Summarised by the Centrist
The “ecological footprint” (EF) coined by Mathis Wackernagel and William Rees has ruffled feathers, being criticised as fundamentally flawed, oversimplified, and leaning heavily into pessimism. It paints a grim future, suggesting an impending ecological collapse, which ultimately necessitates coercive population control measures.
Furthermore, in “Correction, coercion, or collapse”, Alex Trembath writes that while the EF concept holds valid concerns about overconsumption and environmental degradation, it might be underestimating our technological prowess and adaptability.
Some staunch EF supporters argue for a drastic population reduction to save civilization, suggesting numbers as low as 100 million. But is this perspective too rigid and catastrophic? There’s signs this sort of thinking is starting to go out of fashion with the environmental movement.
It may be time to reevaluate whether popular frameworks in environmentalism, like EF, are too gloomy.