Eco Comment – Earth Overshoot Day

11 August 2023

Last Wednesday was Earth Overshoot Day. This is the day when the earth as a whole has used up its resources for the year. Scientists started to measure the volume of our needs against the Earth’s natural resources in the early 1970s. Earth Overshoot Day is computed by dividing the planet’s bio capacity (the amount of ecological resources Earth is able to generate that year), by humanity’s Ecological Footprint (humanity’s demand for that year), and multiplying by 365, the number of days in the year.



The good news is that this is a day later than last year.

The bad news is that we in the UK reached our Overshoot day on the 19th May. So we, in effect are using nearly two and a half earth’s worth of global resources to fund our present lifestyle. We are nowhere near the worst users of these finite resources but there are many countries, through a mixture of both geography and technology, which are better equipped to use fewer resources.

Many of us are doing our bit to reduce our consumption of these precious resources and will no doubt be concerned at these statistics. especially as so many of the national decisions are not ours to make. We can, of course, influence the decisions through voting, letter writing, petitioning etc. etc.

What is heartening to me is that the next generation are aware of the problem and have already started to address the issues in their own way. I knew of the the local initiative ‘Wakefield Schools Net Zero Relay’, but I hadn’t seen the display in the cathedral. It’s worth taking those extra few steps from the nave down the south aisle past the cathedrals exhibition towards St Mark’s chapel. If you can, take time to read the individual messages written by the children. Our world is in safe hands.

Susan Morgan
Eco Group

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