overconsumption may hurt more than just the environment
Currently, humanity uses natural resources 1.5 times quicker than the Earth can replenish them. Among the heavy consumers, the world’s richest 19% consume 85% of the total global output, which is 60-fold what the world’s poorest 19% consume. Although this type of consumption has a negative effect on the Earth, it has a less obvious effect on the world’s poor.

According to Professor Mohan Munasinghe, this type of over-consumption is not only too taxing on the Earth, but it also lessens the supply of natural resources to the world’s poor. The effect of this shortage is the increase of price for resources and basic products which heightens tensions among the impoverished.

By consuming sustainably, the world’s rich will both help impoverished communities and the environment. To help aid in the fight against over-consumption, Professor Munasinghe is an advocate of the Millennium Consumption Goals.

The Millennium Consumption Goals are a set of benchmarks which help reduce consumption without drastically changing the lifestyle of the world’s rich. These benchmarks were designed to be used in accompaniment with the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) established by the UN. Since their creation, the MDGs have made a huge impact in reducing the amount of global poverty. Perhaps, with a little effort, the Millennium Consumption goals can have the same effect.

– Pete Grapentien

Source: The Irish Times