February 20, 2019

We already used up Earth’s resources for the year. It’s August

03 August 2018, 10:24 | Edward Lowe

Global Footprint Network calculates the day every year by adding up all of people's competing demands on nature, including: demand for food, timber, and fibres (cotton); absorption of carbon emissions from burning fossil fuels; and energy used for buildings, roads and other infrastructure.

As part of its mission to address the issues of clean and sustainable energy, the South African National Energy Development Institute (Sanedi) will be participating in this year's global Earth Overshoot Day, taking place on August 1, by urging South Africans to check their ecological footprint and be mindful of this where possible. We are using the Earth's future resources to operate in the present and digging ourselves deeper into ecological debt.

Based on its latest estimate, humanity is now using nature 1.7 times faster than our ecosystem can regenerate, including food, timber, fibre and the absorption of carbon emissions from burning fossil fuels.

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"Our economies are running a Ponzi scheme with our planet", said the network's CEO Mathis Wackernagel.

"If everyone lived like Americans, we'd use five Earths", Baillie said.

The earth pays the price of overusing natural resources of the world and each individual has a duty to stop it. Climate change, wildfires, untimely and unnatural rain fall, excessive heat, drought and floods are all the results of the over usage of natural resources.

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If we cut our food waste in half, improved our efficiency in food production and consumed world-average calories, we would move the overshoot date back 38 days. On the other side of the world, Cape Town residents had to slash water consumption by half since 2015. Notable declines were seen in Singapore, the Bahamas, Denmark, United States (US), United Kingdom (UK) and France. That day is marked as Global Overshoot Day and each day - actually, each second - after that represents a negative balance in Earth's resource account.

"These are the consequences of busting the ecological budget of our one and only planet".

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