“Technology Will Not Save Us”
Once an ecological footprint is done, backcasting can then be used to figure out how to fulfill the necessary reductions goals that must be achieved by a future date. Backcasting creates fewer miscalculations and spurs innovative solutions.
When the Dutch Sustainable Technology Development group used backcasting to consider how to reverse current resource consumption their conclusion was that “technology will not save us.” In other words, we will need complete systems change in our transport systems, product use, and food supply.
Friends of the Earth: Backcasting for a Sustainable Europe
Friends of the Earth in Europe commissioned a study by the Wuppertal Institute in Germany to quantify the effects that European consumption was having on their own environment, as well as the social and environmental effects on developing countries of the South.
Using the concept of environmental space, or ecological footprints, per capita, consumption in Europe was quantified and then compared with the standard for global consumption based on social equity and the rights of the South to have the same access to resources as northern populations. Forecasts were then made for what level of reduction was needed by the year 2010 and 2040 and recommendations also made for how these reductions were to be achieved.