By the year 2050, humanity will require up to 27 Earths to sustain our ever-growing consumption needs. This is the harsh premise of a study put out in the Marine Ecology Progress Series Journal.
According to Al Jazeera, the recent study, headed by Camilo Mora of the University of Hawaii, shows, despite the growing number of protected conservation areas, overpopulation is trampling the Earth’s life support system, which is currently supporting a staggering 7 billion people: a number that is predicted to rise to 10 billion by the year 2050.
Under the 2010 global diversity protection agreement, Japan has pledged to put 17 percent of land and 10 percent of oceans under protection by 2020, but this goal will likely go unreached as the country tackles future needs for food, water, and other natural resources.
However, the Japanese are not the ones with the largest footprint of humanity. The principal cause of the loss of biodiversity? That distinction goes to Americans.
Mora revealed that the average U.S. citizen’s “ecological footprint” is 10 hectares, which is staggering compared to the average Haitian’s, which measures less than 1 hectare. Mora insists that our planet could sustain us if every human could maintain an average ecological footprint of 2 hectares.
How Can Americans Lower the Size of Their Ecological Footprint?
According to the Global Ecovillage Network Oceania and Asia, Inc. (GENOA), there are several steps we can incorporate into our lives to lower our ecological footprints:
* Accommodate wildlife on your own property by leaving rocks and logs as shelter for wildlife.
.* Control your pets at dusk and dawn, the prime times when native wildlife feed, so as to prevent the excessive killing of wildlife.
* Protect wildlife on your property by limiting or eliminating chemical pesticides in your yard and garden.
* Buy more “environmentally friendly” products and recycle.
* Limit the spread of weeds by not dumping weeds or prunings in parks or the countryside.
* Maintain fish stocks by limiting the number of fish you catch and keep, leaving smaller fish in their environment.
* Do not pollute rivers, oceans, seas, and streams with trash or chemicals.
* Be environmentally “conscious” wherever you go.
This rapid loss of biodiversity is a substantial threat to our future humanity, and is a problem every person can take part in preventing. When it comes to the protection of our planet, if you’re not part of the solution, you’re part of the problem.