August 19th heralds Earth Overshoot Day
August 19, 2014
According to the Global Footprint Network, on August 19th humanity’s footprint will be bigger than the Earth’s ability to regenerate those resources in this year: Earth Overshoot Day. In 1961, most countries’ biocapacity was bigger than its footprint, but ever since the 1970’s we have started to overstep our limits. Each year Earth Overshoot Day has come earlier in the year as we deplete our world’s resources. In 2000 Earth Overshoot Day was in October. 14 years later and now it comes 2 months earlier.
This year it would take 1.5 Earths to generate the amount of food, timber, and other resources that we need to continue business as usual. Using a conservative estimate, by 2050 it will take 3 Earths to cover our footprint. This overuse is taking a physical toll on our environment manifested in soil erosion, water scarcity, and desertification.
Countries are starting to take action. For instance, the Philippines plans to reduce its footprint through its National Land Use Act which will protect and manage its natural resources in a sustainable way.
Our foot is becoming too big for its only shoe. It is time to take action and make change.
Learn more about how Earth Overshoot Day is calculated:
Author: Johanna Bozuwa, EDN Intern