From today we would need a second earth

Humanity has used up all sustainable resources for this year

Too much ecological footprint for our planet: Mankind now uses 1.6 Earth resources per year. © NASA / freeimages, Oliver Gruener
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From today we live on pump: With the today's mankind has used up all sustainably usable resources of our planet for this year. This earth congestion day has thus moved further forward again - last year it was still on 13 August. In order to sustainably cover the entire resource requirements of the world's population, we would now need 1.6 earths - and the trend is rising.

The Earth Overshoot Day marks the day humanity has consumed all the natural resources that can regenerate the earth each year. It is calculated each year by scientists from the Global Footprint Network and the New Economic Foundation. This date is determined by the environmental footprint: what we emit of greenhouse gases, consume water or process for our consumption will be offset against the ability of the world's ecosystems to renew resources and absorb waste.

Again pushed forward

This year's Earth Overshoot Day is on the 8th of August - and as early as ever. Because the point where our ecological footprint is becoming too big for our planet has been steadily increasing for years. In the last year the earth overload day was still on the 13th of August, in the year 2007 we had reached it only on the 8th of October.

At the moment, humanity would need 1.6 Earths to sustainably meet the global demand for raw materials, farmland, water and forests. The fastest growing share of environmental overuse is CO2 emissions, according to the Global Footprint Network. Today he is responsible for around 60 percent of the ecological footprint of humanity.

Above all, the industrialized countries consume far more resources than their land. © Global Footprint Network

Australia and USA consume the most

However, the consumption of resources is by no means the same in all countries. While many poor countries such as the Congo, Bolivia or Eritrea do not even exhaust the biocapacity of their country, the wealthy industrialized countries are almost all on a par: they consume a lot more than their nature can provide. display

Leader among the "-ko-countries" are Australia and the USA: If all people lived as their inhabitants, we would need 5.4 or 4.8 earths per year. But we Germans, too, are above the earthly average: "If all countries were to operate in the same way as Germany, 3.1 earths would be necessary, " emphasizes Julia Otten from the Germanwatch environmental and development organization.

Consumption at the expense of the future

The problem is that everything we consume from now on or release greenhouse gases and wastes is at the expense of future years and generations. Our overconsumption is only possible because we simply emit more CO2 into the atmosphere than our oceans and forests absorb, because we found more fish than the oceans can reproduce and Filling trees more than regrowth.

The consequences of this perennial overuse of our planet are long visible. Woods are disappearing as vital CO2 stores, animal and plant species are dying out and the climate is changing more and more. The first half of 2016 has once again set climate records.

(Global Footprint Network, 08.08.2016 - NPO)