All Of Earth’s Resources For 2016 Have Already Been Used Up At This Point

First Posted: Aug 09, 2016 04:58 AM EDT

August 8 marked Earth Overshoot Day, a day marked out to remind us how we are exhausting the resources provided by Mother Earth. The day is a grim and depressing reminder of how we humans are living well beyond our means, and as of this date and point of time we have used up all the resources meant to sustain the 7 billion plus population of mankind for the rest of the year.

Incidentally, the day falls on a different date every year based on the point at which humans have used up all the resources available from nature. The exact date is announced by a nonprofit research group called Global Footprint Network, which is based on researching sustainability. The first Earth Overshoot Day was declared in Oct. 2006, and since then it has alarmingly been noticed that the day has been falling earlier with each passing year. Last year August 13 was marked as Earth Overshoot Day, and this year it was August 8. It is a cause of extreme concern and worry at how rapidly we are depleting the natural sources of the planet, and at this rate in the future Earth Overshoot Day will fall earlier, which spells really bad news for us.

Global Footprint Network uses a simple formula to figure out which point in the year can be marked as Earth Overshoot Day. The nonprofit research group takes the amount of natural resources available, i.e. the planet's biocapacity, and divides it by our ecological footprint which basically implies the amount of the planet's resources we consume, and then the result is multiplied by the days in a year. It should be noted if the calculations were done individually according to each country, then the results would have been very varied because certain countries like the US and Australia use up a lot of resources in comparison to India, Brazil or China. The factors that influence the ecological footprint of a country include dietary habits, standard of living and population size.

According to the calculations by the Global Footwork Network, it will take more than just efforts like recycling paper to delay Earth Overshoot Day each year, so that it can eventually be declared on December 31st. However, as per the organization, if plans like the Paris Agreement are worked on then by the next decade, the day can be celebrated in fall instead of in the mid-summer.

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