This year, Earth Overshoot Day was just a week ago, August 22. Each year, Earth Overshoot Day marks the date when humanity has used all the biological resources that it takes Earth an entire year to renew. Humanity currently uses 60% more than what can be renewed – or as much as if we lived on a planet 1.6 times larger. From Earth Overshoot Day until the end of the year, humanity grows the ecological deficit which has been increasing steadily since the world fell in ecological overshoot in the early 1970s. If all of humanity lived like we do in the United States, Earth Overshoot Day would be five months earlier, March 14!
Obviously we can’t go on at this pace. We’ve got to let Mother Earth renew all her resources or she will become an unlivable wasteland. This is why it is essential for the nations and peoples of the world to stop climate change. Since we who live in the developed world contribute the most to the problem (the U.S. contributes 27%), we are the ones who most urgently need to change our consumption to solve it.
The greatest change, of course, can be effected by governmental policy, but each of us can play a role as well. We can find out the most effective ways to curb climate change on a personal level by taking this quiz. The answers might surprise you.
We can find out more about Earth Overshoot Day and all of the ways we can move the date at the Earth Overshoot Day website. We can listen to Dave Gardner’s “Growth Busters” podcast (the accompanying article has a good list of further links to explore). We can calculate our personal contribution the earth’s warming using a footprint calculator.
But most importantly, since government can make the greatest contribution, we need to let our representatives, state and national, know that we want them to act to create a sustainable future for us and our children and grandchildren.
P.S. The latest issue of Simply Living, Columbus’s gardening and sustainable living Community Update has come out. Keep scrolling down to discover the wealth of activities and classes going on, even in the midst of a pandemic.