Earth Overshoot Day marks the date when humanity has used all the biological resources that Earth regenerates during the entire year.While I knew that today was the day when humanity as a whole began using our reserves, our environmental capital or principal, I hadn't heard the total environmental debt our species had racked up before today, 19 years worth of Earth's productive capacity. Yow!
France 24 English had earlier uploaded an interview of a representative of the Global Footprint Network, which calculates the date every year, ‘Earth Overshoot Day’: Humans surpass what Earth can produce in a year.
Mankind marks a dubious milestone Thursday, the day by which humanity has consumed all Earth can sustainably produce for this year, with NGOS warning the rest of 2022 will be lived in resource deficit.Today is a dubious milestone indeed.
Normally, I'd calculate my footprint, but I suspect it won't be any better than last year, if not worse, because of increased driving, so I'm sharing the press release from the Global Footprint Network instead.
Earth Overshoot Day 2022 lands on July 28, earlier than last year. Over 50 years of global overshoot have led to a world where aggravated drought and food insecurity are compounded by unseasonably warm temperatures. As the date indicates, humanity continues to widen its annual ecological deficit two years after the pandemic-induced resource-use reductions exceptionally pushed the date back temporarily by 24 days.
“Between the pandemic, wilder weather patterns, and the resurgence or intensification of wars on several continents leading to massive food insecurity, the importance of fostering one’s resource security to support one’s economic prosperity is becoming ever more critical for cities, countries, and business entities,” said Global Footprint Network President Mathis Wackernagel.
Many effective and economically beneficial solutions already exist today to reverse ecological overshoot and support biological regeneration. Opportunities stem from all sectors: commercially available technologies or services, local government’s development strategies, national public policies, or best practices supported by civil society initiatives and academia. The Power of Possibility platform that launched today shows plenty of examples sorted by the five main pillars of intervention: healthy biosphere, energy, food, cities, and population.
For example, moving to smart grids and higher efficiency in our electric systems would #MoveTheDate 21 days. Reducing food waste by half would #MoveTheDate 13 days. Growing trees with other crops on the same land, also known as tree intercropping, would #MoveTheDate 2.1 days, among many others.
Each year, Earth Overshoot Day marks the date when humanity has used all the biological resources that Earth regenerates during the entire year. Humanity currently uses 75% more than what the planet’s ecosystems can regenerate—or “1.75 Earths.” From Earth Overshoot Day until the end of the year, humanity operates on ecological deficit spending. This deficit spending is currently the largest since the world entered into ecological overshoot in the early 1970s, according to the National Footprint & Biocapacity Accounts (NFA) based on UN datasets now produced by FoDaFo and York University.
That's it for today's observance of Earth Overshoot Day. Stay tuned for International Tiger Day tomorrow.