We found a positive relationship between life expectancy and the percentage of endangered and invasive species in a country…The overall trend in high-income countries with improvements to the Human Development Index, which includes human life expectancy as one of its variables, is toward a disproportionately larger negative impact on a country’s ecological footprint. However, some lower-income countries have a high level of development without a high impact on ecosystem services (Moran et al. 2008).Increased life expectancy means that people live longer and affect the planet longer; each year is another year of carbon footprint, ecological footprint, use of natural resources, etc. The magnitude of this impact is increased as more people live longer.
Fischer et al. (2012) propose a “transformation strategy” that assumes that direct links between people and nature are better than indirect links. This paradigm shift would recouple the social-ecological system.