Happy Earth Overshoot Day

By the Web Editors 8-01-2018
Hurricane Harvey is pictured off the coast of Texas, U.S. from aboard the International Space Station in this August 25, 2017 NASA handout photo. NASA/Handout via REUTERS/File Photo

Earth Overshoot Day falls on August 1 this year, a day that marks the point at which consumption surpasses Earth's capacity to naturally replenish resources in a year. Since its inception, the overshoot date has increasingly inched forward.

This year, it moved forward two days to August 1 — the earliest date ever recorded, according to The Guardian

“Our current economies are running a Ponzi scheme with our planet,” Mathis Wackernagel, chief executive and co-founder of Global Footprint Network, said. “We are borrowing the Earth’s future resources to operate our economies in the present. Like any Ponzi scheme, this works for some time. But as nations, companies, or households dig themselves deeper and deeper into debt, they eventually fall apart.”

The international research organization found that with current consumption trends, humanity consumes the equivalent of 1.7 planets worth of resources. With current trends, next year could mark an overshoot date in July.

The Guardian reports:

While ever greater food production, mineral extraction, forest clearance and fossil-fuel burning bring short-term (and unequally distributed) lifestyle gains, the long-term consequences are increasingly apparent in terms of soil erosion, water shortages and climate disruption. ... The situation is reversible. Research by the group indicates political action is far more effective than individual choices. It notes, for example, that replacing 50% of meat consumption with a vegetarian diet would push back the overshoot date by five days. Efficiency improvements in building and industry could make a difference of three weeks, and a 50% reduction of the carbon component of the footprint would give an extra three months of breathing space.

 Read more here

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