Humanity consumes this year's resources 133 days too early

Jeremy Hance
mongabay.com
August 20, 2013



Today is Earth Overshoot Day, according to the Global Footprint Network and WWF's Living Planet Report, which means the seven billion people on Earth have consumed the globe's renewable resources for the year. In other words for the next 133 days humanity will be accumulating ecological debt by overdrawing on our collective resources.

"Simply put, we are asking for more than we have available," said Jim Leape, Director General of WWF International. "Nature is the basis of our wellbeing and our prosperity—but we are using up way too much of the Earth's finite resources."

WWF and Global Footprint Network track renewable resource-use like fisheries, forests, land use, and greenhouse gas emissions to track just how quickly global civilization runs into the red. Once the limit is hit, society begins to deplete natural resources, a practice which is helping to drive biodiversity loss, climate change, and other global environmental problems. Rising greenhouse gas emissions is especially pushing society over ecological limits.

"More than 50 per cent of humanity's Ecological Footprint is composed of our carbon footprint, especially from the burning of fossil fuels," notes Leape.

Humanity first overshot its annual resources in the mid-1980s and has been continuing to draw more-and-more annually as both populations and consumption patterns continue to rise. Last year, Earth Overshoot Day fell on August 20th.

the Muenster yellow-toothed cavy
Traffic jam and crowded streets in Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam. Photo by: Ngô Trung/Creative Commons 3.0.




Video from Global Footprint Network explaining Earth Overshoot Day.















AUTHOR: Jeremy Hance joined Mongabay full-time in 2009. He currently serves as senior writer and editor. He has also authored a book.




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CITATION:
Jeremy Hance
mongabay.com (August 20, 2013).

Humanity consumes this year's resources 133 days too early .

http://news.mongabay.com/2013/0820-hance-overshoot.html