Humanity has been growing at an exponential rate for nearly two centuries now, and this has placed an increasing amount of strain on our planet’s resources. In spite of the fact that this is the case, we don’t seem to be making the right kinds of changes, and this is why Earth’s annual Overshoot Day has been coming earlier each and every year with all things having been considered and taken into account.
The Overshoot Day is the day on which we use up the resources that Earth is capable of generating in a calendar year, and back in 1970 this date occurred two days prior to the end of the year namely on the 30th of December. This marked the first time that humanity’s consumption exceeded Earth’s production capacity, and with all of that having been said and now out of the way it is important to note that this date has been coming earlier every year since then.
In 2022 Earth’s Overshoot Day occurred on the 28th of July, which means that in a few short years we might be using double the resources that Earth produces on an annual basis. The pandemic moved the date back to the 22nd of August from the 29th of July because of the fact that this is the sort of thing that could potentially end up clogging supply chains and decreasing consumption, but in 2021 the overshoot day once again returned to pre-pandemic levels. While the increase in consumption has not been quite as drastic this year, the overshoot day has still moved up by a day.
Consuming so many resources means that billions of people might be left with less than what they need to survive. A lot of effort needs to be put into reducing our consumption so that we can finally start to live sustainably. Until such a change occurs, the future of our beautiful planet will continue to look grim. It will take a miracle to make nation states agree on a strategy to move forward, and we will have to wait to see if they do the right thing.