Published: Fri, August 03, 2018
Research | By Raquel Erickson

'Earth Overshoot Day': How Humanity Is Living On Borrowed Time


Megan Leslie, president and CEO of World Wildlife Fund Canada, is available for comment on Earth Overshoot Day and consequences for wildlife in Canada.

In the 12 years that the group has been calculating Earth Overshoot Day, it has seen it go from falling on October 9 to August 1-an ominous sign for the future of our planet.

In 2018, Earth's 7.6 billion humans will consume 1.7 times more from nature than our planet can regenerate.

He likened the world's economies to using Earth's future resources to operate in the present and creating a deeper ecological debt. Cape Town in South Africa is only a year away from running out of water, and many cities in India have already reached that state.

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. Reducing driving by 50%, replacing one-third of vehicle miles with public transportation and the rest by walking and biking, would win back another 12 days.


Despite the grim situation, there are least some potential strong remedies being offered, such as cutting food waste in half, potentially moving the date forward again by 38 days.

GFN said if every other family in the world had one child fewer, EOD will move back 30 days by 2050. The EF may be useful in measuring forests and fisheries, as it uses United Nations (UN) statistics to compare timber harvests against annual growth, and fish catches against natural regeneration of fish stocks. GFN data shows that 86 percent of countries are now living beyond their means, creating an "ecological deficit".

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.

Earth Overshoot Day still remains relevant as a means to raise global awareness of the earth's resources.

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