Last month the World Wildlife Fund released their Living Planet Report 2012. Now before I shred it, I will point out that not everything in it is bad, in fact there's actually a few recommendations that are worthwhile. Namely better protection for endangered species, and better controls on overfishing & illegal logging. These are good, common sense recommendations for very real and serious problems. But where it gets into trouble is when it starts talking about "biocapacity", "ecological footprints", and how we're exceeding all of them and are in "ecological overshoot". Frankly this section reeks of Malthusianism. But believe it or not, it gets worse. This is where they reveal what their real agenda is. In no particular order, here's a few juicy quotes: Pay special attention to "moving away from material and energy-intensive commodities". What that basically means is the complete and total deindustrialization of the planet as well as prevention of industrialization in currently non-industrial countries. How can this statement mean that? Because almost all metals inherently require large amounts of energy to mine, smelt, and mill into the various alloys we find in our products. In addition there's still the manufacturing processes to produce those products, and many of them are energy intensive too. Now this is where I become completely baffled why the European Space Agency would endorse such proposals. Unless they can find a way to make their rockets and spacecraft out of balsa wood, there would be no future for the agency. Now this is what the deindustrialization proposal is really about. Unless our energy consumption falls off a cliff there is no possible way this is going to happen, and even if it did the amount of land required is monstrous. When economies grow they always use more energy and more resources, and while efficiency gains will slowdown the rate of increase, it still goes up none the less. In fact a good metric for determining if an economy is growing is by looking at the energy consumption. So what does this "decrease demand by 15% compared to 2005" mean? Well, basically it means if this proposal goes forward there would be a permanent recession, likely lasting decades or more.