The Impacts Of The Earth Overshoot Day

Ecological concern has become an important issue in recent decades. However, it has currently gained more engagement and visibility due to the repercussion by local media, as occurred on August 1, when humanity faced the total exhaustion of renewable resources for the year 2018, according to NGO Global Footprint Network (GFN), responsible for research and analysis of climate change.

Renewable resources, despite getting a regeneration capacity that is faster than non-renewable ones, have not been able to keep up with the rate of human consumption in recent years, which shows the major imbalance in the relationship between consumerism and nature conservation, putting at stake the question of sustainability.

The count of the depletion of the environmental budget got an overarching aim to analyze the ecological deficit on Earth, whose name was known as Earth Overshoot Day (EOD), conceived by Andrew Simms. The milestone began in 1970, when natural stocks began to run out, reaching the year limit on December 29.

According to data released by GFN, since the outset of the second semester of 2018, the world population is using natural resources of approximately 1.7 planets Earth to supply their supposed production and consumption needs, which leads to our planet a year and a half to renew what was used in only one.

Excessive consumption, food waste, irregular waste disposal, pollution, deforestation and destruction of whole biomes for livestock farming, use of fossil fuels and uncontrolled emission of carbon dioxide (CO2) into the atmosphere are some of the many factors that corroborate the aggravation of the delay in the process of regularization of biocapacity, which is the ability of an area to produce resources and absorb waste continuously.

There’s also the ecological footprint of each country, that is the consumption of land and water (measured in hectares) necessary to supply the population demand. With this in mind, each year the organization performs a calculation that defines the day of the year in which Overshoot Day will occur, as shown below.

​Planet’s Biocapacity / Humanity’s Ecological Footprint) x 365 = Earth Overshoot Day

Image Source: Global Footprint Network

Besides environmental concern, there’re also other problems that affect global relations, such as the economic risk which causes the raising import taxes and costs, humanity crisis and even warfare periods, for instance.

Furthermore, the Global Footprint Network launched the #movethedate campaign, which aims to show some options for sustainability solutions to postpone Earth's overload ever further. If mankind is able to delay Overshoot Day 5 days a year, by 2050 the modern lifestyle will be considered sustainable for all, thus proving the strength of human will.

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