The other deficit

I’m not watching, but I imagine if you turn on ITV this evening you will hear a lot of arguing about the deficit. It’s the first and only TV debate in Britain’s elections tonight, and the deficit will feature prominently, no doubt.

They’ll be talking about public spending, but there is another deficit that we hear a lot less about. That’s our biocapacity deficit. Britain, and many other developed countries, use more of the earth’s resources than can be provided in their own territory. That means we rely on the surplus of others to carry on living the way we do.

When you map the countries that run a biocapacity deficit and those that operate with a surplus, it looks like this:

the other deficit

HT Footprint Network


  1. I’m quite surprised that Australia is listed as having a biocapacity “surplus”. It makes me question whether the whole picture is more grim than portrayed in that graphic (ie. the whole scale should be shifted towards the deficit end). Perhaps in Australia’s case, it’s affected by the amount of exported raw materials.

    Cheers, Angus

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