Saturday, July 27, 2019

Earth Overshoot Day

Our global population may end up like the ancient Easter Islanders. Like
them, we are using resources in unsustainable ways.
Click for photo credit.
Human society is utilizing more renewable resources than the earth can produce. What this means is that each year, we harvest more fish, trees, and other materials faster than the earth can replace them. As a result, we are losing forests, fish in the sea, wetlands, and other resources at rates that are unsustainable. If we don't change our ways, we will find ourselves without these precious resources at some point in our future. We are acting like the ancient Easter Islanders who overused their natural resources to the point that the Island was unable to support its population.

One group, the Global Footprint Network, has calculated the day each year (Earth Overshoot Day) when we have harvested materials that the earth can regenerate in a year. After that date, we are stealing from future generations by utilizing resources that cannot be replaced. 

This year, Earth Overshoot Day is Monday, July 29. This means that all of the renewable resources we use as humans through August, September, October, November, and December cannot be regenerated by our planet. 

What can we do about this?

The best thing we can do is to stop consuming so much stuff and to work hard to protect natural resources like wetlands, forests, soils, and seas. We all want generations that come after us to thrive. What we are doing right now by consuming so much stuff will make that goal difficult.

For more information about Earth Overshoot Day, click here.

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