New York University’s Educating for Sustainability lecture series presents Mathis Wackernagel’s lecture “The Ecological Footprint: A Decision Tool for Facing the Challenges of Climate Change and Building a Sustainable Future,” on Wednesday, September 23, 2009, from 6:00 - 7:30 PM, at Rosenthal Pavilion, Kimmel Center for University Life, 60 Washington Square South, 10th Floor, New York, NY. The event is free and open to the public; please RSVP at: http://www.nyu.edu/rsvp/event.php?e_id=1771
On September 25, humanity will have demanded all the ecological services - from filtering CO2 to producing the raw materials for food - that nature can generate this year. Starting in the mid 1980s humanity’s Ecological Footprint - human demand on Earth’s resources - has been bigger than what the Earth can supply.
Today, humanity’s overshoot is over 30 percent, meaning that in less than 10 months, we require the ecological services it takes 12 months for nature to generate. Wackernagel will discuss the impact of the business-as-usual scenarios, based on moderate projections of UN agencies, which show humanity using twice the planet’s regenerative capacity by the early 2030s — the time kids born today are graduating college (for details see the Ecological Footprint Atlas (www.footprintnetwork.org/atlas) or Global Footprint Network and WWF’s Living Planet Report 2008). Reaching this level of overshoot may be ecologically impossible.
Wackernagel, a Swiss-born sustainability advocate, is currently executive director for Global Footprint Network, an Oakland, California-based non-profit that focuses on developing and promoting metrics for sustainability. The Ecological Footprint is a resource accounting tool that measures how much nature we use compared to how much we actually have.
The Educating for Sustainability lecture series is cosponsored by the NYU Sustainability Task Force and the NYU Environmental Studies Program.
NYU’s Sustainability Task Force is an advisory body composed of students, faculty, administrators, and staff, who develop recommendations for new policies and practices that advance NYU’s long-term future as a sustainable university. For more information on the Sustainability Task Force, please go to http://www.nyu.edu/sustainability