Articles Posted in the Conservation category

We passed Earth’s ecological limit on September 23

October 2, 2008
Posted in Conservation

Since September 23 we Earthlings have been living beyond our ecological means. In fact, by the end of the year we will have used 40 percent more of our planet’s resources than nature can replenish, says the Global Footprint Network, a non-profit organisation committed to a world where all people have the opportunity to live satisfying lives within the means of one planet.

This year we have already overshot the Earth’s biological capacity and the result is that our supply of natural resources – trees and fish and such – will dwindle, while our waste, primarily carbon dioxide, accumulates. We are in ecological debt and we have been for about 20 years.

Every year the date on which the world begins to go into ecological deficit – or Earth Overshoot Day, as it is called – moves forward. The GFN calculated that the first Earth Overshoot day was on December 31 1986. By 1996 humanity was using 15 percent more resources in a year than the planet could supply and Earth Overshoot Day fell on November 21. By 2050 they estimate that it’ll fall in July.

Our ecological footprint has grown rapidly. As recently as 1961 humanity used just over half of the planet’s biocapacity, now we need 1.4 planet Earths to sustain us, says the GFN. If we carry on using the Earth’s resources the way we are we will need the equivalent of two planets by 2050. Read more