All entries for Monday 09 October 2006

October 09, 2006

'Ecological Overdraft'

Today is the day that ‘humanity slides into the red’ as we further add to our ‘ecological overdraft’.

According to the Global Footprint Network, and as reported in the Guardian today, we have already consumed all of the resources that the planet can be expected to replenish in one year. And this as we have only just entered October.

As I ponder this, I gaze out of my window and see cars drive past, a policeman ordering a Subway sandwich, Christmas lights across the street ready to be turned on (why xmas lights?? It’s OCTOBER for christ’s sake! But perhaps this may be for another entry).. All of these things using energy the Earth cannot replenish.

According to the report, this over-utilising our resources began in 1987 when the year’s resources were spent by the 19th December. The date has been gradually leaping forward ever since. If we consider ‘ecological footprints’ (land and water required to sustain a person’s lifestyle) the average North American uses 9.6 hectares (or 23.7 acres) in a year. For an African: 1.4 hectares.. If we were all like North Americans in our lifestyle (which as a Brit I am depressingly close), four extra planets would be required to sustain our lifestyles.

Depressing but necessary reading if we are to create a sustainable way of living for the next generation to inherit.

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