Unit 3: Global trends in resource consumption
Consumption means using up of a resource. The word ‘Resource’ denotes anything that has functionality. It could be natural substances like water, wood or supply of skilled workforce. Geographers are particularly concerned to study the balance between the availability of natural resources, demand and consumption pattern of the resources and the role of technology to unlock resource potential.
It signifies the number of people that can live at a high standard of living in any given environment or in any country in respect to the available resources and technological capabilities.. The concept of population ceiling was first suggested by Malthus as a saturation level where population equals the supporting capacity of the resource (to him it was food production).
The carrying capacity of our planet is not unlimited. The amount of production we can do to satisfy our needs is limited too as we do not have unlimited resources at a particular point of time. We are consuming more and more. We are creating huge amount of waste and polluting our planet without much consideration. WE are responsible for our problems.
Global Consumption of Resources: We are consuming more and more:
Overshooting of the carrying capacity
Definition of Ecological Footprint: The theoretical measurement of the amount of bio-productive land and water a population requires to produce the resources it consumes and to absorb its waste under prevailing technology. Ecological footprints are measured in global hectares (gha).
Ecological Footprint is not evenly distributed across the globe. Calculation of the Gini coefficient for total Ecological Footprint and its components helps to understand the pattern of inequality in overall resource use. According to a study be Dr. Margaret Lowman at New College of Florida, the average ecological footprint for one Chinese citizen calculated in 2006 is 2.0 (meaning that it takes two global acres of resources to sustain each individual). The average footprint in Beijing is 6.2, indicating that urban residents consume more energy than rural dwellers. In contrast, the average ecological footprint of an American is 24. According to the Global Footprint Network (Aug, 2017), humans are using resources that will not be replenished. At some point of time, human ingenuity will come head to head with the rising population and demand through higher crop yields, application of the energy efficient technologies and by developing a sustainable water-food-energy nexus.
Threats to existance
Poverty: Concept and definition
Poverty is scarcity or the lack of certain amount of material possessions or money that causes deprivation and inequality in terms of access to resources to satisfy even the basic human needs. Nearly half of the world population is still poor and live on 2.50 dollars a day. Nearly half of the world’s poor live in just 5 countries – India, Nigeria, Democratic Republic of Congo, Ethiopia, and Bangladesh.
Absolute poverty or destitution: when people are not able to or deprived of satisfying their basic human needs, which commonly includes food, water, sanitation, clothing, shelter, health care and education. According to the World Bank, nearly 9% of the world’s population lives in absolute poverty on less than US$1.90 a day,
Relative poverty is defined contextually as the difference in economic capability or in access to services and resources in a particular country or society. It is a comparative approach. When we compare in terms of who is getting what, where and how.
Progress towards poverty reduction
Since 1990, nearly 1 billion people moved out of poverty: Poverty reduction is a major goal and issue for many international organizations such as the United Nations and the World Bank. The World Bank estimated that 1.2 billion people were living in absolute poverty in 2008. Of these, about 400 million people in absolute poverty lived in India and 173 million people in China. In terms of percentage of regional populations, sub-Saharan Africa with 47% of the population living in absolute poverty in 2008, recorded the highest incident of poverty. However, since 1990, nearly 1 billion people moved out of poverty. According to the World Bank, the world attained the first Millennium Development Goal target—to cut the 1990 poverty rate in half by 2015—five years ahead of schedule, in 2010. In 1990, 1.85 billion people were living in extreme poverty. In 2015, 736 million people lived in extreme poverty with less than $1.90 a day. Two regions, East Asia and Pacific and Europe and Central Asia have already reduced extreme poverty to below 3 percent (2030 target).
Poverty rates have declined in all regions, progress has been uneven: More than half of the extreme poor live in Sub-Saharan Africa. By 2030, nearly 9 out of 10 extreme poor will be in Sub-Saharan Africa. The majority of the global poor live in rural areas, are poorly educated, employed in the agricultural sector, and under 18 years of age.
Classwork : Article Review
Article review on Multidimensional poverty in the world: Note down the major 10 points that you have learned.
Growth of the New Global Middle Class (NGMC)
Defining the new middle class:
The growing mass of people who no longer experience absolute poverty and is able to meet the basic needs of life. Not yet achieved the so called affluent lifestyle of the West World but willing and trying to achieve it. They are mostly left with significant proportion of disposable income and thereby creating an emerging market segment for consumer goods. According to the Brookings study (referred below), a global tipping point has been achieved in the recent times where half of the world is composed of middle class. The new global middle class in China, India and Brazil together have created an equal the size of economy of the industrialized G7 countries. By 2050, they are expected to account for nearly half of world output, far surpassing the G7.