Ways in to the Text
Mathis Wackernagel, coauthor of Our Ecological Footprint: Reducing Human Impact on the Earth, is a sustainability planner—someone who devises strategies to help develop infrastructure and economic models that focus on making sure resources will continue to be available to future generations. The ecological footprint is designed to provide a way both to measure and to reduce ecological impacts on the Earth's finite stock of resources. Wackernagel and William Rees focus on ways to quantify and represent human consumption of resources and the amount of land required to sustain this consumption. Our Ecological Footprint argues that modern societies have overconsumed and damaged the Earth's natural resources. It offers a method to quantify the impact of a range of human activities on the environment. Traditionally, ecologists have employed the concept of carrying capacity—the maximum population size of a species that can be supported by an area while maintaining its capacity to do so in the future.