Earth's credit card has been maxed out!
If Earth's resources were a credit card, we have already maxed out our entire allocation for this year. The think tank Global Footprint Network announced that August 19th was “Earth Overshoot Day,” meaning that all the resources we use after that day exceed what our planet can produce in a single year.
The international sustainability organization says that “approximately every eight months, we demand more renewable resources and CO2 sequestration than what the planet can provide for an entire year.” They explain that ever since the 1970s, human consumption has resulted in shrinking forests, collapsing fisheries, rising commodity prices, and worsening climate change.
Overuse of resources is obviously an ecological problem, but it's also an economic one. The president of the Global Footprint Network said, “Countries with resource deficits and low income are exceptionally vulnerable.” He added that high-income nations “need to realize that a long-term solution requires addressing such dependencies before they turn into a significant economic stress.” In other words, even rich nations like ours won't be able to afford this unsustainable cycle forever.
Living sustainably is important in the fight against global warming, but it's also one of the best ways to ensure that all people have access to important resources. We can't survive if we destroy our planet or deplete our resources, or if we can't afford access to food and water. We must make the switch to green energy, use our vital resources wisely, and protect the one and only planet that we call home.