Mankind has eaten into its year supply of natural resources – in just seven months

Harry Cockburn 20 hrs ago
Logging machinery sits in a pine plantation in Angol city, south of Chile, June 8, 2016.© REUTERS/Gram Slattery Logging machinery sits in a pine plantation in Angol city, south of Chile, June 8, 2016. Humans have used up a full year’s worth of Earth’s ecological resources in just over seven months, its fastest rate ever, according to an annual environmental report.

“Earth overshoot day”, marks the date at which humanity’s demand on the planet exceeds that which it can regenerate in a year. This year it will fall on Monday 8 August, its earliest date yet.

Earth overshoot day is calculated by the international think tank Global Footprint Network, which measures the world’s demand for resources against ecosystems’ ability to supply them.

The organisation uses United Nations data on thousands of economic sectors, including the energy industry, transport, fisheries and forestry, and calculates the number of days of the year the earth is able to provide resources for humanity’s ecological footprint.

The remainder of the year corresponds to global overshoot.

According to the network, greenhouse gas emissions are the largest and fastest-growing environmental impact, accounting for 60 per cent of humanity’s entire ecological footprint.

“We continue to grow our ecological debt,” Pascal Canfin of WWF, told AFP in response to the annual update.

“From Monday August 8, we will be living on credit because in eight months we would have consumed the natural capital that our planet can renew in a year,” he added.

In 1993, Earth overshoot day fell on October 21. In 2003 it fell on September 22 and last year on August 13.

Back in the 1960s, humans only used about three-quarters of the earth’s annual replaceable resources.

But since the 1970s, economic and population booms combined with modern consumer demands have meant the planet has subsequently been in annual overshoot.

However, the speed at which we are depleting resources has dropped, the network said.

In a statement, Global Footprint Network said: “The rate at which Earth Overshoot Day has moved up on the calendar has slowed to less than one day a year on average over the past five years, compared to an average of three days a year since the overshoot began in the 1970s.”


2 thoughts on “Mankind has eaten into its year supply of natural resources – in just seven months

  1. Humans know no limits. But Nature does, and ultimately the Earth will be cleansed of us–but at a terrible, terrible price to the wonderful biodiversity that has existed for eons. This is why some of us continue to point out how Donald Trump and his spawn are such a glaring example of this excess, with no regard for the other life on this planet.
    Some clinical psychologists are now talking about his very serious “personality disorder” and that he fits the criteria for such, completely. One psychologist also mentioned that this maniac is a perfect example of a larger societal illness: lack of empathy for others, greedy, narcissistic, explosive behaviors…”A pervasive pattern of grandiosity (in fantasy or behavior), need for admiration, and lack of empathy, beginning by early adulthood…..”
    Why is this important for us to understand? Because, our society encourages this kind of behavior, often in a not-so subtle way. Trump’s remarks / antics about women, Muslims, Mexicans, people with disabilities, along with a healthy dose of Hitler-like “Nationalism,” creates a breeding ground for more cruel, thoughtless human behavior.
    People may bash Hilary Clinton for her e-mails, etc., but what about the long history Donald Trump has, flaunting his ignorant biases, his ill-gotten billions, wanting to “punish women” for abortions, calling his animal-killing sons “the hard core NRA.”
    No wonder non-humans are increasingly attacked. We have humans like Donald Trump, to teach society how to be more cruel.

  2. I see woods, small and large clear cut every day where I live. Everyone I talk to is sad but they say it is all about money and they feel helpless to change anything.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: