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Ecological Growth Boundaries

Abstract

The trends of the society for the continuous growth, combined with the demographic changes, today have led to the important ecological problems on a global scale, which include, among others: the increased use of non-renewable natural resources, an increase of the greenhouse gas emissions, contamination of soil, water, air and the progressive degradation of ecosystems. In the face of such serious threats the global initiatives of all countries are important to limit the results of the excessive consumption. The aim of the article is to present the methods of measurement of the consumption level of natural resources by the societies and the examination of relationships between the level of development of the societies and the use of resources. The popular measure – the ecological footprint – was used as a measurement method for the consumption of the today’s generations in relation to the regenerative possibilities of the natural environment. On the other hand, as the assessment method for the level of development of societies – the Human Development Index (HDI), including three basic areas: the life expectancy, GDP level per capita and education was used. The results of the research indicate that the current trend of the unlimited consumption of the highly developed countries takes place at the expense of the future generations.

Open access