Published: Thu, August 02, 2018
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What Today's Earth Overshoot Day Means for Humanity and our Planet

What Today's Earth Overshoot Day Means for Humanity and our Planet

In order to determine the date of an Earth overshoot day the Global Footprint Network, an worldwide think tank, calculates the number of days that Earth's biocapacity - the ability to renew what people use - can support humanity's ecological footprint.

On Aug. 1, humanity will have used nature's resource budget for the entire year, according to Global Footprint Network (GFN). In order to change the consumption level, overfishing, forest overharvesting and high Carbon dioxide emissions need to be reduced, AccuWeather reports. Collectively, humanity is using resources 1.7 times faster than what the planet can regenerate in a year. Each year since then has seen it arrive earlier and earlier, with August 1, 2018 - today - marking the earliest it's ever arrived.

Earth Overshoot Day marks the date when the demand for ecological resources and services of humanity for a given year has exceeded what our planet can regenerate in that year. We are using the Earth's future resources to operate in the present and digging ourselves deeper into ecological debt.

Halve the carbon component of the EF, such as reducing meat consumption.

Mathis Wackernagel, head of the organisation, said: "Fires are raging in the western United States; on the other side of the world, residents in Cape Town have had to slash water consumption in half since 2015".


Despite the grim situation, there are least some potential strong remedies being offered, such as cutting food waste in half, potentially moving the date forward again by 38 days.

We keep growing in numbers and it's a controversial thing to tell families not to have children, but the report says that if every other family had one less child, the date would move back 30 days by 2050.

Some people might also choose to donate to the campaign.

The planet has also absorbed as much carbon emissions as a result of human activity as it can for the year. The EF may be useful in measuring forests and fisheries, as it uses United Nations (UN) statistics to compare timber harvests against annual growth, and fish catches against natural regeneration of fish stocks.

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