Friday, January 04, 2008

Consumption Factor

I just read an interesting article at the NY Times tiled "What's Your Consumption Factor" My one liner summary is: worldwide consumption patterns have to even out so that resources can be managed appropriately to support everyone in the world.

The article has many statistics that illustrate the different levels of consumption across the world and relates it to population. It also explains that population growth is not a problem the way it is presented. A great read that I can't summarize appropriately so read it and see.

The fundamental point to understand is those populations that consume the most will need to reduce their consumption. It will be interesting to see how we adapt.


creme brulee said...

May I recommend A Short History of Progress by Ronald Wright.

from pg. 128-129

“Population growth is slowing, but by 2050 there will still be 3 billion more on earth. We may be able to feed that many in the short run, but we’ll have to raise less meat (which takes ten pounds of food to make one pound of food), and we’ll have to spread that food around.

What we can’t do is keep consuming as we are. Or polluting as we are.

We could help countries such as India and China industrialize without repeating our mistakes. But instead we have excluded environmental standards from trade agreements.

Like sex tourists with unlawful lusts, we do our dirtiest work among the poor.”

Thanks for link to NY Times.

Information Ninja said...

I liked the story of the guy who saved his garbage for a year to get a better perspective on what we consume and throw away.


lolalenox said...

I think that this is a really important factor. The general amount of human consumption can and has been an issue. I feel that it is the ravenous ways of our race that will drag us into our very own man made oblivion.

All of these consumption issues have come about because there is always the every present need of "WANT" in our daily lives. Wether it be food, clothing or even cars and homes. We acquire things that we dont need everyday just to have to throw them away.

Jake said...

Are you really that dumb??!?! come on the world is not going to change we will keep sucking the natural resources until the world as we kno it is a smeltering pot of smog, acid rain and rising sea levels!!

MaryKate said...

I like this blog. We may not be able to change the world, but whatever small effort we make or do matters, especially to us anyway, and tha's good enough. will hop over often

loveambassador said...

Thanks for this blog and the heads up about how we are impacting our world. I agree that many will continue wasting and polluting. But we can be the change we want to see and hope for the best. If we each become the change we want to see we will at least be happier with ourselves. My own belief is that those who waste will reap thier harvest quickly and it will become more and more unpleasant for them. Look forward to checking in often.
I will be posting a follow up post at

Keng said...

the new york times article you read has long been a fact.

we studied the same thing back in college, agricultural policies. like it said, population is not to blame entirely but the unbalanced distribution of food supply. 1 person's consumption in the US is enough to feed 10 people in our part of the world.

sucks but true.

nice blog by the way.

aoBROOKS said...

My family is the worst about disposing of garbage. Every time I return home, I marvel at the amount of garbage our house accumulates.

Alicat said...

I thought the world is already a pot of smog, acid rain and rising sea levels.
But Jake's correct, humans aren't going to change anytime soon. Many experts feel we are on the brink of no return with global warming if we keep releasing CO2 into the atmosphere at the current rates. Tim Flannery describes this well in 'We are the Weather Makers' - a good read with plenty of examples and facts etc, and easily understood by most.

FeButterfly said...

I appreciate the comments and different perspectives. If I can get people to talk and think I am very happy. You also add new perspectives and add to my knowledge. Thanks.