the Footprintnetwork.org PDF explains that the entire human race is currently consuming at 1.5 earths. That is, it takes 1.5 years for the earth to reproduce the resources we use in 1 year. But if the entire human race lived a European lifestyle, that would be 3 earths, and if we all lived as North Americans do it would be 5 earths!
Here’s the thing — while there is a lot we need to do in sustainable agriculture, water recycling and efficiency, sustainable forestry, reducing fishing, and rolling out land efficient and energy efficient New Urbanism as fast as we can, it is obvious from the graph below that the single greatest thing we can do to bring the human race’s consumption back into one planet living guidelines is eliminate fossil fuels from our energy diet. This is why I am so passionate about exponentially increasing our renewable energy and rolling out all the nuclear we need to back that up. That is, I’d like to see Australia try a half nuclear, half renewable energy grid.
Peak oil looks like it is turning into ‘plateau’ oil, that is, a long plateau of higher priced oil, which may alleviate some of our oil concerns but is incredibly bad from a climate perspective. I’m hoping that EV’s can soon come in much cheaper than fossil fuel cars, and Elon Musk’s Tesla vehicles hope to be producing a family priced car in 2015. That, and an increase in New Urban energy efficient housing and city plans spreading around the world, could hopefully reduce our energy needs.
But replacing dirty fossil fuels with clean renewables and nuclear power will have the fastest effect on our one planet living! If we just roll these out over the next few decades, they could help keep us under ‘one planet living’, maybe even as the population rises!