Folks, we are not setting a very good example. According to a new report, if everyone lived the London lifestyle then we'd need another two planets to support ourselves.
Making London a Sustainable City - Reducing London’s Ecological Footprint (discussed here) is full of doom and gloom for those of us that treat the Capital as a base for our hedonistic lifestyles. But it can't be that bad really. Can it?
Let's talk about ecological footprints. This is a measure that "represents the area (in global hectares) of productive land or sea needed to produce the resources consumed by society and absorb the waste generated". The report indicates the following:
There are 1.9 gha per person available in the world
The average global consumption is 2.3 gha per person
The average UK consumption is 5.3 gha per person
The average Londoner consumes 5.8 gha per person
It further suggests that we help sort this out by concentrating on the following areas:
Resource use – reduce the consumption of short-life goods, especially paper
Food – a new approach to diet is needed with the promotion of food from more local sources
Energy and the built environment – action should be taken to improve the energy efficiency of existing buildings
Transport – it should be possible for people to travel less and to travel mainly by public transport on foot or by bicycle
Daniel Silverstone, Chief Executive at London Remade says:
"If government and businesses acknowledge the need for change and lead by example, then we can start moving forward towards a more sustainable London. Our capital has to be able to meet the needs of its inhabitants and compete as a world city, without running out of resources".
This all sounds good to us, but perhaps we are overlooking the obvious. Why not carry on the way we are and simply sustain our lifestyle by raiding the rest of the country? We're sure there's a lot of stuff we could store up by simply stealing from other cities. Edinburgh for example would make for prime looting of goods and services that are currently wasted on the Scottish. If it works on a global scale (and who can say Iraq wasn't a success?) then surely we can make it work closer to home and help liberate those poor souls currently suffering under the Scottish Parliament at the same time!