Humanity is surpassing nature’s budget for the year, and is now operating in overdraft, according to Global Footprint Network calculations for 2011.
Earth Overshoot Day which this year falls on 27 September, helps conceptualize the degree to which we are over-budget in our use of nature. In approximately nine months, we are demanding a level of ecological services – from producing food and raw materials to filtering our carbon dioxide emissions—equivalent to what the planet can provide for all of 2011. From an ecological standpoint, we have effectively spent our annual salary, with a quarter of the year still to go.
‘From soaring food prices to the crippling effects of climate change, our economies are now confronting the reality of years of spending beyond our means,’ says Global Footprint Network President Dr Mathis Wackernagel. ‘If we are to maintain stable societies and good lives, we can no longer sustain a widening budget gap between what nature is able to provide and how much our infrastructure, economies and lifestyles require.’
More details are to be seen on the website www.footprintnetwork.org