When will humanity’s annual demand on the Earth’s natural environment exceed what our collective ecosystems can annually generate? It has already happened, starting in the early 1970s. This is according to the Global Footprint Network, an America- and Swiss-based organisation that has pioneered an ecological footprint accounting metric. They explain that humanity is now using natural resources 1.7 times faster than our global ecosystems can regenerate. This is akin to using 1.7 Earths, with carbon emissions comprising 60% of humanity’s ecological footprint. They then take this further and calculate ground-zero month for natural resources, when life on Earth will no longer be able sustain itself in the face of overwhelming global destruction of the natural environment. According to their ecological footprint calendar, this day has moved from late September in 1997 to August 1 this year. In other words, it is the earliest date since the world first went into overshoot. In a measurable...

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