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Living on credit

septembre 16, 2020

Living on credit

                Since 22nd August 2020, we have been living on credit. That date marks the Earth Overshoot Day (EOD), meaning that humanity’s demand exceeds the ecological resources that the planet can provide in 12 months.
The Global Footprint Network (GFN), an international research organization, has been calculating the day since 1970. At that time the EOD occurred only 3 days before the end of the year, while this year it represents 132 days. 
The day is calculated following on the “demand-supply” formulation. In other terms, EOD equals to the division of the world biocapacity (the quantity of natural resources) by the world ecological footprint (our consumption of these natural resources) and multiplying by 365.
It is not a surprise to claim that the only cause of this event is the humanity’s way of living.  According to the GFN some countries have a much larger negative impact than others. In fact, scientists estimate that to support our population’s way of life, we need 1.6 planets Earth.
You may wonder what does living on credit mean. To put it in simple terms, it means that from the August 22nd to December 31st we are consuming resources that will not be replenished, including clean water, soil, clean air…
It seems that each year the date has been reached sooner and sooner moving from October 5th in 1990 to August 8th in 2010 to August 22nd this year.
However, this year an unexpected event happened which moved back the EOD. Indeed, with the Covid-19 the date which occurred on July 29th in 2019 was pushed back to almost a month later. As the pandemic crises grew bigger, several industries had to shut down which led to an important reduction of carbon footprint (by 14.5% from 2019) and of forest product footprint (by 8.4% from 2019).
Some people tend to think that their action is pointless, and nothing will change. On the contrary any small action is useful and important. For instance, joining the Move The Date Movement created by Overshootday to look for or even propose ideas to make a change.
It is important to bear in mind that everyone has a choice to make that can heavily impact our environment and planet. Choosing solid and organic products, commuting to work, choosing sustainable packaging...

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