Blighty Eat World
We have just run out of our own natural resources and are about to become dependant on supplies from abroad, according to a study by the New Economics Foundation.
The UK Interdependance Report (PDF 2.45Mb) maps out our dependance on the Earth's resources and shows that the average UK citizen is living beyond their means by going into "ecological debt" on April 16th 2006.
What this means is that if annual global consumption levels matched our own we would need 2.1 more planets with Earth's resources to meet the demand. Back in 1961 the world was big enough for everyone to have a lifestyle similar to those enjoyed by UK citizens. Now that has increased threefold!
France, Germany and even Russia are behind us with environmental footprints of 3, 2,5 and 2.4 respectively, but the USA is way ahead, needing the resources of 5.3 planets to fuel it's vast appetite.
The ecological footprint is calculated by measuring the amount of land and water humans need to a) produce the resources they consume and b) dispose of the resulting waste.
As with Friday's stark warning on climate change the burgeoning nations like China and India are increasing their own "standards" of living, demanding more from their lifestyles and putting further pressure on the planet's resources.
The reports authors hope the findings will highlight the need to curb our rising consumption levels, saying that current lifestyles are becoming incresingly unsustainable and placing greater pressures on the global environmental system.
At a time when our self-sufficiency on food has been in decline for a decade and our need for natural gas has led to imports from abroad it is time to start taking serious steps to avoid the threat to the earth's ability to sustain future generations.