Sightline Daily has some interesting numbers up on the relative biomass of human beings, domesticated animals, and wild animals. Apparently, just humans have eight times as much mass as all the wild vertebrates on land. Our mass approximately equals that of all the fish and whales in the ocean. Things are even more dramatic when you factor in domesticated animals. They contain 100 megatonnes of carbon – 20 times as much as there is in all the wild vertebrates on land.
The figures certainly make you think about ecological footprints in a more direct way. They also say something about energy. It seems fair to say that one major factor affecting the total biomass of wild animals is the amount of energy they are able to access. To what extent does our inflated biomass result from unsustainable energy use? Will we be able to maintain it when we can no longer count on ever-increasing production of fossil fuels?