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The world is facing an ecological crisis, yet most people have only the shallowest understanding of their own species' role in causing this situation.

In this article William E. Rees, architect of the 'ecological footprint' — a way to calculate the area of productive ecosystem required to support a population — says that this kind of analysis is a key way to bring home the reality that we are stamping out the world's resources.

He says that humanity is on a collision course with biophysical reality and, as biology provides no immediate remedy, the solution must be cultural. The alternative, he adds, is resource wars and descent into geopolitical chaos.

Link to full Nature concepts article

Reference: Nature 421, 898 (2003)