Marketplace Off Air

We’re running up an ‘eco debt,’ too

Melissa Kaplan Oct 29, 2008

While credit woes are causing a global crisis in the markets, a different kind of worldwide debt is being racked up as well. The BBC reports a study by three ecological groups says demands on the planet’s natural resources overreach what the Earth can sustain by almost a third. According to the report, “More than three quarters of the world’s population lives in countries where consumption levels are outstripping environmental renewal. This makes them ‘ecological debtors,’ meaning that they are drawing – and often overdrawing – on the agricultural land, forests, seas and resources of other countries to sustain them.” The U.S. and China top the list of countries with a large ecological footprint as a whole, while Malawi and Afghanistan have the smallest ecological footprint per person.

The BBC is also reporting an E.U.-commissioned study has revealed that “the global economy is losing more money from the disappearance of forests than through the current banking crisis.” Who’s gonna bail us out of this one?

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