hot temperatures, but during the winter time, the desert temperatures at night time can reach 0 Celsius. It is difficult for wildlife to survive in such extreme weather conditions, so the implementation of open farms takes place. Camels, oryx and many other animals found in the wild in the Middle East have access to these open farms. These farms further the development and longevity of wildlife in the UAE.

Fig. 3

Place close to where you were born/live with unique environmental significance or environmental problem:

Not many people know, but the UAE has several mangroves. There are unique animals that exist in these mangroves but due to the expansion and industrialization of the UAE, eco systems are slowly being wiped away. Speeding boats cause erosion and the oil that is released from them have a major impact on the life of the mangroves.

 Fig. 4


The connotation of the words environmental science, ecology and environmentalism, all connect but have several differences. An Environmentalist tends to be more involved in the social awareness of the environment. A protesting Environmentalist may have an effect to some extent, but I believe that Environmental Scientists would have a larger impact on a corporation, large industry, or government. Environmental Scientists tend to use more statistical data and factual information to prove a point, thus validating a more solid argument. Ecologists on the other hand study eco-systems and the interaction among them. Thus Ecologists go into more detail of what environmental scientists study. I believe that environmental scientists, ecologists and environmentalists, work in a cycle. For example, an Ecologist may one day discover that an organism or species is becoming extinct. An Environmental Scientist may then discover that the cause of this depletion is because of a factory that pollutes the water upstream. An Environmentalist would then attempt to make the whole world aware of this tragic soon-to-be extinction. I would like to be labeled as an Environmentalist, but I prefer being an Environmental Scientist. This is because I am a more logical person, and I prefer fact over prediction. If I were an environmental scientist I would not look at common trends like typical global warming idealists; but as a skeptic. I believe that everything has a reason, and there cannot be just one answer to every environmental issue. Therefore I would like to consider myself and Environmental Scientist.


Fig. 5

 Environmental Scientist:    

Fig. 6


Fig. 7


Sources Used: