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APES Chapter 7 Measuring Your Impact

Biological and Human Populations
by

Selena Gavin

on 27 February 2013

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Transcript of APES Chapter 7 Measuring Your Impact

Biological and Human Populations Measuring Your Impact If the entire global population, 6.8 billion people, lived at the level of consumption found in the United States, the average individual would require 9.0 hectares. Therefore, multiplying 6.8 billion people by 9.0 hectares demonstrates that Earth's total population would require 61.2 billion hectares. However, there are only 11.4 billion usable hectares on Earth. Dividing 61.2 billion hectares by 11.4 billion hectares shows that 5.4 Earths would be necessary to allow the human population to live sustainably at the United State's level of consumption. Taking that same thought process into consideration, it would require 2.4 Earths for the entire human population to live sustainably at the level of consumption of Japan. (4.1 hectares per person x 6.8 billion people = 27.9 / 11.4 = 2.4 Earths) It would require 1.1 Earths for the entire human population to live sustainably at the level of consumption of China. (1.8 hectares per person x 6.8 billion people = 12.2 / 11.4 =1.1 Earths) ...and only half of an Earth would be required for the entire human population to live sustainably at the level of consumption of India. (0.8 hectares per person x 6.8 billion people = 5.4 / 11.4 =.5 Earths) It is crucial that a country can sustain itself within its borders, but a global approach to this issue must be considered. When all of the people in the world can consume at the level of a country, true sustainability is achieved. A balance between the present and the future is ensured. While a country's ability to sustain itself within its borders is a part of global sustainability, it is only a fraction of the picture. In that case, it is a possibility that one country is living sustainably at the expense of another and the Earth as a whole. Countries do not operate in isolation. A country that acknowledges its impact on the environment will by default have a positive impact on the sustainability of other countries. Living within its means allows a country to take measures towards a better future for generations to come and for the benefit of the environment. A country's ecological footprint is a measure of its demand on Earth's ecosystems. Before it can be determined, the ecological footprint of an average inhabitant of the country must be calculated. Furthermore, the ecological footprint of an average inhabitant of Earth leads to the understanding of the impact the human species as a whole makes on the planet. Average footprint (hectares per capita)
World: 2.7
United States: 9.0
Japan: 4.1
China: 1.8
India: 0.8 Knowledge regarding the population size of the Earth and countries is key in figuring out the total ecological footprint. The amount of usable, or biologically productive, land available also helps to solidify the reality of the effects humans have on the Earth. Population (millions)
World: 6,800
United States: 307
Japan: 128
China: 1,330
India: 1,170 Usable land (millions of hectares)
World: 11,400
United States: 1,350
Japan: 77
China: 1,100
India: 460 Multiplying the average ecological footprint by the population results in the total ecological footprint. For example, let's look at the world...

Since the average footprint is 2.7 hectares per capita, and the population is 6,800 million, the total footprint for the global population is 18,360 millions of hectares. Following the example...

The total ecological footprint for the United States is 2,763 millions of hectares.
(2.7 hectares per capita x 6,800 million people = 2,763 millions of hectares)

The total ecological footprint for Japan is 525 millions of hectares.
(9.0 hectares per capita x 1,350 million people = 525 millions of hectares)

The total ecological footprint for China is 2,106 millions of hectares.
(1.8 hectares per capita x 1,330 million people =2,106 millions of hectares)

The total ecological footprint for India is 936 millions of hectares.
(0.8 hectares per capita x 1,170 million people = 936 millions of hectares) Now that we have calculated the total ecological footprint, we can determine the deficit or surplus of usable land per individual by utilizing the amount of usable land. When we look at the world, we can see that the total ecological footprint is 18,360 millions of hectares and the amount of usable land is 11,400 millions of hectares. Subtracting the total ecological footprint from the amount of usable land provides us with an overall deficit of 6,960 millions of hectares. Diving this number by the population, 6,800 million, shows that the deficit of usable land per person is 1.0 millions of hectares, which can be represented as -1.0. The deficit/surplus of usable land per person in the United States is -4.6 millions of hectares.
(1,350 millions of hectares - 2,763 millions of hectares = -1,413 millions of hectares / 307 million people = -4.6 millions of hectares)

The deficit/surplus of usable land per person in Japan is -3.5 millions of hectares.
(77 millions of hectares - 525 millions of hectares = -448 millions of hectares / 128 million people = -3.5 millions of hectares)

The deficit/surplus of usable land per person in China is -0.8 millions of hectares.
(1,100 millions of hectares - 2,106 millions of hectares = -1,006 millions of hectares / 1,330 million people = -0.8 millions of hectares)

The deficit/surplus of usable land per person in India is -0.4 millions of hectares.
(460 millions of hectares - 936 millions of hectares = -476 millions of hectares / 1,170 million people = -0.4 millions of hectares) Within individual countries...
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