July 29th marks Earth Overshoot Day – the date on which we’ve spent the amount of resources our planet can renew in a year.
At our current rate of resource use, we’d need “1.75 planets” to support our demand on Earth’s ecosystem.
Earth Overshoot Day falling on July 29th means that humanity is currently using nature 1.75 times faster than our planet’s ecosystems can regenerate. This is akin to using 1.75 Earths. Overshoot is possible because we are depleting our natural capital – which compromises humanity’s future resource security. The costs of this global ecological overspending are becoming increasingly evident in the form of deforestation, soil erosion, biodiversity loss, or the buildup of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere. The latter leads to climate change and more frequent extreme weather events.
Mathis Wackernagel, co-inventor of Ecological Footprint accounting and founder of Global Footprint Network, said:
“We have only got one Earth – this is the ultimately defining context for human existence. We can’t use 1.75 without destructive consequences.”
The calculations are based in resources such as the amount of water, land, fish and forests we use as well as how much CO2 we send at the atmosphere.