Hooray For Consumerism!

So the environmental site Ecology Fund.com has a calculator that lets you

find out your "ecological footprint"
. Here’s mine:

Your ecological footprint is estimated to be 16.7 hectares (41.3 acres).
If everyone in the World lived lived like you we would need 8 Planets to support global consumption.

First of all, it’s not as though there’s 41.3 acres of land with my name on it.
(Although I sure as hell wish there were… especially if it had oil in it.) That
"footprint" is shared with a lot of people. Just because I eat a part of a
cow that grazed on a one-acre pasture, it does not mean that I just used one
acre of land. That cow more than likely fed several people, and that acre wasn’t
solely devoted to one cow.

Furthermore, if everyone had the standard of living that I do (modest as it
may be), it would certainly not take 8 planets. We have more than enough food
to supply a much larger population than the 6 billion or so who currently
inhabit the Earth. (As well as the Green Party members who must currently be
living in some other dimension.) If every one of them had the ability to do
something other than ensure that they had food on the table, there’s a good
chance we would have figured a way to increase that carrying capacity even
more. (In fact, if the world had such a high uniform standard of living, we’d
probably be well on our way to colonizing those extra seven planets.)

That’s what annoys me about the environmentalist movement. They ignore
the good that technology does. They may complain about the effects of
cars, but try living in 19th Century London with horse crap in the streets, causing
mass outbreaks of cholera and other diseases. Even by the most pessimistic
of estimates, we have enough oil to last for 75 years, by which time we should
be humming along on hydrogen fuel cells. The right answer to solving
environmental problems isn’t by trying to halt science, it’s by expanding it. By
the end of this century, cars may very well go the way of the horse-drawn
carriage, and smog the way of dung in the streets – but only if we let science
and industry take us there.