Earth in the Red Zone: Humans are gobbling up resources at an alarming rate

Earth in the Red Zone: Humans are gobbling up resources at an alarming rate

Scientists are extremely worried by reports that humans have already consumed all the natural resources that can be generated by the Earth in a year -- and it's still the summer.

An alarming new milestone has been reached already in mid August: humanity has already consumed all the resources that the Earth can generate in an entire year, and we’re going to go through a lot more before 2015 is done.

It’s called Earth Overshoot Day, and we hit it on Thursday. That’s the day when we reach the point we shouldn’t reach until December 31st — by definition, that means we’re consuming at an unsustainable rate, according to a Christian Science Monitor report.

This “overshoot,” which most people don’t really seem to know about or at least care about, actually has some big implications for humanity, for obvious reasons. Overshoot causes a depletion of the Earth and a buildup of carbon dioxide. This results in huge amounts of harm to our environment and, consequently, to us down the road, scientists argue.

What’s the cause? Typically, deforestation, drought, a lack of fresh water, erosion of soil, and a loss of biodiversity, according to the sustainability think thank behind the study called Global Footprint Network.

These conditions mean we are overspending ecologically, and Overshoot Day marks the point where humanity has reached its limit for the year — and everything beyond that continues to deplete Earth’s natural resources bank account, an account that is not infinite.

The point of alerting people to Overshoot Day is to remind them that without greener solutions, natural resources will drop to immensely dangerous levels that could threaten humanity itself, the think tank argues.

Currently, our population demands the resources of 1.6 Earths, according to the report. The first global overshoot is believed to have happened in the early 1970s, so it has been happening for a while — and if it’s not reversed soon, many scientists say, the damage could be permanent.



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