• Steve Brown

Earth Overshoot Day

This year, Earth Overshoot Day, the day in the year where we humans have used up all the ecological resources and services that nature can regenerate annually, came on August 1. That means for the year 2018, humanity is using up 1.7 times the resources that nature can recover this year, having used up a year's worth of resources by the first of this month. This includes overfishing, overharvesting of forests, and emitting more carbon dioxide into our atmosphere than the planet's ecosystems can absorb. The United States Overshoot Day came far earlier on March 15, meaning this country is creating far more of an environmental impact than most other nations.

That's clearly not sustainable.

Earth Overshoot Day began being calculated in 1969. At that time use and regeneration were roughly equal. But the imbalance between the amount of resources used and carbon dioxide emitted vs. resource regeneration and recovery has continued to grow, according to the Global Footprint Network.

While the Trump administration has ignored or denied climate change and has moved to eliminate environmental regulations on a number of levels, there is a sign that the international business community is paying more attention. HSBC, one of the largest banks on the planet, is warning the planet's resources are being depleted and the world's governments and businesses aren't prepared for the impacts of climate change.

A report by HSBC analysts reported in Business Insider and other publications emphasizes this conclusion. The report noted that when it comes to extreme climate events such as heat waves and wildfires, "the general consensus is that climate change is making these events more likely to occur and more severe," Business Insider reported. The bank's analysts noted that extreme climate events come with an equally extreme financial cost.

A study in the journal Nature that looked at climate models to find that under worst case emissions scenarios, the estimated global warming reached by 2100 could be about 15 percent higher than the best estimate from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change.

You can calculate your own ecological footprint HERE.

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