ecoglobe Questions about the validity and effect of the "ecological footprint"
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The premises:

  • The "Ecological footprint" is defined as " (Global Footprintnetwork).
  • ...
  • Questions posed to Mathis Wackernagel about the real effect and validity of the so-called "ecological footprint"

    1. Did your work convince one single poinion leader to publicly abolish the growth ideology? If yes, who is that person?
    2. Does Global Footprint Network believe in "sustainable growth", like WWF and UNEP and most opinion leaders and functionaries? If yes, can you explain how growth could become sustainable in a material and real world?
    3. Why are you increasingly embedded in financial framworks, as if ressources could be saved by investments - investments that again increase resource use?
    4. Do you believe that Hope, Optimism and Technology will one day solve all environmental problems? If yes, when should the magical bullet of a miracle technology be here to prevent complete depletion of the world?
    5. Why are you not more precise in the message? Why do you and your disciples not say clearly that we must stop all growth and then start contracting?
    6. Why do you not consider the effect of continued population growth?
    7. Do you really believe that there are such countries that would have a biological credit capacity? Do you really believe a country like Brazil is living within its biological limits, although it continues to deplete its lands?
    8. How will it is practice be possible that so-called "deficit countries" would one day restitute the "ecologcal debts" to so-called "ecological creditor" countries?
    9. [...]

    This image represents the real human pressure on the earth, the "Environmental Resource Use" footprint. This comprises all resources and nature that we use.

    The image was copied from the Wackernagel and Rees publication "The Ecological Footprint - Reducing Human Impact on the Earth".

    It clearly shows the delusional picture of the ecological footprint communication - an effect that is repeating itself till this very day.

    Jim Leape, Director of WWF International for example, and virtually all opinion leaders errouneously think that the footprint represent our total weight, believing in "sustainable growth".

    One must wonder what the Global Footprint Network manages to do, if even their closest allies, such as the WWF, still believe in continued growth.

    We conclude that this "ecological footprint" is well-intentioned. But its concept has serious flaws and, most important, its promotion has the opposite effect. It leads people to
    1. wrongly believing that the ecological footprint represents the total human pression on the planet.
    2. engaging in footprint calculations that give a do-good feeling, whilst the growth policies are being continued unchanged.
    3. maintain the illusions and expectations that we could continue business as usual with some measures on the margins, for example with the UNEP finance initiative.

    Examples of the delusionary ecological footprint messages


    The above two images show examples of delusionary ecological footprint messages 
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