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Over-consumption: Wikis

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Energy consumption per capita per country
CO2 emission per capita per year per country

Over-consumption is a theory related to overpopulation, referring to situations where per capita consumption is so high that even in spite of a moderate population density, sustainability is not achieved. The theory was coined to augment the discussion of overpopulation, which reflects issues of carrying capacity without taking into account per capita consumption, by which developing nations are evaluated to consume more than their land can support. Green parties and the ecology movement often argue that consumption per person, or ecological footprint, is typically lower in poor than in rich nations.

Contents

Effects

A fundamental effect of over-consumption is a reduction in the planet's carrying capacity. Excessive unsustainable consumption will exceed the long term carrying capacity of its environment (ecological overshoot) and subsequent resource depletion, environmental degradation and reduced ecological health.

The scale of modern life's over-consumption has enabled an overclass to exist, displaying affluenza and obesity. However once again both of these claims are controversial with the latter being correlated to other factors more so than over-consumption.

In the long term these effects can lead to increased conflict over dwindling resources [1] and in the worst case a Malthusian catastrophe.

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Economic Growth

However, the Worldwatch Institute said China and India, with their booming economies, along with the United States, are the three planetary forces that are shaping the global biosphere.[2] The State of the World 2006 report said the two countries' high economic growth exposed the reality of severe pollution. The report states

The world's ecological capacity is simply insufficient to satisfy the ambitions of China, India, Japan, Europe and the United States as well as the aspirations of the rest of the world in a sustainable way,

Counteractions

Movements and ideologies have formed in recent decades to reduce over-consumption. These include anti-consumerism, ecological economics, degrowth, freeganism and green economics. However laudable, these efforts mathematically cannot mitigate the consumption impacts projected from population projections through the year 2050.

See also

References

External links


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