Overshoot Day: Earth's resources running out

By the start of this week humans had already used up all the Earth's resources for this year, the NGO Global Footprint Network has stressed in its Earth Overshoot Day report. Reserves such as water, land, timber and clean air were calculated to have been used up by 29 July because they can no longer be regenerated in the current year. The date prompts urgent warnings in the media.

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Delo (SI) /

We're lagging behind the technology

It's time to tackle the real problems our society faces, warns Delo:

“This year at the global level resources were used up two days earlier than last year - and in Slovenia it was two weeks earlier. The ecological mountain of debt may be just a symbolic warning that humans have crossed the planet's limits, but the warning is justified. The solutions for reducing this debt mountain are also real. The most effective way to do this is to rid the economy of coal, and more sustainable mobility would also achieve a lot. ... We have the knowledge and the technology. The question is whether we are ready to pay for it. Up to now it doesn't look like it.”

Le Temps (CH) /

Ecological debt difficult to repay

We must think of the next generation, warns Jérémy Savioz, a geographer and Green Party member from the Valais region, in his blog with Le Temps:

“To continue to eat, drink, warm ourselves, be mobile, and produce, we will have to get into debt. In using up our resource reserves, our natural 'capital', we are overexploiting the environment and compromising its capacity to regenerate. The concept of 'ecological debt' merits a number of articles, but for now let's simply note that this debt will be handed down to future generations. And it will probably be very difficult to repay.”

Jornal i (PT) /

Where there's no will there's no way

Cruise ships are among the greatest sources of pollution in the world and their use has risen by 70 percent within just a decade. Jornal i concludes from this:

“Even if we want to see renewable energies as the cureall only changes in our habits can save a planet inhabited by seven billion polluters. ... How will the Gretas of this world convince the 30 million people who go on a cruise each year to take the train instead - or not travel at all?”

Contrepoints (FR) /

Exaggerated panic-mongering

Contrepoints, however, says that too much of a fuss is being made over the consumption of resources and republishes an article from 2013 to make its point:

“On the one hand, humanity hasn't saved up a stockpile of food on another planet which it can draw on from time to time to make ends meet until the end of the year. On the other hand, when resources are scarce consumption drops. That's right: when all the fuel has been used up you can't go on burning it. Which means that strictly speaking all the talk of an ecological deficit is absurd. At worst, humanity won't be able to maintain its current population of six billion and will slowly die out - which is, after all, the fate of all living species. At best, it will continue to thrive. And in that case there's no point making such a fuss.”