20/08/13 15:15 CET
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There are only so many natural resources the earth can supply and today we’ve gone over our annual limit.
Earth Overshoot Day is the point in the year when humans have used as much nature, such as land, trees and fish, as the planet’s ecosystems can regenerate.
For the rest of the year the earth will be “overdrawn,” meaning we will be depleting the oceans and land and building up waste such as carbon dioxide.
According to figures sourced by the Global Footprint Network, an independent think tank based in the United States, Switzerland, and Belgium, the first time that human consumption outstripped the planet’s capability to produce was December 29 1970. Since then the date has been creeping forward each year.
The UK consumes and produces waste at a rate three and a half times greater than it can sustain.
Qatar is one of the worst offenders: the typical resident requires the resources of six and a half times what the earth can produce.
If everybody were to live like United States residents, it would take four times the earth’s resources to support the global population.
China’s total ecological footprint is smaller, per capita, than in Europe or North America but its footprint is the heaviest in the world in raw size, because of its huge population.
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