Ecological Debt Day

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Ecological Debt Day (EDD), also known as Earth Overshoot Day, is the calculated illustrative calendar date on which humanity’s resource consumption for the year exceeds Earth’s capacity to regenerate those resources that year. Ecological Debt Day is calculated by dividing the world biocapacity (the amount of natural resources generated by Earth that year), by the world Ecological Footprint (humanity’s consumption of Earth’s natural resources for that year), and multiplying by 365, the number of days in one Gregorian common calendar year:

( \text{World Biocapacity} / \text{World Ecological Footprint} ) \times 365 = \text{Ecological Debt Day}

When viewed through an economic perspective, EDD represents the day in which humanity enters deficit spending . In ecology term EDD illustrate the level by which human population overshoots its environment.

EDD is made by Global Footprint Network.[1]

Background[edit]

The correlation between the development of a country using HDI and its natural resource consumption

Andrew Simms of U.K. think tank New Economics Foundation originally developed the concept of Earth Overshoot Day. Global Footprint Network, a partner organization of New Economics Foundation, launches a campaign every year for Earth Overshoot Day to raise awareness of Earth’s limited resources. Global Footprint Network measures humanity’s demand for and supply of natural resources and ecological services. Global Footprint Network estimates that in approximately eight months, we demand more renewable resources and CO2 sequestration than what the planet can provide for an entire year.[1]

Throughout most of history, humanity has used nature’s resources to build cities and roads, to provide food and create products, and to release carbon dioxide at a rate that was well within Earth’s budget. But in the mid-1970s, that critical threshold was crossed: Human consumption began outstripping what the planet could reproduce. According to Global Footprint Network’s calculations, our demand for renewable ecological resources and the services they provide is now equivalent to that of more than 1.5 Earths. The data shows us on track to require the resources of two planets well before mid-2000-century.

In planetary terms, the costs of our ecological overspending are becoming more evident by the day. Climate change—a result of greenhouse gases being emitted faster than they can be absorbed by forests and oceans—is the most obvious and arguably pressing result. But there are others—shrinking forests, species loss, fisheries collapse, higher commodity prices and civil unrest, to name a few.[1]

Date[edit]

Date of EDD on the release year
Year Overshoot Date
1987 December 19
1990 December 7
1995 November 21
2000 November 1
2005 October 20
2007 October 26
2008 September 23
2009 September 25
2010 August 21
2011 August 27
2012 August 22
2013 August 20
2014 August 19
2015 August 13

Following EDD dates are based on 2015 models and data. So they differ from the yearly released dates and are more comparable between years.[2]

  • 1970 December 23
  • 1971 December 15
  • 1972 December 06
  • 1973 November 24
  • 1974 November 25
  • 1975 November 28
  • 1976 November 16
  • 1977 November 10
  • 1978 November 06
  • 1979 October 29
  • 1980 November 03
  • 1981 November 10
  • 1982 November 14
  • 1983 November 13
  • 1984 November 06
  • 1985 November 06
  • 1986 November 01
  • 1987 October 25
  • 1988 October 16
  • 1989 October 13
  • 1990 October 13
  • 1991 October 13
  • 1992 October 16
  • 1993 October 17
  • 1994 October 16
  • 1995 October 10
  • 1996 October 09
  • 1997 October 08
  • 1998 October 09
  • 1999 October 10
  • 2000 October 04
  • 2001 October 03
  • 2002 September 28
  • 2003 September 19
  • 2004 September 10
  • 2005 September 03
  • 2006 September 01
  • 2007 August 30
  • 2008 September 01
  • 2009 September 06
  • 2010 August 28
  • 2011 August 25
  • 2012 August 23
  • 2013 August 20
  • 2014 August 17
  • 2015 August 13

References[edit]

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ a b c Earth Overshoot Day is coming! Global Footprint Network. Accessed: September 27, 2011.
  2. ^ "Past Earth Overshoot Days". Retrieved 14 August 2015. 

Further reading[edit]

  • Daily, Gretchen C., and Pamela A. Matson (2008). "Ecosystem services: From theory to implementation". Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (105): 9455–9456.
  • Easterling, William E. (2007). "Climate change and the adequacy of food and timber in the 21st century.". Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences 104 (50): 19679.
  • Friedman, Thomas (2008). Hot, Flat, and Crowded. New York: Farrar, Straus, and Giroux. ISBN 0-374-16685-4. 
  • Khanna, Parag (2008). The Second World. New York: Random House. ISBN 81-7036-406-X. 
  • "WWF: human consumption is outpacing earth's capacity". EurActiv.com. October 26, 2004. Updated December 14, 2012.
  • Wackernagel, Mathis; Niels B. Schulz, Diana Deumling, Alejandro C. Linares, Martin Jenkins, Valerie Kapos, Chad Monfreda, Jonathan Loh, Norman Myers, Richard Norgaard, and Jorgen Randers (2002). "Tracking the ecological overshoot of the human economy". Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences 99 (14): 9266–9271. doi:10.1073/pnas.142033699. PMC 123129. PMID 12089326.

External links[edit]