|World map of countries by ecological footprint (Photo credit: Wikipedia)|
You need food. Where does the food come from? Vast tracts of land that need sunshine, water and soil. It's not hard to imagine that the food needs of a single person on our planet probably exceed one thousand square meters of land. If we really squeezed the entire global population into the state of Texas, where would they grow their food?
You produce biological waste. Where does all your waste go? Processing that waste and "recycling" it back into the ecosystem requires huge amounts of land space. Nature needs a large, functioning ecosystem to dilute, process and transform the waste products of humanity, and in fact nature isn't even keeping up.
All told, the amount of land space required to support one human life is immensely larger than the amount of physical space occupied by one human body. This is classically called the "ecological footprint" of a human being. It's not a conspiracy theory and it's not something fabricated by Al Gore: We really do need a LOT of space to meet the demands of food, water, energy, resources, waste processing and so on. Read more...