Each year since 2006, the Global Footprint Network (GFN) calculates when, as Al Jazeera puts it, the “total resource consumption for the calendar year has already surpassed the Earth’s capacity to regenerate itself,” or in the other words, the day of the year in which humans have already used up more resources than the planet could renew in a whole year. The day is then marked as Earth Overshoot Day. This year, the GFN announced that that day is July 29.
It’s only July, but we’ve already reached that date—the earliest it’s ever been. It’s part of the growing trend of humans spending more than the planet could make up for, a trend that the Global Footprint Network believe started in the 1970s.
The precise Earth Overshoot Day date for each year is less significant than the sheer magnitude of ecological overshoot. Over the last decades, the date has been creeping up the calendar, although at a slowing rate. https://t.co/ZwrDagJt5K #MoveTheDate pic.twitter.com/i4gM0pk5Mk
— Footprint Network (@EndOvershoot) July 28, 2019
It’s absolutely terrifying news. However, it’s important to note that while July 29 marks the overall overshoot day, the GFN have also calculated a separate overshoot day for each country. Their calculation shows that, ultimately, it is first world nations that are breezing through the world’s resources at a dizzying pace, which isn’t exactly new information.
— OECD Environment (@OECD_ENV) July 29, 2019
Featured photo courtesy of Bob Blob on Unsplash
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Writer: ZOFIYA ACOSTA