Tuesday, October 10, 2006

October 9: Eating the Earth Day

By October 9, worldwide economic activity had consumed all the resources that the earth could produce in a year. From then until the end of the year we are, in effect, eating the earth--depleting the ability of the planet to produce.

Two ecological think tanks, Global Footprint Network and the New Economics Foundation compiled the data for this conclusion. The ecological debt day has been occuring earlier and earlier each year. It was first calculated in 1987 as occuring on December 19. By 2000, it fell on November 1. Last year it was October 11.

We now use about 30% more in one year than nature can regenerate. This ecological overshoot of means that it takes one year and about three months for the Earth to regenerate what is being used by people in one year, creating an ecological deficit.

We are only able to maintain this level of consumption by liquidating the planet’s natural resources. The consequences of this ecological overshoot can be seen in our rapidly warming climate, in deforestation, the collapse of fisheries, species extinction, insecure energy supplies, water shortages and crop failure.


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