The only metric that tracks how much nature we have and how much nature we useEcological Footprint accounting, first introduced in the s and continuously developed, continues to be the only metric that compares overall human demand on nature with what our planet can renew its biocapacity and distils this into one number how many Earths we use Our economy is running a Bernie Madoff style Ponzi scheme with the planet We use future resources to run the present, using than Earth can replenish Like any such scheme, this works for a limited time, followed by a crash Avoiding ecological bankruptcy requires rigorous resource accounting a challenging task, but doable with the right tools Ecological Footprint provides a complete introduction, covering Footprint and biocapacity accounting Data and key findings for nations Worldwide examples including businesses, cities, and countries Strategies for creating regenerative economiesWhether you re a student, business leader, future oriented city planner, economist, or have an abiding interest in humanity s future, Footprint and biocapacity are key parameters to be reckoned with and Ecological Footprint is your essential guide

6 thoughts on “Wackernagel, M: Ecological Footprint

  1. Gianluca Parolini Gianluca Parolini says:

    For the authors and fellow readers I have two comments and one question Comment 1 I am currently living in Amsterdam and despite not consuming beef, dairy, very rarely pork, commuting with a bike or train my footprint is still 1.7 earths WWF and that shocked me I knew some of the drivers which could help me improve a bit but still it s a long way.Comment 2 I learned that under Mao the agricultural sector highly subsidized the industrial one in cities and the coastal area which resulted in a disaster and starvation of millions I mention this because this could be maybe taken as a supporting point to your thesis as this has happened in history already I am not a scholar and I am sure that there are objections but I buy into the authors arguments Final Questions to the authors Could we draw any conclusions if the countries in which markets regularly failed to find the right price for the Natural Capital they own countries which have high natural capital but cannot sell it at the real value were to be plotted against former colonial maps My understanding is that this is not necessarily the case anylonger since also countries like PRC contribute to exploit resources in the former colonial countries Could you at some point also add an analysis about how the destruction of the environment might have contributed to the Covid 19 pandemic

  2. Christian Schienerl Christian Schienerl says:

    Ecological Footprint and Earth Overshoot Day There s hardly anyone these days who hasn t heard at least one of the two terms Now, from the people who coined them and developed the knowledge these concepts are built on, finally comes a book as accessible and deceivingly simple as the idea of the Footprint itself If you want to know why we humans currently face one of the biggest ecological crises in Earth s history, and why Footprint accounting is an inevitable first step toward overcoming it, this book just offers revelation upon revelation Even the most complex subject matter is explained in an easy to grasp fashion herein lie the beauty and art of this book Now, no one can claim any that it was all too hard to understand If you re not spurred to take action right after you have put down Ecological Footprint, I don t know what will ever move you.

  3. Don Spady Don Spady says:

    This is an excellent introduction to the concept of the Ecological Footprint, a method of describing the biophysical resources that Earth can provide to meet human demand and also how to account for how humans have used these resources This book describes the Ecological Footprint, a biocapacity accounting tool created by one of the authors, Mathis Wackernagel, and William Rees, his PhD supervisor It shows how the ecological footprint is calculated, and how it can be used to calculate the footprint of individuals, cities, countries, and even globally Wackernagel and Beyers describe how they determine the biocapacity of a country or a world and then show how humans use this biocapacity to meet their demands Equally importantly is that it describes the footprint flow of biocapacity between countries and how this flow is both beneficial and harmful.Without taking a moralistic tone, the authors describe how since the early 1970s humans have used annually resources than the Earth can provide At first there were no obvious consequences, largely because Earth s reserves were massive However, Earth s reserves can be likened to a trust fund where it is possible to live indefinitely from the interest alone, but when the principal is also used, the trust find quickly shrinks and soon runs dry The Ecological Footprint, in its own roundabout way, using footprint calculations at individual, city, and country levels, shows that our use of the Earth s principal is leading to overshoot i.e we have overextended the biocapacity credit provided by Earth and we are starting to experience the consequences Wackernagel and Beyers do not moralize about this situation, they just present an accounting and leave the reader to work out possible responses I found it interesting that they did not refer to the classic 1980 text Overshoot The Ecological Basis of Revolutionary Change by William Catton which is extremely topical today and complements this text.Overall, this is a very good introduction to the concept of the Ecological Footprint The reader should gain significant insight into how humans regard and use our resources, and how we will have to change our patterns of consumption as human demand for earth s resources rapidly outstrip what Earth can sustainably provide.It is not a perfect book I found multiple areas with poor grammar and sentence structure Although not significantly detracting from the book, it is a bit off putting to see this As well, the authors occasionally digressed into areas familiar to most readers of this book, thus wasting space that could have been used for better exposition elsewhere At times, while some examples seemed irrelevant, others lacked detail I learn from detailed examples, and these were lacking There should have been at least one very detailed example, with tables and sources, showing just how a specific footprint is determined.These issues may detract slightly from the book, but they are not fatal flaws and all in all it is an excellent introduction to a topic bound to be rapidly one of increasing importance I strongly encourage you to buy and read it.

  4. Chris O'Brien Chris O'Brien says:

    I first heard about the idea of an ecological footprint in the 1990s and I thought it was an absolute no brainer of a concept for how to determine the impact of humanity on the biosphere For some reason, although it was a brilliant way of capturing the public s imagination and helping to focus people s minds on the dire problems we were facing even back in the 1990s, the idea of an ecological footprint seemed to lose its initial appeal and eventually faded from the scene of environmental activism I am extremely glad to see that it is back and robust than ever, and will once again be an indispensable tool for helping humanity grasp the profound state of our ecological crisis and come to grips with how to extricate ourselves and all other life forms from the looming calamity.

  5. Lorena Drumond Lorena Drumond says:

    Esse livro possui uma leitura muito fluida al m de contar com ilustra es, gr ficos, tabelas, e outros recursos que dinamizam a experi ncia Em alguns momentos os leitores tornam se agentes participativos, o que deixa a leitura ainda mais empolgante.Essa leitura fundamental desde para quem quer entender melhor os impactos que os seres humanos est o gerando no planeta, at para quem quer aprofundar seus conhecimentos sobre pegada ecol gica Adiquiri meu exemplar no dia do lan amento no Canad 03 set 2019 e menos de um m s depois ele j estava em minhas m os no Brasil.

  6. Paul C. Sutton Paul C. Sutton says:

    This book builds on Mathis Wackernagel s previous books on the same subject The concept of doing ecological accounting by juxtaposing biocapacity and the ecological footprint is brilliant for several reasons 1 Most people and policy makers get it it is simple enough, 2 It bypasses or obviates the overpopulation vs consumption debate that has mired so many conversations, 3 It can be applied at a range of spatial scales, and 4 It illuminates how human civilization is fundamentally dependent on functioning ecosystems The scientific community and the media have failed to communicate how our economy, our society, and our very lives depend on the earth and these ecosystems and the seriousness of the environmental crisis Sadly, economists and the business community have succeeded in using flawed logic and magical thinking into anesthetizing our minds to these clear and present dangers Ecological footprint accounting helps expose the flawed logic and magical thinking of most economists by improving our understanding of the nature of value and the value of nature.