Sustainability and the Ehrlich equation

Sustainability Insights

A sustainable activity is one that is capable of going on for an indefinite period of time. Unfortunately, the term sustainable has been widely abused, as illustrated by the commonly-used contradiction sustainable growth: growth can never be truly sustainable in a finite world.

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Materials

Sustainability Insights

Raw materials To achieve even a basic standard of living, people need access to a certain amount of various raw materials — as a minimum, sufficient to make tools and clothing, provide shelter and grow food. In industrialized economies, the range and quantity of materials exploited are extensive, and in most cases large amounts of energy are also used in extraction and production processes.

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Ecosystems and biodiversity

Sustainability Insights

Biodiversity is a measure of the variety of life on earth. It can be assessed at genetic, species and ecosystem levels.1, 2, 3

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Climate change

Sustainability Insights

Only recently has it been possible directly to measure temperature, rainfall and the other weather variables that make up our climate. H

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Biocapacity and ecological footprint

Sustainability Insights

These two concepts were developed by the Global Footprint Network (GFN) and are quantified as global hectares (gha). They provide a common basis on which to compare the biological capability of the environment to provide food and meet other essential needs, versus the demands placed by human communities on these ecological services.

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24 September 2018

Ten thousand walk for Britain’s disappearing wildlife

Last Saturday, Population Matters joined ten thousand people from across the UK who flocked to London for a ground-breaking event: the biggest march for wildlife the country has ever seen.

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13 September 2018

Wildlife under threat – UK hedgehog numbers plummet

A recent large-scale hedgehog survey across Britain’s rural areas found an alarmingly low number of animals, bolstering earlier research indicating a steep decline. An iconic animal in the UK, the decline in hedgehog numbers reflects disappearing biodiversity under human pressure.

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Global biodiversity and population

Briefings and submissions
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17 August 2018

Population growth puts green belts under housing pressure

A new report by the Campaign to Protect Rural England (CPRE) published earlier this month revealed that under current council policies, 460,000 new homes could be built on ‘green belt’ land in the UK, with 35,000 proposals submitted last year.

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11 July 2018

20,000 scientists ignored – time for action

Last November, 15,000 scientists urged governments to act to avoid what they bluntly called “widespread misery and catastrophic biodiversity loss” identifying population growth as a “primary driver”.

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