WWF S’pore says if everyone consumes like S’poreans, we’ll need 4 planet Earths to survive

Huge ecological footprints.

By Joshua Lee | August 3, 2017

World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF) Singapore wants you to know that yesterday (Aug. 2) was Earth Overshoot Day.

Earth Overshoot Day is the a day each year our human consumption outstrips the Earth’s capacity.

This is computed by dividing the planet’s biocapacity (the amount of ecological resources Earth is able to generate that year), by humanity’s Ecological Footprint (humanity’s demand for that year), and multiplying by 365, the number of days in 2017.

This year, WWF Singapore said, via the above snazzy video, that if everyone on Earth lives and consumes like Singaporeans, humanity would need four planet Earths to survive. That’s how big our ecological footprint is.

Wow is our ecological footprint thaaaaaat big?

You bet your disposable coffee cups we do. So much so that, according to WWF-Singapore, we are in deficit, and using resources four times faster than we can afford to.

This comes from our carbon footprint from things like imported goods (especially food), car rides, and energy.

In fact, Singapore is using resources much faster than China,


and South Korea.

You can see the flaw in this comparison.

Many commenters took issue with how WWF Singapore compared Singapore against whole countries like Japan and China. Others pointed out that being dependent on imports inevitably drives up Singapore’s ecological footprint.

Most countries which have biocapacity reserves tend to be less developed (Bolivia, Congo, Papua New Guinea). Even those which are more developed tend to have vast hinterland (Canada, New Zealand, Sweden).

Comparison flaws aside, perhaps the more pertinent question we should be, despite these constraints, how can we change our consumption patterns and conserve our resources? After all, we definitely don’t have four Earths for us to plunder for long.

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Top image via Facebook.

About Joshua Lee

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