Into ecological overdraft

Globe07In the final chapter of Hot Topic, I refer to the concept of global overshoot: the idea that human activities are exceeding the planet’s ability to regenerate resources. It’s the ultimate meaning of sustainability – living within our planetary means. This year we started eating into our ecological overdraft on October 6th – three days ahead of last year, and the best part of month earlier than in 2000. The Global Footprint Network calculates Ecological Debt Day:

As humanity’s consumption of resources increases, Ecological Debt Day creeps earlier on the calendar. According to current calculations, humanity’s first Ecological Debt Day was December 19, 1987. By 1995 it had jumped back a month to 21 November. In 2007, with Ecological Debt on October 6, humanity’s Ecological Footprint is almost thirty per cent larger than the planet’s productivity this year. In other words, it now takes more than one year and three months for the Earth to regenerate what we use in a single year.

In this context, climate change is just one symptom of a bigger, global problem. Reuters coverage quotes the New Economics Foundation (a UK think tank) on their new report, Chinadependence, which examines how the UK economy is interlinked with others around the world, and introduces the concept of “carbon laundering

Leave a Reply