Wednesday, March 18, 2015

America Needs 4.68 Americas to Support Its Lifestyle

An Oregonian article about the future of farming quotes a digital image seller:
"...the American middle class enjoys a lifestyle that needs 33 global acres per person."
The Popclock says we now consist of 320,544,000 people, so we need 10.58 billion acres to support our lifestyle.

Unfortunately, America has only 3,531,905 square miles of land area, which is 2.26 billion acres.

So it takes 4.68 Americas to support the lifestyle of all Americans.


John Fleck said...

David - This number sets off my back-of-the-envelop-BS-detector. The U.S. is, I think, a net food exporter?

David Appell said...

John, I was thinking the number is for more than just food. So it would include crops grown for textiles, resource extraction, and whatever else. But the number was given by a guy at a farming exposition, so perhaps it was just for food and (therefore) he didn't know what he was talking about.

David Appell said...

This group, the Global Footprint Network, gives the US ecological footprint as 7 hectares per person:

For the entire country that works out to 5.55 billion acres, or 2.45 times America's size.

Half of my earlier number.

David Appell said...

PS: 7 hectares/person = 17.3 acres/person