Footprint Network Blog

On Saturday, we exceed nature’s budget

08/11/2010 10:38 PM

It has taken humanity less than nine months to exhaust its ecological budget for the year, according to Global Footprint Network calculations.

Tomorrow, August 21, we will reach Earth Overshoot Day: the day of the year in which human demand on the biosphere exceeds what it can regenerate. As of that day, humanity will have demanded all the ecological services – from filtering CO2 to producing the raw materials for food – that nature can regenerate this year.  For the rest of the year, we will meet our ecological demand by depleting resource stocks and accumulating greenhouse gases in the atmosphere.

“If you spent your entire annual income in nine months, you would probably be extremely concerned,” said Global Footprint Network President Mathis Wackernagel. “The situation is no less dire when it comes to our ecological budget. Climate change, biodiversity loss, deforestation, water and food shortages are all clear signs: We can no longer finance our consumption on credit. Nature is foreclosing.”

(Learn more: http://www.footprintnetwork.org/earthovershootday)

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