If people's happiness (satisfaction with life) is defined as the current distance from their comfort zone measured as a fraction of the maximum distance, then we can estimate the effects of stressing a population on its consumption and longevity.
Measuring a population's comfort zones ("V") and environments ("E") on a scale from zero to ten, and varied over a range centered on a specific value, average per-capita consumption will vary -- and with it, life expectancy, happiness, and resource depletion time ("Tmax").
At the end of 2008, the following ranges of values were expected based on analysis of 142 countries: V = 4.73 - 5.28; E = 2.40 - 2.63.
Reducing the range of environments as suggested in earlier analysis unlikely to decrease consumption significantly, however increasing the range would dramatically increase it.
The effect on resource depletion time is plotted below for several ranges of environments, using the (fixed) population and amount of resources projected for the end of 2008 ("Current") by the Combined Population Model. Each shaded region identifies depletion times within the same order of magnitude (for example, red points are depletion times between 0.1 and 1 year).
The following graph shows depletion time as a function of ranges of life expectancy.
For discussion of this topic, see: Optimizing Happiness, The Ideal Path, Pathways to Sustainability (Transition Colorado).
© Copyright 2008-2009 Bradley Jarvis. All rights reserved.