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Humans Have Used Up a Year's Worth of Earth's Resources in 9 Months

First Posted: Aug 14, 2015 02:13 PM EDT
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We may have just managed to use up Earth's resources for the entire year. Scientists have found that we're taking more than Earth can regenerate in a given year, and that this year we've managed to consume a year's worth of our planet's resources in just eight months.

Using up a year's worth of our planet's resources has a name: Earth Overshoot Day. This particular day occurs when humanity's annual demand for the goods and services that our land and seas can provide exceed what Earth's ecosystems can renew in a year. This means that, essentially, we're depleting Earth's resources over time, which means we simply may not be able to harvest them in the future.

This year, we used up a year's worth of resources this Aug. 14. However, the date continues to move up earlier and earlier in the year. In 2000, the day fell in October, as an example.

"The big problem is not that our deficit is getting bigger, it is that it cannot be maintained in the long-run," said Mathis Wackernagel, president of the GFN, in an interview with 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. In the end the question is-does it matter to the government?"

The world's population consumes the equivalent of 1.6 planets. This could rise to two planets by 2030, simply based on current trends.

The findings show that Earth's resources are finite; not only that, but policies should be instituted to limit how much we consume on a yearly basis.

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