Today is Earth Overshoot Day 2013. In plain words this means that today we’ve managed to use up all the Earth’s renewable sources allocated for the year, and are now drawing resources ideally allocated for next year. By doing so we are not only over-using natural resources, but also giving the planet lesser time in which to replenish them for next year, Our current rate of consumption need us to have 1.5 Earths.
Think of it as a savings account. Analogously, we’ve already used up the money that should have lasted us till 31st December and are actually digging into our savings for next year. So, we’re basically taking credit from nature and hoping we’ll be able to save up at some point later and replace it.
We are unlikely to be able to significantly reverse this trend in time to maintain a healthy ecosystem. The result – Climate change, biodiversity loss, fisheries collapse, higher commodity prices, etc. Only problem is when we run out of capital and are knee-deep in this ecological debt, no government or company can bail us out. No austerity measures would then work. There would be no Plan B because, simply put, there is no Planet B.