Quartermaster’s Update from 4 September 2016

Comparing data from today with the 1st (2015) Quartermaster’s Report (QMR) published in the book “this Spaceship Earth” by David Houle and Tim Rumage.

The Quartermaster supervises, stores, and distributes supplies and provisions. The Quartermaster is also the one responsible for making sure equipment, materials, and systems are available and functioning. The purpose of the Quartermaster’s Report is to put forth the data that describes the status of the ship, in this case “This Spaceship Earth.” The reason for taking a planetary perspective is to realign our individual viewpoints and assumptions about resource quantity, quality, and demand with that of TSE’s current operational capability, capacity, and actual status. This is not about what is preferred or desired, but what is. Therefore, in the world of the Quartermaster, if a 16 oz. glass has 8 ounces of liquid, the glass is neither half full nor half empty – it simply has 8 ounces of liquid.

 

 

Human Population

2016 –                        7,448,116, 815 people

2015 QMR –   7,307,492,161

net increase     140,624,654

http://www.worldometers.info

 

(the net increase is approximately the combined populations of the Tokyo, Delhi, Shanghai, Mumbai, Beijing, New York City, and Calcutta metropolitan areas.)

http://www.infoplease.com/ipa/A0762524.html

 

Net population increase

2016 –            159 people/min

2015 QMR – 148 people/min

net increase      11 people/min

http://www.worldometers.info

 

Food Waste

2016               1,600,000,000 tons

1st QMR         1,300,000,000 tons

net increase –  300,000,000 tons

 

It takes 250,000 billion liters (66,043 billion gallons) of water,

1.4 billion hectares (14 million sq. km. or 3.5 billion acres or 5.5 million sq. mi.) of land,

and 3.3 billion metric tonnes (3.6 US tons) of CO2 emissions to generate this food waste which has a global economic value of US$750, 000,000,000.

http://www.foodisforeating.org

 

 

Temperature

July 2016 was the hottest July ever recorded globally in 136 years of modern record keeping. July continued a streak of ten consecutive months (since October 2015) that have set new monthly high-temperature records.

http://earthobservatory.nasa.gov/IOTD/view.php?id=88607

Gavin Schmidt, director of Nasa’s Goddard Institute for Space Studies, said. “It’s unprecedented in 1,000 years. There’s no period that has the trend seen in the 20th century in terms of the inclination (of temperatures).”

https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2016/aug/30/nasa-climate-change-warning-earth-temperature-warming

 

Climate

Global Anthropogenic CO2 Emissions

from fossil-fuel combustion and industrial processes

 

2014 –           35,900,000,000 tonnes*

2012 –           34,500,000,000 tonnes (data used for 1st QMR)

net increase     1,400,000,000 tonnes

*http://www.globalcarbonproject.org/carbonbudget/15/files/GCP_budget_2015_v1.02.pdf

 

Translation Equivalency – global anthropogenic CO2 emissions measured in units of 4 tonne Elephants launched into the air/second /year

 

2014 –            284 elephants/second

2012 –            273 elephants/second

net increase   11 elephants/second

 

Annual Average Atmospheric Concentrations of CO2

in parts per million (ppm)

2015 – 400.83 ppm

2014 – 398.61 ppm

2013 – 396.48 ppm

2012 – 393.82 ppm

https://www.co2.earth/annual-co2

 

preindustrial levels ~ 278 ppm

net increase ~122 ppm, ~ 143% increase in CO2 concentrations

http://www.esrl.noaa.gov/gmd/ccgg/trends/history.html

 

Earth Overshoot Day comes earlier

2016 –               8 August

1st QMR –       13 August

net change –     5 days earlier

Earth Overshoot Day marks the date when humanity’s demand for ecological resources and services in a given year exceeds what Earth can regenerate in that year. Minimum safe date for balancing demand with resources and services is December 31st.

Earth Overshoot Day 2016

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

World’s Ecological Footprint rises to 1.6 Earths

 

2016 –            1.6 planets

1st QMR          1.56 planets

net increase      .04 planets

 

Today humanity uses the equivalent of 1.6 planets to provide the renewable resources we use and absorb our waste. This means it now takes the Earth 19.2 months to regenerate what we use in 12 months

http://www.footprintnetwork.org/en/index.php/GFN/page/world_footprint/.

 

 

Fish Stocks (overexploited/depleted/fully exploited)

2016 –           89.9%

1st QMR          87.0%

net increase     2.9%

http://www.fao.org/3/a-i5555e.pdf

 

 

Quartermaster’s Additional Considerations

Changes in Land Surface

 

In the past 30 years

115,000 sq. km (44,000 sq. miles) of land is now covered in water and

173,000 sq. km (67,000 sq. miles) of water has now become land.

 

The increase in land covered by water is due to sea level rise, the reservoirs that result from damming rivers, and the melt of glaciers thus turning them into lakes.

 

The two leading causes of increased land area are the drainage of lakes/inland seas and creation of artificial islands for real estate development and territorial claims.

http://www.nature.com/nclimate/journal/v6/n9/full/nclimate3111.html

or

http://www.bbc.com/news/science-environment-37187100

 

Subsidence: The gradual caving in or sinking of an area of land

 

Due to over pumping of ground water, many coastal cities are subsiding (sinking) faster than sea level is rising.

https://www.deltares.nl/en/topdossiers/subsidence/

 

Extinction Rate:

Extrapolating from the UN Environment Programme estimate, 54,750 – 73,000 species go extinct per year.

According to the UN Environment Programme, the Earth is in the midst of a mass extinction of life. Scientists estimate that 150-200 species of plant, insect, bird and mammal become extinct every 24 hours.

 

https://www.cbd.int/doc/speech/2007/sp-2007-05-22-es-en.pdf

Or

https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2010/aug/16/nature-economic-security

 

Submitted by

Tim Rumage

Co-author, This Spaceship Earth

Co-founder, thisspaceshipearth.org

Chief Science Officer and Quartermaster – This Spaceship Earth

 

There are two questions you might consider as you review this update.

First – how well do your assumptions about each topic match the reality of the data?

Second – does the information reflect an outcome that you wish humanity to achieve?

Your reflection and your response to your answers of those two questions will determine your consciousness and participation in defining and creating our common future.

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