Earth Overshoot Day

Aug. 2, was Earth Overshoot Day, the date when humanity’s annual demand on nature exceeds what Earth can regenerate over the entire year, according to Global Footprint Network, the research institute specialized in natural resource accounting that has developed the Ecological Footprint metric.

Human activity currently consumes 1.71 times more renewable natural resources and ecological services than Earth can renew, depleting our natural capital. Consuming natural resources 71 percent faster than what Earth can regenerate means that only 58 percent of our spending is from the ecological income from the Earth, hence we find ourselves 42 percent in the red.

Deforestation, drought, fresh-water scarcity, soil erosion, biodiversity loss and the buildup of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere all can be identified as costs of that global ecological overspending.


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