Eric Rimmerhad said on 6/11:
“Thanks Peter – I do like your second paragraph – though there is a catch. The UK and the US and many more relatively low-birth-rate countries cannot live within the food-production capacity of the land they live in!”
To Peter Salonius’s statement on 6/11:
‘That said, there certainly is sentiment suggesting that food aid — offered to populations that have overshot the food production capacity of the land they live on – should not be lavished on people until they institute well defined programs that WILL begin to decrease their numbers toward levels that can be supported/sustained by the productive capacity of their OWN LAND.’
Ashok Agrwaal responding to my comment on 6/15
I find this brief analysis by Phil Henshaw far more meaningful than reams of speculative stuff churned out by Americans in general.
I replied on 6/13:
Right, and the way to measure that “unaccountable” footprint on the land, far away from the user is the trick, that I think I figured out.
It’s using the statistical principle that most dollars can’t have way below average impact, so unless you can show it, consider your spending to have average impacts.
I think the math works out more or less like the image I had when reading the fashion magazine yesterday at the doctor’s office. There was a full page image of exquisite beauty surrounding a fabulous sea side South Hampton beach house.
What popped into my mind was “an acre of undisturbed bliss in a square mile of total destruction”. There are 640 acres in a sq mile and maybe it takes a million dollar income to have one of those places.
The world energy intensity of money =6000btu/$ fairly uniformly around the world. With a 1M$ income your energy use would about equal to 2.3 acres of high performance PV solar collectors, a reasonable measure of the highest intensity mono-culture buildable.
Then there’s the guesswork. What is the average renewable productivity of the total of disturbed land? You’d need to count a proportional share of all the clear cut forest, all the paved and plowed land, the scraped ocean floors and the deserts of overgrazed arid pasture.
Then *maybe* your share of all the unproductive waste land would pull down the average productivity of your land use to 1/250th of the highest possible efficiency use. Then you have your 1 acre of bliss being supported by 1 square mile of destruction.
Phil Henshaw ¸¸¸¸.·´ ¯ `·.¸¸¸¸
NY NY www.synapse9.com
ed 2/14/12 –
fyi – current data for “Dollar Shadow” impact estimates are that world average GDP energy intensity is ~8000btu/$ and the energy for producing $1 of GDP would take .175 sf of solar farm for a year to generate as electricity or a .0063 sq mi area. That multiplied by the assumed factor of 250 above gives 1.57 sq mi. other notes and discussion see Systems Energy Assessment