AboutZoos, Since 2008


Today is Earth Over­shoot Day in 2018; We now need 1.7 Earths

pub­lished 01 August 2018 | mod­i­fied 01 August 2018

On 1 August, human­ity will have used nature’s resource bud­get for the entire year, accord­ing to Global Foot­print Net­work, an inter­na­tional research organ­i­sa­tion. This date is called Earth Over­shoot Day – the date when humanity’s annual demand on nature exceeds what Earth’s ecosys­tems can renew in that year.

In other words, human­ity is cur­rently using nature 1.7 times faster than our planet’s ecosys­tems can regen­er­ate. This is akin to using 1.7 Earths.

Global Foot­print Net­work cal­cu­lates Earth Over­shoot Day every year using Eco­log­i­cal Foot­print account­ing, which adds up all of people’s com­pet­ing demands on nature, includ­ing demand for food, tim­ber, and fibres (cot­ton); absorp­tion of car­bon emis­sions from burn­ing fos­sil fuels; and build­ings, roads and other infra­struc­ture. 1 August is the ear­li­est Earth Over­shoot Day since the world went into eco­log­i­cal over­shoot in the 1970s.

Earth overshoot day 1969 2018

The costs of this eco­log­i­cal over­spend­ing include defor­esta­tion; col­laps­ing fish­eries; fresh-​water scarcity; soil ero­sion; bio­di­ver­sity loss; and the build-​up of car­bon diox­ide in the atmos­phere, lead­ing to cli­mate change and more severe droughts, wild­fires, and hur­ri­canes. These threats can pro­duce des­per­a­tion and force many peo­ple to migrate to cities or other countries.

Global Foot­print Net­work and its part­ners will mark Earth Over­shoot Day 2018 with sev­eral activ­i­ties around the world, including:

  • In New York, a short video in Times Square from 20 July to 3 August fea­tures stun­ning footage by award-​winning cin­e­matog­ra­pher Louie Schwartzberg.
  • In Berlin, Ger­man­watch and Inkota and other part­ners will hold an Over­shoot Day press con­fer­ence at 9 a.m. CET 1 August.
  • In Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, the Museu do Amanhã (Museum of Tomor­row) will show a spe­cial screen­ing of “Under the Ox Paw,” a doc­u­men­tary film about the cat­tle inva­sion in the Ama­zon, on 1 August.
  • In the 10 U.S. cities with the largest car­bon foot­prints, more than 10,000 free Endan­gered Species Con­doms will be given away by the Cen­ter for Bio­log­i­cal Diversity.

#MoveThe­Date Live Stream
Global Foot­print Net­work will fea­ture these events and more with inter­views from around the world through a live broad­cast on Face­book and YouTube at 6 a.m. 1 August UTC and 9 a.m. 1 August PDT /​4 p.m. UTC. To watch, visit www​.face​book​.com/​G​l​o​b​a​l​F​o​o​t​p​r​i​n​t​N​e​t​w​o​r​k; Global Foot­print Net­work YouTube livestream.

The show will include inter­views with Chris­tiana Figueres, the for­mer cli­mate chief of the UN; Erik Sol­heim, exec­u­tive direc­tor of the UN Envi­ron­ment Pro­gramme; Nico­las Hulot, the French min­is­ter of eco­log­i­cal tran­si­tion; Terry A’Hearn, Chief Exec­u­tive Offi­cer of the Scot­tish Envi­ron­ment Pro­tec­tion Agency; David Levine, CEO, Amer­i­can Sus­tain­able Busi­ness Coun­cil; Carter Roberts, CEO, World Wildlife Fund US; Kath­leen Rogers, Pres­i­dent, Earth Day Net­work; Esther Finidori, Man­ager of Envi­ron­men­tal Per­for­mance and CO2 Strat­egy, Schnei­der Elec­tric; and cin­e­matog­ra­pher Louie Schwartzberg. The show also will fea­ture part­ners from WWF China, France, Japan, and Rus­sia; ZERO, an envi­ron­men­tal part­ner in Por­tu­gal; and from the U.S., Cen­ter for Bio­log­i­cal Diver­sity, Cloud Insti­tute for Sus­tain­abil­ity Edu­ca­tion, Pow­er­house, and Turn­ing Green.

As we mark Earth Over­shoot Day, today may seem no dif­fer­ent from yes­ter­day – you still have the same food in your refrig­er­a­tor,” said Global Foot­print Net­work CEO Mathis Wack­er­nagel. “But fires are rag­ing in the West­ern United States. On the other side of the world, res­i­dents in Cape Town have had to slash water con­sump­tion in half since 2015. These are con­se­quences of bust­ing the eco­log­i­cal bud­get of our one and only planet.”

Our economies are run­ning a Ponzi scheme with our planet. We are using the Earth’s future resources to oper­ate in the present and dig­ging our­selves deeper into eco­log­i­cal debt.

Mathis Wack­er­nagel, CEO Global Foot­print Network.

It’s time to end this eco­log­i­cal Ponzi scheme and lever­age our cre­ativ­ity and inge­nu­ity to cre­ate a pros­per­ous future free of fos­sil fuels and plan­e­tary destruc­tion,” Wack­er­nagel continued.

Global Foot­print Net­work has iden­ti­fied four solu­tion areas with the most poten­tial to address eco­log­i­cal overshoot:

Cities: If we reduce dri­ving by 50% around the world and replace one-​third of car miles with pub­lic trans­porta­tion and the rest by walk­ing and bik­ing, we can #MoveThe­Date of Over­shoot Day back 12 days.

Energy: Reduc­ing the car­bon com­po­nent of humanity’s Eco­log­i­cal Foot­print by 50% would #MoveThe­Date 93 days.

Food: If every­one in the world cut food waste in half, reduced the Foot­print inten­sity of their diets by for instance eat­ing less meat, and con­sumed world-​average calo­ries, we would #MoveThe­Date 38 days.

Pop­u­la­tion: If every other fam­ily in the world had one less child, we would move Over­shoot Day 30 days by 2050.

Global Foot­print Net­work is invit­ing indi­vid­u­als to par­tic­i­pate in Earth Over­shoot Day by deter­min­ing their own Per­sonal Over­shoot Day and Eco­log­i­cal Foot­print at www​.foot​print​cal​cu​la​tor​.org and tak­ing a “Step to #MoveThe­Date” at www​.over​shoot​day​.org/​s​t​e​p​s​-​t​o​-​m​o​v​e​t​h​e​d​a​t​e.

Data Trends
Although 86 per­cent of the world’s pop­u­la­tion lives in a coun­try with an eco­log­i­cal deficit, the lat­est national Eco­log­i­cal Foot­print data reveals some encour­ag­ing signs for mov­ing back Earth Over­shoot Day:

  • The Eco­log­i­cal Foot­print of China, the coun­try with the largest total Eco­log­i­cal Foot­print, decreased 0.3 per­cent from 2013 to 2014 after a steady climb since 2000, when it was half as large as it is today. China’s Eco­log­i­cal Foot­print per per­son also decreased by 0.8 per­cent from 2013 to 2014. The decline stems in part from a decrease in China’s total car­bon Foot­print by 0.7 per­cent and its per-​person car­bon Foot­print by 1.2% from 2013 to 2014.
  • The Eco­log­i­cal Foot­print per per­son for high-​income coun­tries has declined 12.9 per­cent since 2000. Some of the coun­tries with the largest declines since 2000 include Sin­ga­pore (-32.1 per­cent), the Bahamas (-26.2 per­cent), Den­mark (-19.0 per­cent); United States (-18.4 per­cent), United King­dom (-16.6 per­cent), and France (-15.5 percent).
  • Ger­many expe­ri­enced an 8 per­cent decline in its Eco­log­i­cal Foot­print per per­son since 2000 and a 2.5 per­cent decline in its Eco­log­i­cal Foot­print per per­son from 2013 to 2014. The car­bon com­po­nent of Germany’s Eco­log­i­cal Foot­print declined 6.2 per­cent from 2013 to 2014.
Earth overshoot Day - How many countries 2018

Earth overshoot How many earths 2018

(Source: Earth Over­shoot Day press release, 23.07.2018)

UN Biodiversity decade
WWF Stop Wildlife Crime
Fight for Flight campaign
End Ivory-funded Terrorism
Support Rewilding Europe
NASA State of Flux

Goal: 7000 tigers in the wild

Tiger range countries map

Tiger map” (CC BY 2.5) by Sander­son et al., 2006.

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