25 October 2006

Eco-Credits and Eco-Debits

Eco-debt and Eco-credit - this looks a little bit like a mutual credit system. Some take more, some take less and in the end it all balances, right? I wish! We look pretty green here in New Zealand and Australia, but that is certainly an illusion. In a true mutual credit system all accounts add up to Zero and to a perfect balance - our use of the environment doesn't. Only recently we celebrated the day when we went into ecological debt for this year.

As the lastest Living Planet Report 2006 points out, the ecological footprint increases and the living planet index decreases steadily. According to the report "Terrestrial species declined by 31 per cent, freshwater species by 28 per cent, and marine species by 27 per cent".

New Zealand is also right up there with the countries that have the largest footprint per capita:
Countries of over a million people with the largest footprint, in global hectares per person, are the United Arab Emirates, the United States of America, Finland, Canada, Kuwait, Australia, Estonia, Sweden, New Zealand and Norway. China comes mid-way in world rankings, at number 69, but its growing economy and rapid development mean it has a key role in keeping the world on the path to sustainability.

How about if we and the politicians running this country (and the planet!) would pay more attention to this kind of indicators, instead of only worshiping a growing GDP!

Read more on BBC Online: http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/science/nature/6077798.stm

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