Earth Overshoot Day: World Consumes Annual Resources Budget in Seven Months
News, September 24 2018
INTERNATIONAL: The world overshot its annual resources budget for 2018 in just seven months, according to the Global Footprint Network, which means that people are consuming nature’s resources 1.7 times faster than the planet’s ecosystems can regenerate them.
Earth Overshoot Day, which takes place when the annual demand on nature exceeds what the Earth’s ecosystems can renew in that year, occurred on 1 August, the earliest ever since the world began to overshoot in the 1970s.
Each year, the Global Footprint Network calculates Earth Overshoot Day using Ecological Footprint accounting, which adds up society’s demand on nature, including for food, timber, fibers, fossil fuels, buildings, roads and other infrastructure. The carbon footprint is the most rapidly growing component of the global ecological footprint, of which it comprises approximately 60%.
Global Footprint Network CEO Mathis Wackernagel cited wildfires in the western US, and water shortages in Cape Town, South Africa, as consequences of overshooting the planet’s ecological budget. He referred to the fact that the Earth’s future resources are being increasingly used in the present as an “ecological Ponzi scheme.”
According to the Global Footprint Network, the costs of ecological “overspending” include deforestation, collapsing fisheries, water scarcity, soil erosion, biodiversity loss, and carbon dioxide (CO2) buildup in the atmosphere, which leads to climate change, famine, and more severe droughts, wildfires and hurricanes, and forces many people to migrate.
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Re-posted with permission