Last edited 23 Jul 2018

Earth overshoot day

It now takes humanity less than nine months each year to exhaust the planet’s environmental services and this rate is shortening. ‘Earth Overshoot Day’ (sometimes referred to as Ecological Debt Day) is the day of the year that human demand on the planet exceeds what it can regenerate for that year. It means humanity has consumed all the natural services available for the year.

For the rest of the year, we meet our ecological demand by depleting nature and accumulating waste such as carbon dioxide in the atmosphere and oceans, pushing the essential ecosystems of the planet closer to collapse.

The concept was originally conceived by the Global Footprint Network and the New Economics Foundation.

In 1987 Earth Overshoot Day was December 19.

In 2002, was October 3.

In 2012, it was 22 August.

In 2018, it moved to 1 August, the earliest date ever recorded, meaning that a year's worth of resources are being consumed in just 212 days. There had been a brief slowdown in recent years before speeding up again since 2016.

The Global Footprint Network suggest that maintaining 2018's appetite for resources would require the equivalent of 1.7 Earths.

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