Yesterday there was an interesting article published in French newspaper Le Monde, titled
'The real threat on the future: overconsumption' (also available here - sorry, no English version).
I couldn't find a lot of information about its author ('Frédéric Julien, a political science PhD student at University of Ottawa, in residence at King's College Departmenf of Geography.') - but the contents are worth mentionning.
Julien's thesis is that society should fear overconsumption much more than overpopulation, as it is growing at a faster rate, and unlike demographic evolution, is showing no sign of being curbed any time soon: there are no 'growth control policies' equivalents to birth control policies.
If they are accurate, the following numbers are quite telling:
[note: 'ecological footprint' means the productive surface of soil and water necessary to sustain a lifestyle]
- 'between 1961 and 2007, North America (the United States and Canada) have seen their population grow by some 39%, whereas their ecological footprint has made a leap of %160'.
- 'as a result, in 2007 North America represented %5 of the world population, but %17 of its ecological footprint'.
I also like the phrase 'increase of revenue - i.e. 'permit to consume''.