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NET NITS Screwy Math

Gavin Ritson, chief metallurgist and project manager at Hatch, probably wasn't the only reader to note the inconsis...



Gavin Ritson, chief metallurgist and project manager at Hatch, probably wasn’t the only reader to note the inconsistency in last week’s editorial about Canada’s ecological footprint. He wrote: "In your lead article it suggests that there is ‘only 1.9 hectares of productive land and sea available to meet the needs of each person.’ Further on it states that ‘The world average per person is 2.28 hectares, and that might be something to shoot for.’ No wonder the environment is being decimated at such a rate!! (We must be getting the additional 0.38 hectare/person from another planet.)"

Well, last time I checked we weren’t. So I went back to the report of the Federation of Canadian Municipalities to see how this discrepancy was perpetuated. The 1.9-hectare figure was stated clearly in the text of the FCM report. The 2.28 number was included in Table 6, the ecological footprint size by component. That table was taken from the 2002 Living Planet Report. My suggestion is to contact the FCM through its website, www.fcm.ca, and perhaps someone there has the definitive number.


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