illustration (attribution, if any possible, is at the end of the article)
by Edward Morbius:
William Reese: Ecological footprints and capital
The average ecological footprint of a human on Earth is 2 Hectares (ha).
The average ecological footprint of a Canadian is 8 ha.
The average ecological footprint of an American is 10 ha.
At 2 ha/person, we fill 100% of the Earth's land area.
At 8, 4 earths, at 10, 5 earths.
We're going to need to find a bigger planet. Or reduce footprint.
Reese also raises two other good points:
Humans show little sign of intelligence, forward planning, or compassion, at large scale. That's quite similar to my earlier observation that humans are anti-ants: individually smart, collectively idiots.
He raises the point of drawing down natural capital. This gets to a principle failing of economics: consistently under-pricing ecological inputs.