ACCORDING TO THE EF, IS THE HUMAN POPULATION LIVING AT, BEYOND OR BELOW THE EARTH’S NATURAL BIOCAPACITY? FOR HOW LONG HAS THIS BEEN THE CASE? IS THIS SUSTAINABLE?

ACCORDING TO THE EF, IS THE HUMAN POPULATION LIVING AT, BEYOND OR BELOW THE EARTH’S NATURAL BIOCAPACITY? FOR HOW LONG HAS THIS BEEN THE CASE? IS THIS SUSTAINABLE?

Students have been assigned different versions of the assignment: you need to download your own version of the assignment by using your own login access to the ECON131 iLearn webpage.
Answer ALL questions, clearly and in your own words. ALL relevant working must be shown.
Your assignment may be typed or hand-written.
There are to be NO appendices in your assignment.
You will be handing in your assignment in the ECON131 SUBMISSION BOX IN BESS. Please make sure you hand in your assignment using the attached cover page. Marks will be deducted if you attach the wrong cover page. A soft copy also needs to be uploaded to “Turn-it-in” (via iLearn).
Please attach two blank pages to the end of your assignment.
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Marks: The total mark for the assignment is out of 100.
Each of the 22 questions is worth 4 marks unless specified otherwise.
A further 10 marks will be awarded for the quality of the presentation of the assignment.
Due date: On or before 11 a.m. Friday, November 18, 2016.
Late submissions will be accepted up to 48 hours after the submission deadline. There will be a deduction of 10% of the total quality-based marks for EACH 24 HOURS period or part thereof that the submission is late (for example, being 25 hours late in submission will occur 20% mark penalty). This penalty does not apply for the cases in which an application for special consideration has been made and applied. Please see BESS for advice on this procedure. The penalty for unauthorised late assignments has been explained in the Unit Guide which appears on iLearn. The student should contact the Unit Convenor via the appropriate link on iLearn to discuss the alternate procedure for submission.
Plagiarism: Each assignment must represent the student’s own work. In particular, this means that the written answers submitted by the student should be composed by that student. The copying of another student’s answer or textbooks, or part thereof, is clearly regarded as plagiarism. All assignments will be scanned by software that detects plagiarism. Cases of plagiarism will be dealt with severely. For further information on plagiarism and how to avoid it, please refer to the unit outline.
Ecological Footprint (EF)
The Ecological footprint (EF) measures how much of the regenerative capacity of the biosphere is used up by human activities. It is the sum of productive land and water area required to support the population and provide the resources it consumes, absorb its waste and provide infrastructure (Stiglitz et al., 2009, p. 244, http://www.insee.fr/fr/publications-et-services/default.asp?page=dossiers_web/stiglitz/documentscommission.htm). Biocapacity is a measure showing the capacity of biosphere to regenerate and provide for life. More detailed definitions are given on page 5.
Figure 1: Humanity’s ecological footprint by component 1961-2012
Figure 2: Ecological footprint and Biocapacity per capita 1961-2012
Figure 3: United States of America: Ecological footprint and Biocapacity per capita 1961-2012
1. According to the EF, is the human population living at, beyond or below the Earth’s natural biocapacity? For how long has this been the case? Is this sustainable?
2. According to the EF, is the US population living at, beyond or below USA’s natural biocapacity? For how long has this been the case? Is this sustainable?
3. If you assume that EF grows at a constant yearly rate, what is the approximate slope of the EF relationship with time for USA? And what is its units? Give the equation of, and sketch this line, with EF on the vertical axis and year on the horizontal axis. (EF for 2012 is 8.2 and for 1961 was approximately 8.1).
4. If you assume that biocapacity grows at a constant yearly rate, what is the approximate slope of the biocapacity relationship with time for USA? And what is its units? Give the equation of, and sketch this line, with biocapacity on the vertical axis and year on the horizontal axis. (biocapacity for 2012 is 3.8 and for 1961 was approximately 5.2).
5. If this trend continues, what will EF and biocapacity be in 2050? (Hint: use your equation from questions 3 and 4.) What will biocapacity minus EF be in 2050? Will there be a deficit or reserve?
6. Use the data presented in Figure 1 to suggest a policy to make land use sustainable.
Definitions: Source: Global Footprint Network


 

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