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Information provided at the "Training for Transition", Totnes, September 2009.
Informaci'on suministrada en el training de TT en Totnes, Septiembre 2009

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  1. 1. Carrying Capacity Definition Transition Training 2007
  2. 2. Carrying capacity - notes <ul><li>Main points </li></ul><ul><li>Carrying capacity is the population that can be sustained, at a given level of consumption, on a given area </li></ul><ul><li>The global population passed the planet’s carrying capacity in about 1980 </li></ul><ul><li>Additional Notes </li></ul><ul><li>What the carrying capacity is depends on how much natural resource is taken by humans, how much we allow for other species </li></ul><ul><li>The current human population of the earth is 6.5 billion. Best estimates are that earth’s long term sustainable population is 2 billion (if everyone had a low level of Western consumption and technology), and maybe less. </li></ul><ul><li>Quote from Vandana Shiva: the best way for a population to make good decisions about carrying capacity is for the people to own their land. </li></ul>
  3. 3. Ecological footprint Transition Training 2007
  4. 4. <ul><li>Wackernagel and Rees introduced the concept of ecological footprints. </li></ul><ul><li>The idea can be applied to any item, person or activity </li></ul><ul><li>The footprint is the total area required to sustainably supply all the energy and resources needed, and to absorb all the waste produced by the item, person or activity </li></ul>Ecological footprint
  5. 5. The UK – living beyond our means Transition Training 2007 “ ghost acres” – taking from others “ fossil acres” taking from the past (ancient sunlight) “ draw down” taking from the future
  6. 6. Overshoot <ul><li>Main Point </li></ul><ul><li>If we are living beyond our means – ecologically speaking – How is that possible? </li></ul><ul><li>Because we use three sources of extra inputs and waste removal: </li></ul><ul><li>Ghost acres . We import food, trees, clothing, minerals and other resources as raw or finished goods from other countries. </li></ul><ul><li>Fossil acres . Our one-off legacy from the past, mainly in the form of fossil fuels for energy – but also the most easily mined metals and other minerals </li></ul><ul><li>Draw down . We use renewable resources without regard to the time for them to renew. We pass on an increasingly degraded world to our children – with less water, forest, fish, wilderness, trees, species, land etc </li></ul><ul><li>Additional Points </li></ul><ul><li>Ghost acres can be seen as a post-colonial form of empire – taking from those less powerful than us. The other two are like a business using up its capital as if it is income. “The Last hours of ancient sunlight” is a wonderful book about this. </li></ul><ul><li>In exchange for importing goods and exporting waste to other countries? We provide “services” such as financial markets, and sell debt. 97% of the money circulating in the world is debt, issued by rich countries </li></ul>
  7. 7. Global inequality is growing Transition Training 2007
  8. 8. Global inequality <ul><li>Main points </li></ul><ul><li>Each horizontal band shows 20% of the world’s population, the horizontal width shows their income </li></ul><ul><li>The richest 20% earn 82% of the world’s income – and the vast majority of this is earned by the top 10% </li></ul><ul><li>Additional points </li></ul><ul><li>This trend is becoming more extreme. </li></ul>
  9. 9. A diagram of everything Transition Training 2007 Water Short use then throw away Massive inequalities Fish Minerals Oil and gas Inputs Outputs Land Rubbish in landfill Soil Chemicals Gases Radioactive waste Forest Food Industrial growth system
  10. 10. A diagram of everything Main Point The model of the industrialised growth system is that there are unlimited resources as inputs and an unlimited “sink” for receiving outputs - “waste” Although we focus on climate change and peak oil – and some people have questions about the analysis of these problems, a closer look reveals that every part of this system is in crisis. (following slides go into each aspect in more detail)
  11. 11. The solution: closing the loops Transition Training 2007
  12. 12. The solution – closing the loops <ul><li>This slide shows the concept of thinking in terms of cycles </li></ul><ul><li>Solutions to our disconnected “resources in rubbish out” system would include ideas such as: </li></ul><ul><li>Relocalisation – the output from one system is an input somewhere else. E.g. waste card as biofuel </li></ul><ul><li>Permaculture is a very helpful thinking tool for designing closed systems </li></ul><ul><li>Indigenous living systems also show us how to close these loops </li></ul><ul><li>You might like to think of some examples of closing loops.. </li></ul>
  13. 13. The Age of Cheap Energy is Over <ul><li>Peaks in oil production follow peaks in discoveries- usually 25-40 years later </li></ul><ul><li>Of 98 producers, 64 countries have already peaked </li></ul><ul><li>When Peak Oil & Climate Change are considered together, solutions to each cancel each other out. The whole system needs to be redesigned- a low energy, re-localised and resilient system is the only viable future </li></ul><ul><li>The current human population of the earth is 6.5 billion. Best estimates are that earth’s long term sustainable population is 2 billion (if everyone had a low level of Western consumption and technology), and maybe less. </li></ul>