Mother Earth Living

Wiser Living

Finding a natural solution

Add to My MSN

Today is Earth Overshoot Day

9/23/2009 11:42:54 AM

Tags: Earth Overshoot Day, ecological overshoot, overshoot, climate change

Today is Earth Overshoot Day—and it is not a day of celebration. This date marks a sad milestone: The day of the year when humans begin living beyond their environmental means.

forest2
Increasing global consumption of the earth's resources makes Earth Overshoot Day arrive earlier each year. Photo By megafon/Courtesy Flickr.

Ecological overshoot is when we begin using up the earth’s resources faster than it can regenerate them; for example, cutting down trees faster than they can grow back or catching fish faster than they can repopulate. In 10 months we’ve used up the amount of resources the earth can replenish in a year. We now require 1.4 planets to support our lifestyles.

Overshoot also includes the amount of carbon dioxide we produce versus how much Mother Earth can reabsorb. The cost of our reckless expenditure and over-the-top CO2 production is high—leading to climate change, dwindling forests, loss of species and many more environmental hazards.

Overshoot first happened in 1986. Before that we used resources and produced carbon dioxide at a rate that consisted with what the earth could regenerate and reabsorb.

As human consumption grows, the day of the year when we reach the end of our allotted resources comes earlier. In 2008, Earth Overshoot Day was September 23.

Earth Overshoot Day is calculated using the ratio of global available biocapacity to the global ecological footprint multiplied by 365. In 2009 the ratio shows that in just 267 days—on September 25—we used up the earth’s capacity for the year.

Disturbing isn’t it? Tell me what you think about Earth Overshoot Day in the comments section.



Related Content

An Earthship in Manhattan?

Ken Ruck wants to build a fully self-sustaining earthship on New York's Lower East Side.

Haiti and Earthspirit Herbs

Our guest blogger Marguerite Dunne wonders what will happen to the people in Haiti, their gardens an...

Ecological Knowledge Growing in Kansas

Native Kansas plants are being researched in this project, launched by environmental studies faculty...

11 Facts About Daylighting for Daylight Saving Time

Daylighting systems company Solatube offers facts about daylight in conjunction with Daylight Saving...

Content Tools




Post a comment below.

 



Subscribe today and save 58%

First Name: *
Last Name: *
Address: *
City: *
State/Province: *
Zip/Postal Code:*
Country:
Email:*
(* indicates a required item)
Canadian subs: 1 year, (includes postage & GST). Foreign subs: 1 year, . U.S. funds.
Canadian Subscribers - Click Here
Non US and Canadian Subscribers - Click Here

Subscribe to Mother Earth Living!

Welcome to Mother Earth Living, the authority on green lifestyle and design. Each issue of Mother Earth Living features advice to create naturally healthy and nontoxic homes for yourself and your loved ones. With Mother Earth Living by your side, you’ll discover all the best and latest information you want on choosing natural remedies and practicing preventive medicine; cooking with a nutritious and whole-food focus; creating a nontoxic home; and gardening for food, wellness and enjoyment. Subscribe to Mother Earth Living today to get inspired on the art of living wisely and living well.

Save Money & a Few Trees!

Pay now with a credit card and take advantage of our earth-friendly automatic renewal savings plan. You’ll save an additional $5 and get six issues of Mother Earth Living for just $14.95! (Offer valid only in the U.S.)

Or, choose Bill Me and pay just $19.95.