Multiple Households Threatening World Eco Systems

Divorce and single-parent househoulds impacting environment study finds.

Published: 14-Jan-2003

) -- Ecologists studying the effects of economics on ecosystems have warned that human population growth and the number of growing households is globally threatening animal and plant life.
A new study by Jianguo Liu of Michigan State University in East Lansing and colleagues suggests that moving back home or getting a divorce affects our impact on other species. Human population growth is threatening animals and plants, but so too is the rising number of households, even in areas where the population is steady or shrinking, it says.
Throughout the world, the number of generations living under one roof has declined, and divorce is splitting families into multiple homes. More households containing fewer people are more damaging to the environment than simple population growth, Jianguo Liu was quoted as saying in Nature.
The abundance of dwellings with just one, two or three occupants can cause a sharp rise in the use of energy, land, construction materials and water. For example, both two-person and six-person households typically have one refrigerator.
"The more we take from biological systems, the greater the impact on biodiversity," says Jessica Hellmann, a conservation biologist at the Centre for Biodiversity Research at the University of British Columbia in Vancouver. She says measuring human consumption in terms of household units is a better way of thinking about the global problem. (ANI) 



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