Earth Overshoot Day 2018 Is The Earliest It’s Ever Been

Humanity is using up Earth’s resources faster every year

Jennifer Bloodworth
August 01, 2018 - 7:29 pm

PITTSBURGH (NewsRadio 1020 KDKA) — Happy Earth Overshoot Day! Or is it?

This year, Earth Overshoot Day falls on Aug. 1, the earliest date since ecological overshoot began in the 1970s.

Earth Overshoot Day marks the date the world’s population has used up the Earth’s resource budget for the year.

Aug. 1 was determined by Global Footprint Network, an international research organization that pioneered the Ecological Footprint resource accounting metric. Founder and CEO Dr. Mathis Wackernagel told the KDKA Radio Afternoon News that

“We compare how much we use, how much we demand from nature and how much nature can renew. So we do that by adding up all the potatoes and tomatoes and cereals and everything we consume and translate that into how much area is needed to regenerate that.”

Wackeranaugel says all that adds up to 70 percent more than the available resources to maintain it., meaning humanity is using nature 1.7 times faster than it ecosystems can regenerate.

Essentially, we need 1.7 Earths to maintain our resource consumption as it stands.

You’ll be able to eat come Aug. 2. Wackernagel equates it to spending more money than you earn.

“There are a number of ways how we can overuse the capital on the planet, but we can’t do it forever, Wackernagel said. “It’s not a long-term strategy.”

Wackernagel says the budget gets tighter as the Earth’s population grows, but it doesn’t have to be that way. He asserts the solution lies in four key questions:

How do we build are cities? How do we power those cities? How do we eat? How many people are there?

He suggests “moving the date” by focusing on efficiency and elimination of waste wherever possible.

“The question is: ‘How we use the budget of the planet best for our wellbeing?’ And that’s not yet the focus of our economic development.”

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