Humanity’s unsustainable environmental footprint - Science article by Hoekstra and Wiedmann
Humanity's unsustainable environmental footprint
by Arjen Y. Hoekstra and Thomas O. Wiedmann
published in Science 6 June 2014
Within the context of Earth's limited natural resources and assimilation capacity, the current environmental footprint of humankind is not sustainable. Assessing land, water, energy, material, and other footprints along supply chains is paramount in understanding the sustainability, efficiency, and equity of resource use from the perspective of producers, consumers, and government. We review current footprints and relate those to maximum sustainable levels, highlighting the need for future work on combining footprints, assessing trade-offs between them, improving computational techniques, estimating maximum sustainable footprint levels, and benchmarking efficiency of resource use. Ultimately, major transformative changes in the global economy are necessary to reduce humanity's environmental footprint to sustainable levels.
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