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Ecological Footprints - Essay Example

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Institution Date Ecological Footprints Civilization and human activities have a huge impact on nature as human beings require the resources provided by nature for their living and day-to-day activities. With increasing population and human activity on earth, there are possibilities of constraints or depletion of available resources due to overexploitation, which may bring about an imbalance in the universe…
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Ecological Footprints
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Download file to see previous pages This paper will explore the concept of ecological footprint as applied in the universe today to monitor the relationship between humanity and nature. First and foremost, the paper will look into what is ecological footprints and then focus on the importance of this concept and lastly explore the strengths, benefits as well as the weaknesses of the concept. Ecological footprint is the metric tool that allows us to evaluate human pressure on the universe and it is defined as a measure of the load imposed on nature by a given population (Spellerberg 108). It can also be defined as the estimate of the land area or land equivalent necessary to sustain current levels of resource consumption and waste assimilation for a given population, where land is the area of the environment including the aquatic habitat (Spellerberg 108). It is for instance estimated that the earth today takes about one year and six months to regenerate the resources used up by humanity and to assimilate the waste produced (“Global Footprint Network”). ...
this way, the concept provides a simple way for comparison between the demand for natural resources and the ability of nature to provide, bio capacity. When there is increased ecological footprint, there is increased demand for resources than the capacity of nature to provide and this creates a deficit/gap commonly referred to as overshoot. The world ecological footprint is described to have increased by 50% between the year 1970 and 1997, an increase of about 1.5% per year and the living planet index decreased by about 33% (Spellerberg 108). Overshoot is one of the most underestimated threats to the human population and it is maintained through the utilization of nature in a manner that is not sustainable (Smith 10). The concept of ecological footprint is very useful to the human race and the universe in general as it helps to monitor the use of ecological resources and foster advancements in sustainable development. By measuring the ecological footprint of a certain population be it individuals, a state, a business or even humanity in general, we can be able to evaluate the pressure we are exerting on the planet and take caution. We will be able to utilize the available resources more wisely and also take individual and even collective initiatives to support and improve the ecological habitat of humanity. A UN projection study for instance shows that if the recent consumption model continues, by the year 2030, humanity will need the equivalent of two Earths to sustain itself (“Global Footprint Network”). The concept is very instrumental in helping the society deal with the problems that arise from overshoot whereby people are converting resources into waste faster than the waste can be put back into resource. The results of overshoot are devastating to humanity ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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