There is No Planet B

How many earths do we need? Looking at some countries’ natural resources consumption we would need, each and every year: 5 if we lived like the U.S., 4.1 if we lived like Australia, and 3.5 if we lived like South Korea and so forth ans so on.

On average, humanity is currently using nature 1.7 times faster than our planet’s ecosystems can regenerate — or “using 1.7 Earths.”

The costs for this are huge: deforestation, collapsing fisheries, fresh-water scarcity, soil erosion,  biodiversity loss, and the buildup of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere, are leading to climate change and more severe droughts, wildfires, and hurricanes.

Today, 1 August 2018, marks when humanity’s annual demand on nature exceeds what Earth’s ecosystems, according to Global Footprint Network, an international research organization. This is the earliest date since the world went into ecological overshoot in the 1970s.

Overshoot is driven by four key factors:

  1. how much we consume,
  2. how efficiently products are made,
  3. how many of us there are, and
  4. how much nature’s ecosystems are able to produce

Global Footprint Network CEO, Mathis Wackernagel, said:

As we mark Earth Overshoot Day, today may seem no different from yesterday—you still have the same food in your refrigerator. But 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. These are consequences of busting the ecological budget of our one and only planet. Our economies are running a Ponzi scheme with our planet. We are using the Earth’s future resources to operate in the present and digging ourselves deeper into ecological debt. It’s time to end this ecological Ponzi scheme and leverage our creativity and ingenuity to create a prosperous future free of fossil fuels and planetary destruction.

What’s your personal Overshoot Day? Calculate it with footprintcalculator.org and

Find out more here.

 

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