Ecological Debt Day

by: Heather on 09/30/2008
Posted in: Activism

Last week on September 23rd, the planet "celebrated" Earth Overshoot Day - the day humanity used up all the resources nature will generate this year. According to the Global Footprint Network, Earth Overshoot Day marks the day when humanity begins living beyond its ecological means. Beyond that day, we move into the ecological equivalent of deficit spending, utilizing resources at a rate faster than what the planet can regenerate in a calendar year.

This year, because we are now demanding resources at a rate of 40 percent faster than the planet can produce them, Earth Overshoot Day has moved forward to September 23. Next year, unless we reverse current trends, we will reach it even earlier.

Earth Overshoot Day shows the day on which our total ecological footprint is equal to the biocapacity that nature can regenerate in that year. The ecological footprint is a concept developed by Mathis Wackernagel and William Rees and explained in great detail in Our Ecological Footprint: Reducing Human Impact on the Earth. This book is one which we at New Society are very proud of - it has become a classic of the sustainability movement and the ecological footprint concept is widely recognized as a critical tool in assessing and hopefully reversing humanity's growing impact on the planet's shrinking resources.

Check it out!

 

Our Ecological Footprint

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