Humanity will strike
Earth Overshoot Day five days earlier than last year. On Monday August 8, we will have officially exhausted nature’s budget for the whole year, according to the international research firm Global Footprint Network. Last year’s overshoot day was August 13.
Human deforestation is a major factor in climate change. When forests are cleared, first, carbon uptake ceases, and second, the carbon stored in trees is released into the atmosphere as CO2 if the wood is burned. Flickr
“We continue to increase our ecological debt,” said Pascal Canfin, French director of the World Wide Fund for Nature.
AFP in reaction to the news.
“From Monday August 8, we will live on credit because in eight months we would have consumed the natural capital that our planet can renew in a year.”
It is the fastest rate at which humans have surpassed what the planet produces in a year.
But as you can see in this tweet, that unfortunate step has come.
every year since 1981, when Earth Overshoot Day was December 14. The worrying thing is that we reach this point sooner almost every time.
Earth’s #Overshoot Day is early this year! See how the date has evolved over time: https://t.co/h6BkW5egWA @EndOvershoot https://t.co/ZUk1cM2rh9
– ChainPoint (@ChainPoint)1468940854.0
Compared to the 1960s, humanity has spent only three quarters of the annual resources allocated to the Earth. However, in the 1970s, economic and population growth dragged the Earth into this annual downward trend.
“We are emitting more carbon dioxide into the atmosphere than our oceans and forests can absorb, and we are depleting fisheries and harvesting forests faster than they can reproduce and regrow,” said the Global Footprint Network.
“Carbon emissions are the fastest growing contributor to environmental overshoot, with the carbon footprint now accounting for 60% of humanity’s demand on nature, which we call its ecological footprint.”
At this rate, the world needs 1.6 Earth’s resources to support demand for natural resources, the Global Footprint Network has calculated. It would take 4.8 Earths if everyone lived like America and 5.4 Earths if everyone lived like Australia.
With projected human population growth from 7.3 billion today to 11.2 billion by 2100, this will only put more pressure on Earth’s finite resources as more carbon is emitted and more of land is cleared to provide food.
However, the Global Footprint Network noted that the targets set by the Paris climate agreement offer a silver lining.
“Such a new way of life has many advantages, and it takes effort to realize it,” said Mathis Wackernagel, co-founder and CEO of Global Footprint Network. “The good news is that it is possible with current technology, and financially beneficial with the overall benefits that outweigh the costs. This will boost emerging sectors like renewables, while reducing the risks and costs associated with the impact of climate change on inadequate infrastructure. The only resource we still need is more political will. ”
“The Paris climate agreement is the strongest statement to date on the need to drastically reduce the carbon footprint. Ultimately, collapse or stability is a choice,” Wackernagel added. “We strongly recommend that nations, cities and individuals take swift and bold action to make the Paris goals an achievable reality.”
The organization pointed out that many countries have taken steps in the right direction to reduce their ecological footprint:
Fortunately, some countries are rising to the challenge. For example, Costa Rica produced 97% of its electricity from renewable sources in the first three months of 2016. Portugal, Germany and Great Britain also demonstrated revolutionary levels of renewable energy capacity this year, when 100% of their electricity demand was met by renewables for several minutes or, in the case of Portugal, several days. In China, meanwhile, the government has presented a plan to cut its citizens’ meat consumption by 50%, which it says will reduce carbon dioxide equivalent emissions from China’s industry. farming one billion tonnes by 2030.
The Global Footprint Network also encourages individuals to make a positive difference in the environment. The organization has launched a social network campaign with the hashtag #commitmentfortheplanet where you can make eco-friendly commitments such as reducing waste, organizing vegetarian meals, reducing your energy consumption or more for special prices.
I will unplug chargers and electronics when not in use. RT at #pledgefortheplanet → https://t.co/UJGQ7rt8Zh https://t.co/kxlFAIuoVq
– WWF (@WWF)1470336020.0