WASHINGTON (CBSDC) – We’re only eight months into 2015, and already we have used up a year’s supply of Earth’s natural resources, says an international environmental group.
The Global Footprint Network (GFN) compared humanity’s demands, like fossil fuels, carbon emissions, food consumption, and trees, to the planet’s ability to regenerate those resources and its ability to naturally absorb the excess carbon in the atmosphere.
It set Thursday as Earth Overshoot Day, the day on which humans go into what the GFN calls “ecological debt.”
The GFN says human activity started to outpace the planet’s natural resources in the early 1970s and that it’s been getting worse ever since.
“The big problem is not that our deficit is getting bigger, it is that it cannot be maintained in the long-run,” GFN president Mathis Wackernagel told The Guardian. “Even though we are in a deficit equation we are not taking measures to take us in the right direction. The problem is psychological, somehow we are missing this basic physical law. It is obvious to children, but for 98 percent of economic planners it is a minor risk not worth our attention.”
The GFN estimates the global population now consumes the equivalent of 1.6 planets-worth of resources.
The group warns that too many demands are being placed on the Earth’s ecosystem, and that is doing permanent damage to the environment.
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