People are intelligent beings capable of responding rationally to new knowledge particularly if it can be shown to be directly relevant to their own circumstances. For this reason, the eco-footprint concept resonates better with the public than do more abstract and impersonal sustainability indicators. In particular, people appreciate the way EFA draws them into reflecting on their personal consumption habits as illustrated by the popularity of EFA-oriented web-sites that offer simple calculators that visitors can use to estimate their personal eco-footprints. Attributes of EFA that help to communicate biophysical reality to the public include the following:
The method is conceptually simple and intuitively appealing. Even sceptics recognize that that they have a positive ecological footprint.
EFA personalizes sustainability by focusing on consumption—everyone is a consumer and must ultimately take responsibility for his/her own ‘load’ on the planet.
EFA consolidates measurable energy and material flows into a single concrete variable, the corresponding appropriated land/water (ecosystem) area.
Land itself is a powerful indicator. Everyone understands ‘land.’ (Popular understanding of the ecological crisis is prerequisite to any politically viable solutions.)
Eco-footprint estimates can be compared to finite local and global ‘supplies’ of terrestrial and aquatic ecosystems (i.e., people and populations can compare their demands to available bio-capacity).
The ‘ecological deficit’—the difference between domestic bio-capacity and a larger eco-footprint—requires little explanation and many people see it as more important than the fiscal deficits with which their governments are often preoccupied!
EFA appeals to both the ecologically and socially conscious. For example, it reflects gross material inequity but also shows that growth is not a sustainable option to relieve it.
Perhaps as important as any other factor, ‘ecological footprint’ is a powerfully evocative metaphor—would people be as quickly captivated by the concept had it been called the ‘human impact index’ instead?

A husband's mother and his wife had generally better be visitors than inmates.

A husband's mother and his wife had generally better be visitors than inmates.

The truth hurts like a thorn at first; but in the end it blossoms like a rose.

A man may keep a woman, but not his estate.

As scientists, we understand the dangers of nuclear weapons and their devastating effects, and we are learning how human activities and technologies are affecting climate systems in ways that may forever change life on Earth. As citizens of the world, we have a duty to alert the public to the unnecessary risks that we live with every day, and to the perils we foresee if governments and societies do not take action now to render nuclear weapons obsolete and to prevent further climate change... There’s a realization that we are changing our climate for the worse. That would have catastrophic effects. Although the threat is not as dire as that of nuclear weapons right now, in the long term we are looking at a serious threat.

I could isolate, consciously, little. Everything seemed blurred, yellow-clouded, yielding nothing tangible. Her inept acrostics, maudlin evasions, theopathies every recollection formed ripples of mysterious meaning. Everything seemed yellow-ly blurred, illusive, lost.

Outside the rain poured down more directly and powerfully as the wind fell in the early hours of the morning. The aster was beaten to the earth. The child's bucket was half-full of rainwater; and the opal- shelled crab slowly circled round the bottom, trying with its weakly legs to climb the steep side; trying again and falling back, and trying again and again.

We can change our wives, he said. We can change our jobs, our nationalities and even our religions, but we can never change our team.

Since technology, like gas, will fill any conceptual space provided, Leo Marx, professor emeritus at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, describes it as a “hazardous concept” that may “stifle and obfuscate analytic thinking”. He notes, “Because of its peculiar susceptibility to reification, to being endowed with the magical power of an autonomous entity, technology is a major contributant to that gathering sense… of political impotence. The popularity of the belief that technology is the primary force shaping the postmodern world is a measure of our.. neglect of moral and political standards, in making decisive choices about the direction of society.”

The thing is to become a master and in your old age to acquire the courage to do what children did when they knew nothing.

Those who begin many things finish but a few.

In ultimate analysis, the universe can be nothing less than the progressive manifestation of God.