Humanity has exhausted nature’s budget for the year, says Global Footprint NetworkAugust 23, 2012 by Sally Farhat Kassab
Sad news from Skoll Awardee Global Footprint Network. The press release:
Humanity has surpassed nature’s budget for the year, and is now operating in overdraft, according to data from Global Footprint Network, an international research organization with offices in California and Europe.
Earth Overshoot Day (from a concept devised by the UK think tank new economics foundation) helps conceptualize the gap between what nature can regenerate, and how much is required to support human activities. Similar to the way a bank statement tracks income against expenditures, Global Footprint Network tracks humanity’s demand for, and supply of, natural resources and ecological services. Global Footprint Network’s calculations show that in just over eight months, we have used up the resources and CO2 sequestration that the planet can sustainably provide this year.
For the rest of the year, we will maintain our ecological deficit by depleting resource stocks and accumulating carbon dioxide in the atmosphere.
“Nations around the world, and particularly in the south of Europe, have started to painfully experience what it means to spend more money than what they earn,” said Dr. Mathis Wackernagel, President of Global Footprint Network. “The resource pressure is similar to such financial overspending, and can become devastating. As resource deficits get larger, and resource prices remain high, the costs to nations become unbearable.”