Earth's 2017 resource 'budget' spent by August


The organization determines Earth Overshoot Day each year by calculating the amount of natural resources available, then factoring in the global footprint and the number of days in a year.

"Ultimately, moving back the date of Earth Overshoot Day on the calendar is the name of the game".

Previously known as Ecological Debt Day, it's when the global population's demand exceeds the amount of resources that Earth can produce for the year.

Last year, there was much optimism that the Paris Climate Agreement, signed by 200 countries committing to cut carbon emissions would begin the journey towards bringing humanity back within its limits, however, this seemed to have been thrown into jeopardy by President Trump's decision to pull the USA out of the deal earlier this year.

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Humans now consume 1.7 Earths every year.

In other words, it takes 1.7 planets to sustain the world's current intake of natural resources.

We humans are a greedy lot - at least that's what scientists monitoring resource usage on Earth would say as reports have emerged that humanity has used up its allowance of planetary resources such as water, soil, and clean air for all of 2017 by August 2.

"We caught more fish, felled more trees, harvested more, and consumed more water than the Earth was able to produce in the same period".

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To mark Earth Overshoot Day, Global Footprint Network has launched a new online "Ecological Footprint Calculator", which enables users to figure out their own personal Earth Overshoot Day based on eating, living and travel habits. According to GFN, food consumption makes up 26 per cent of the global footprint. Deforestation, which makes it hard for the planet to remove carbon dioxide from the atmosphere, concentrated farming, and overfishing also weigh heavy on the environment. Subsequently, humans would only need the resources of one planet by the year 2050.

In an effort to push the Earth Overshoot date later in the year, environmentalists are asking individuals to eat less meat, reduce fuel consumption, and stop wasting food.

Global Footprint Network is working to spread messages on viable solutions identified to reverse Earth Overshoot Day.

"Most people think it's relevant to know how much they earn and spend", said Dr. Mathis Wackernagel, CEO of the Global Footprint Network and co-creator of the Ecological Footprint.

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