Earth Overshoot Day means the seven billion people on Earth have consumed the globe's renewable resources for the year. In other words for the next 133 days humanity will be accumulating ecological debt by overdrawing on our collective resources.
"Simply put, we are asking for more than we have available," said Jim Leape, Director General of WWF International. "Nature is the basis of our wellbeing and our prosperity—but we are using up way too much of the Earth's finite resources."
WWF and Global Footprint Network track renewable resource-use like fisheries, forests, land use, and greenhouse gas emissions to track just how quickly global civilization runs into the red. Once the limit is hit, society begins to deplete natural resources, a practice which is helping to drive biodiversity loss, climate change, and other global environmental problems. Rising greenhouse gas emissions is especially pushing society over ecological limits.
"We have chosen to ignore the idea of living within our means in the one arena, the ecological, where it is critical for our survival."said Andrew Simms, who was the originator of the Earth Overshoot Day.
Humanity first overshot its annual resources in the mid-1980s and has been continuing to draw more-and-more annually as both populations and consumption patterns continue to rise. Last year, Earth Overshoot Day fell on August 20th.