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)

 

Index:

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

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 (6)

 

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.

(7)

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 http://www.nationmaster.com/graph/env_eco_foo-environment-ecological-footprint
  2. CIA World Fact book. https://www.cia.gov/library
  3. http://myfootprint.org/
  4. http://www.footprintnetwork.org/en/index.php/GFN/page/world_footprint/
  5. Withgott, Jay. Brennan, Scott, Environment The Science Behind the Stories. Pearson.
  6. http://www.getliberty.org/content_images/Cartoon%20-%20Green%20and%20Lean.jpg
  1. http://movingimages.files.wordpress.com/2007/09/2006-020-footprint-on-the-planet.gif?w=780
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