Dr. William Rees, a professor in urban planning at the University of British Columbia and the co-founder of ecological footprint analysis with Dr. Mathias Wackernagel, is the featured speaker at the Association of Whistler Area Residents for the Environment’s annual general meeting on Thursday, March 27.
Ecological footprinting looks at how much land and water are necessary to maintain our standing of living, and has demonstrated that humans are currently overloading the earth’s capacity by at least 25 per cent. If all the people in the world enjoyed the same standard of living as North Americans, we would need an additional four planets.
Despite new technologies, our personal ecological footprints continue to grow. The size of our footprint is based on the vehicles we drive, the foods we eat, the consumer products we have, the size of our homes, how much energy we require, and dozens of other measurements. Those measurements are contrasted with the ability of the earth to replenish itself, such as to create new topsoil, grow trees, and to produce fresh water.
In fact, the whole concept of sustainability is about living within the planet’s ecological means.
The AWARE meeting will also include reports from directors, a look at the year’s activities and campaigns, and the election of a new board. If you’re interested in joining the board, applications have to be submitted by March 21 at 4 p.m. to www.awarewhistler.org.