The day of overtaking: humanity lives on credit

“The Day of Overtaking” … Here is what could be the title of a disaster movie! But sadly, this is not a movie at all, but a sadly real fact. The Overshoot Day is in fact the date on which humanity lives “on credit”, relative to the Planet. This year, it falls on August 22, 2020.

The day of the violation is a symbolic date, which is calculated annually by the NGO Global Footprint Network. It marks the date when humanity begins to use more natural resources than the planet can renew throughout the year. At this date, we can say that the men live “on credit” until the end of the year.

“It’s like we live on 1.6 Earths”

Depleting the planet’s renewable resources simply means that man has consumed more than the Earth can provide in an entire year. But also that the quantity of greenhouse gases produced is more important than what oceans and forests can assimilate.

Global Footprint Network, in partnership with WWF, annually calculates the ecological footprint of all countries, to average and calculate this fateful date. Of course, some countries consume resources much faster than others. This is the case of Qatar for example, which reaches its day of overtaking in mid-February! Some Asian countries, on the other hand, reach it in December … Regarding France, we are in the month of May. Dramatic!

Their report shows that currently, “Humanity is using 60% more resources than can be renewed. It’s like we live on 1.6 Earth. ”

3 weeks behind in 2020 compared to 2019

This symbolic date serves as a warning of a catastrophic ecological situation, because it is earlier and earlier each year. However, in 2020, she is making an exceptional 3-week rollback! Never seen before, because since 1970, when Overtaking Day took place on December 29 (at that time we could speak of ” lasting “), this date has not stopped moving forward. The cause of these 3 weeks of” rab “? The Covid-19. The measures taken in the face of this pandemic have led to a drop in energy consumption and deforestation. The decrease in the consumption of fossil fuels in various sectors has also resulted in a reduction of the global carbon footprint of 14.5%. This is “good news” that many unfortunately think will be fleeting, if this lesson is not used to make a difference …

Solutions are possible if everyone gets involved!

So certainly, ambitious and above all rigorous international policies are necessary and essential to put in place “at the top”! Starting with actions to limit greenhouse gas emissions, which alone represent 60% of our global ecological footprint, as the WWF association emphasizes. But each of us can make a small contribution to pushing back this date, if only by being careful what we put on our plate!

Here is a small list of simple solutions to adopt:

  • Beware of food waste
  • Eat less meat, or at least reasonably
  • Favor short circuits
  • Promote products from sustainable agriculture
  • Prefer green energies
  • Take the plane less often
  • Avoid over-consuming (food, clothing, etc.)
  • Opt for public transport or think about carpooling

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