This seems to be the week of non-governmental organizations (NGO) issuing state of the environment reports. Coming off of the heels of the American Lung Associations report on the dirtiest and cleanest air cities to live in, the World Wildlife Fund (WWF), issued their report on declining global biodiversity. The world’s biodiversity is down 30 percent since the 1970s, according to their report, with tropical species taking the biggest hit. And if humanity continues as it has been, the picture could get bleaker. Humanity is outstripping the Earth’s resources by 50 percent, essentially using the resources of one and a half Earths every year, according to the 2012 Living Planet Report, produced by conservation agency the World Wildlife Fund. Colby Loucks, the director of conservation sciences at WWF, compared humanity to bad houseguests. “We’re emptying the fridge, we’re not really taking care of the lawn, we’re not weeding the flower beds and we’re certainly not taking out the garbage,” Loucks said. As of 2008, the most recent year for which data is available, humans were outstripping Earth’s bio capacity by 50 percent. Bio capacity is the amount of renewable resources, land, and waste absorption (such as sinks for carbon dioxide) the Earth can provide. In other words, it takes the planet 1.5 years to restore what humanity burns through in a year.
Photo Credit: John Vlahakis