June 18, 2017

What is My Fair Share of the Planet's Resources?

Some of us are taking more than our fair share.

Take the number of people on the planet. Divide that ever-increasing number into the finite number of acres that represents Earth's total resources. We end up with the number of acres per person, which is about 4 acres, and that doesn't leave anything for all the other non-human planetary inhabitants.

"It is only since the industrial revolution that resource use and consumption has skyrocketed. The US was built on foundations of frugality, yet today, North Americans are the world's greatest consumers. 
If the world's people consumed as North Americans, we would need five Earths. The link between consumer habits and global warming, war, species extinction, and social injustice are often lost amidst fast paced advertising and a throw-away consciousness." 
- Jim Merkel

Human population

- 7.4 billion

Acres per person available today

- 4.5 acres/person

If we leave 75% wild for the 25 million other species on Earth

- 1 acre/ person

Average acres/person used by humans 

Global average - 5.8 acres

United States - 24 acres

Canada - 22 acres

United Kingdom - 13 acres

Russia - 11 acres

Afghanistan - 0.75 acres

It is not a big stretch to conclude that ecological overshoot can not go on forever, and  that the sooner we do something about it, the better.

If not everyone can live a modern consumer lifestyle, how do we decide who can and who can't? Can anyone, if it leads to ecological overshoot and collapse?


  1. Jim Merkel's comment is powerful. I did not realize Canada's footprint was nearly as large as the U.S. At what point does all this collapse?

  2. Anonymous6/19/2017

    We can all live simply and practice simplicity. Working together to let go of attachment and craving. It's possible that this is one of many realms in many universes and this is were we find ourselves. Humanity is in the grip of attachment and craving is how we are entrapped by the system. The slave system has always been there and goes very deep. The ancient sages knew how to cultivate the way and there is only one way through this world, non attachment allows for a expansion in consciousness.

  3. Population of Rwanda (2017 and historical)
    Year Population Yearly % Change
    2017 12,159,586 2.33 %
    2016 11,882,766 2.35 %
    2015 11,609,666 2.44 %
    2010 10,293,66

  4. Population growth will be the biggest problem in the future,Saffron


Comments will be printed after moderation to eliminate spam. We are proudly a no buying, no selling website.

We enjoy reading all comments, and respond when time permits.

If you put a name to your comment we can all recognize you for your contribution.

Thank you for visiting and commenting.