We're in debt with the planet

With still four months left in the calendar humanity has already exhausted Earth's budget for the year. 

Earth Overshoot Day 2016 (previously known as Ecological Debt Day) landed on August 8. This is the day when humanity has exhausted all nature's budget for the year and be in debt with the planet. For the following months the ecological deficit will be maintained by the use of local resources stocks, carbon dioxide will continue to be accumulated in the atmosphere and the world will be operating in overshoot.

Global Footprint Network is the entity in charge of releasing the National Footprint Accounts which are used to calculate Earth Overshoot Day.

 

This data is improved every year, so comparisons must be done with the same Accounts edition. Following this, the past 5 Earth Overshoot Days have been:

Sunday, August 09, 2015

Sunday, August 10, 2014

Saturday, August 10, 2013

Saturday, August 11, 2012

Thursday, August 11, 2011

Saturday, August 14, 2010

Records since 1973 show the trend is for humanity to exhaust Earth's resources faster and faster every year and the Earth is unable to regenerate them.

Also the National Footprint Account showed we need 1,6 Earths to sustain our living and meet the demand of its citizens. According to Global Footprint Network data (2012) the countries with the highest deficit percentage are Singapore, Israel, Cyprus, Lebanon and Jordan with over 890%. Instead, Guyana, Congo, Central African Republic, Bolivia and the Democratic Republic of Congo have the highest biocapacity reserve percentages.

To try and live sustainably for a year or at least change the Overshoot Day Global Footprint Network encourages people to eat more vegetarian meals, shrink energy use, and reduce paper waste for example. Still more need to be done to mitigate climate change and reduce our consumption, plans like the Paris Agreement need to be taken seriously by governments and maybe in the coming future we can celebrate this date closer to December. 

 

LatinAmerican Post | Maria Andrea Marquez

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