Earth Overshoot Day

Or “Ecological Debt Day”

On the 21st of August, the Earth, and we its passengers, surpass our use of natural resources beyond that which may reasonably be expected to be regenerated naturally. So for the rest of the year we use resources incurred as a debt to future generations.

In 1987, that day was December 19. In 2000, it was November 1. Now it is either August 21 or 22, indicating that we are escalating our depletion of resources, and endangering the future. Our great great grandchildren will learn to hate us.

Global Footprint Network, the organization that recognizes the day annually, explains on its website:

“Just as a bank statement tracks income against expenditures, Global Footprint Network measures humanity’s demand for and supply of natural resources and ecological services. And the data is sobering. Global Footprint Network estimates that in approximately eight months, we demand more renewable resources and C02 sequestration than what the planet can provide for an entire year.

In 2012, Earth Overshoot Day—the approximate date our resource consumption for a given year exceeds the planet’s ability to replenish—fell on August 22. This year, it will likely come even earlier. We will then go into ecological overshoot, and make up the deficit by drawing down local resource stocks and accumulating more carbon dioxide in the atmosphere.”




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