Earth Overshoot Day Arrives Earlier Than Ever
Earth Overshoot Day arrived on the 2nd of August this year; six days sooner than 2016 where it arrived on August the 8th.
Also known as Ecological Debt Day; Earth Overshoot Day is the date which humanity has consumed more natural resources than the earth’s capacity to regenerate those resources in that year; essentially enabling humanity to create an ecological debt to the planet.
It’s calculated by dividing how many resources we as a planet have used by the consumption of natural resources and then multiplying that by three hundred and sixty five to show a representation of when humanity enters the ecological deficit.
Arriving six days sooner than last year and eleven days sooner than the year before; 2017 marks the quickest we’ve ever reached EOD since records began in 1986; where it took us all the way up until the 19th of December.
In 2007, just one decade ago, EOD arrived on the 26th of October before dropping nearly a whole month to September the 23rd in 2008, though this is widely believed to be due to the recession and countries making up for slow trade in the previous year.
2011 saw a slight rise to August the 27th from August the 21st in 2010, but dropped again to the 22nd of the same month the following year.
Greenhouse gas emissions from burning coal, oil and gas contribute to 60% of the world's ecological footprint. The countries that consume the most of the earth's resources are the United States, China and most European nations; with the over consumption from the average citizen who’ll use a lot more resources such as water, soil and clean air in a day than those from less developed countries such as Angola or Thailand would use being to blame.
With reports such as these it begs the question: why don’t we know more about the alarming rate we’re burning through our natural resources? Is it due to denial? Or is it due to a belief that we’re entitled to a certain way of living without facing the consequences?
So how can you make a difference? Can we go in the other direction or is it too late? The world needs to become more eco friendly and more importantly more knowledgeable of the repercussions of the impact we as a whole are having on the planet.
Ways we can all contribute to a decline in consumption are as simple as eating less meat, wasting less food and burning less fuel.
It’s not all bad news however. Scientists are claiming that whilst Earth Overshoot Day is coming earlier and earlier every year; it is actually showing signs of the decline, though it’s far too early for the planet to become complacent.
At the rate the Earth is going by 2074 we’ll be burning through one year's worth of resources in a single day which clearly isn’t sustainable.
The financialisation of the economy is largely to blame which begs the question: will we really have to wait until the last crops are harvested or the last fish is caught to realise that we cannot eat money?