Today is the day we are officially in debt to our ecosystem

Earth overshoot day

Today is earth overshoot day.

Being green isn’t just about renewable energy, cycling to work or using re-usable bags when you do your shopping. It is about being in a state of equilibrium with the planet that we inhabit and not emitting more carbon  dioxide than we can absorb.

When we are not in equilibrium, we “overshoot” our allowance and as with all debt we are borrowing from the future rather than living within our means.

Unfortunately, yesterday we officially spent our allowance and as of today (Friday 29th July 2022) we are in debt to our ecological budget for the rest of the year.

This has been gradually getting earlier and earlier and as you can see the National Footprint and Biocapacity accounts have shown we have been over budget for half a century.

Interestingly not every country overshoots at the same rate. If the planet lived like Australians overshoot day would fall on the 23rd March, but if we lived like Jamaica we would basically be in balance and not overshoot until December 20th. So surely if many countries can live in balance so can we?

The understanding of Climate Change and acknowledgement of action is now widely recognised, but I feel the sheer scale of the effect of inaction is yet to be fully understood.

Energy is one major way we can help ourselves reach the goal of balance in our biosphere.

Reducing the carbon output of our energy by 50% will move the overshoot day by over 3 months and by utilising existing energy efficient technologies in energy, buildings and industrial processes we can push this another 21 days.

The decarbonisation of our energy economy is not only becoming more crucial from a resilience to international cost pressure perspective, but is crucial to assisting us push the overshoot  date out,  to balance the budget of our biocapacity by not  ‘overspending’.

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