Earth Overshoot Day is on August 13
Earth Overshoot Day marks the date when humanity’s demand on renewable natural resources exceeds the supply that our planet can regenerate.
When a country plummets into a massive financial deficit, it attracts worldwide attention. Yet countries today are largely ignoring another form of overspending: their ecological deficits. This is putting economies and citizens alike at even more risk.
The consequences of a fiscal deficit can strike much more quickly than those of an ecological deficit. But the results of an ecological deficit — including fisheries collapse, biodiversity loss and climate change, as well as economic instability — are potentially much longer lasting and more difficult to reverse if not tackled early.
This is because addressing resource constraints requires reshaping our use of resources like forests and energy, with profound effects on our infrastructure and lifestyles.
Recovery may even be impossible if ecological thresholds are exceeded. Exceeding ecological thresholds can result in swift and large-scale changes in the way ecosystems function, like in the case of the collapse of cod stocks in the North Atlantic as a result of overfishing — and may be very difficult to reverse.
However, there is good news. This year, more than ever, the momentum is building quickly for us to address ecological deficits on a global scale.
A global ecological deficit is called overshoot, and today, August 13, is Earth Overshoot Day. Earth Overshoot Day marks the date when humanity’s demand on renewable natural resources exceeds the supply that our planet can regenerate. More simply, it’s the date humanity has spent our planet’s budget for the entire year. This year, that date arrives more than four months before the year ends. As recently as 2000, Earth Overshoot Day fell in October