News Worms
News Worms

We've used up Earth's 2017 resources in less than 8 months

We've used up Earth's 2017 resources in less than 8 months

Last year, Earth Overshoot Day fell on August 8, an indication that the world's population is accelerating the pace with which it blows through the planet's annual resource budget from year to year.

Used by some two million people around the world previous year, the Global Footprint Network's Footprint Calculator allows individuals to measure their own ecological footprint and to calculate when their own personal Earth Overshoot Day would fall if everyone on Earth replicated that individual's consumption habits.

"By August 2, 2017, we will have used more from nature than our planet can renew in the whole year", the groups said in a statement, as cited by the Independent.

Overconsumption of the Earth's resources takes its toll on the planet in many ways, including deforestation, drought, fresh-water scarcity, soil erosion, biodiversity loss, and the buildup of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere.

"Most people think it's relevant to know how much they earn and spend", said Dr. Mathis Wackernagel, CEO of the Global Footprint Network and co-creator of the Ecological Footprint.

Human activity now consumes 1.71 times more renewable natural resources and ecological services than Earth can renew, depleting our natural capital, stated the organization (to which I provide communications and outreach support).

Earth Overshoot Day is regularly computed by GFN, and supported by a number of other environmental organizations around the world, which are also concerned with the problem of over-consumption, such as WWF. "It remains the fastest growing component of the widening gap between the Ecological Footprint and the planet's biocapacity", Mathis Wackernagel, CEO of Global Footprint Network and co-creator of the Ecological Footprint, said in a statement previous year. The Global Footprint Network estimates food is 26 percent of the human global footprint.

The report claims that the equivalent of 1.7 planets would be required to produce enough to meet humanity's needs at current consumption rates.

Right now, many countries are running on an ecological deficit, meaning that their ecological footprints exceed their biocapacities. The Ecological Footprint also can be scaled for cities and even individuals with an online calculator.

A number of politicians, universities and businesses have also committed to adopting the goals of the Paris Climate Accord, following President Trump's decision to withdraw the US from the agreement on June 1.

For more information on Earth Overshoot Day, visit the Global Footprint Network website, and don't forget to calculate your own personal Ecological Footprint using the Footprint Calculator! If consumption patterns continue apace, by 2030, Earth Overshoot Day will creep up the calendar to land in June. If carbon emissions were cut in half, the date of Earth Overshoot Day would be pushed back by 89 days, or about three months.


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