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Earth Overshoot: Running on Empty

As of August 13, 2015 we've used up the budget of Earth's resources for the year. How long can this continue?

 

According to data from the Global Footprint Network, August 13, 2015 was officially “Earth Overshoot Day.” We have now used nature’s entire budget for the year. Global Footprint Monitor tracks humanity’s demand on natural resources against nature’s ability to accommodate that demand – also known as biocapacity.

Carbon sequestration, natural carbon sinks for increasing carbon emissions, accounts for more than half of the demand on nature.

“Humanity’s carbon footprint alone more than doubled since the early 1970s, which is when the world went into ecological overshoot. It remains the fastest growing component of the widening gap between the Ecological Footprint and the planet’s biocapacity,” said Mathis Wackernagel, president of Global Footprint Network and the co-creator of the Ecological Footprint resource accounting metric. “The global agreement to phase out fossil fuels that is being discussed around the world ahead of the Climate Summit in Paris would significantly help curb the Ecological Footprint’s consistent growth and eventually shrink the Footprint.”

In 2000, Earth Overshoot day occurred in early October. Under a “business-as-usual” scenario, by 2030 we will overshoot Earth’s biocapacity on June 28. Currently it takes 1.6 Earth’s to meet the demands humanity places upon it. We only have one.

Learn more about Earth Overshoot Day at OvershootDay.org

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