Earth Overshoot Day T-Shirt
Earth Overshoot Day marks the date when humanity’s demand for ecological resources in a given year exceeds what Earth can regenerate in that year.
On 22 August 2020 humanity exhausted nature’s budget for the year. After that, we are maintaining our ecological deficit by drawing down local resource stocks and accumulating carbon dioxide in the atmosphere. We are operating in overshoot.
We busted Earth’s budget!
Humans use as many ecological resources as if we lived on 1.6 Earths. The Ecological Footprint is the only metric that compares the resource demand of individuals, governments, and businesses against what Earth can renew
The Earth’s natural resources are vital to the survival and development of the human population. For a long time, humankind believed that natural resources were unlimited. However, these resources are limited by the Earth’s capability to renew them.
Two types of resources
There are two types of natural resources: renewable (or regenerative) and non-renewable.
- Freshwater, harvesting products, forests, animals and wildlife are all renewable resources.
- Minerals, oil, gas and coal are non-renewable resources.
The exploitation of both resources is increasing. Natural resources are essential for our survival, but if they are consumed at a faster rate than their natural regeneration, as is currently the case, they can be exhausted.
“We are in a bottleneck of overpopulation and wasteful consumption that could push half of Earth’s species to extinction in this century.” E.O. Wilson
Overexploitation, also called over-harvesting, refers to harvesting a renewable resource at a rate that is unsustainable, given their natural rates of mortality and capacities for reproduction. Continued overexploitation can lead to resource destruction, including extinction.
Defaunation it’s the depletion of the wildlife population. It is the extinction of animal populations or species from ecological communities creating what has been termed an “empty forest”. It’s estimated that more than 50 per cent of all wildlife has been lost in the last 40 years.
Human beings are depleting the planet’s natural resources and, unless immediate action is taken, standards of living will begin to decline by 2030.
Thus, if we continue at this rate, we would need 2.5 planets to supply ourselves in 2050, according to WWF.
Maybe we can make it, provided we act now, through steps small and big – but just act, no excuse not to will do.
Artwork: This artwork shows how we use Nature as a puppet without realising that by doing so we are actually shooting at our own feet.
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