There’s only one possible identifiable conclusion to this year’s early Earth Overshoot Day: we’re doomed. Like, really bad. Deny it all you want, the situation is dire, and the worst part about it is that it will get even more critical, if countries don’t start taking action.
If you haven’t been paying attention, the Earth is in major trouble due to global warming, the climate change effect due to the rising greenhouse gas emissions. This has effectively been much like a disease that the earth has contracted and is sure to become much worse, even if we begin repairing the damage done. If this would happen, and there’s no clear sign that it will, the positive effects would only be seen in the long term.
Yet, there is another big problem threatening the Earth. Between all these dangers, it seems that there’s a far greater possibility of us destroying ourselves rather than alien invaders. This new problem is called overconsumption. Of natural resources that is.
Back in 1970, humanity passed a worrying landmark. In 1961, we were using up just about three quarters of what the Earth was naturally reproducing every year. Near Christmas, on December 23, 1970, we had already gobbled up natural resources equal to a year of Earth’s natural production power. While a week behind might not seem that alarming, you may rethink that once you hear the newest Overshoot Day: 13 August.
Yesterday, Thursday, August 13, the people of the Earth consumed all the natural resources that the Earth takes one year to make. That’s only in eight months. Frightening would be the attribute of this warning sign, for lack of a better word.
The Global Footprint Network monitors just how much of what we’re freely given by the Earth we are using. To do this, they use a pretty simple formula. It gathers data about the number of natural resources that are produced yearly, divides it by how much humanity needs, and then multiplies the resulting number by 365. Due to this generalist approach, we are not given an exact date, but rather a basic estimate of one.
This estimate is given every year, in the hopes that people will eventually realize how much of a problem this is in order to begin doing something. In the current state of events, China needs 2.7 Chinas in order to support itself. This is the top example given by the report. The list is headed by Japan, which needs 5.5 Japans, and at the bottom end are France and the US, needing 1.4 and 1.9 of their respective countries to sustain themselves
If carbon emissions are not reduced by 2030, we may be looking at an overshoot day on June 28. A year’s worth of resources in half a year time.
Image source: dadthropology.wordpress.com