While the public’s attention was focused on the Brics summit this month, a lesser observed date slipped by largely unnoticed. The relatively inauspicious “Earth Overshoot Day” that was observed during August marks the date when humanity’s demand for natural resources (or ecological footprint) in a given year exceeds what the Earth can regenerate in that year.

Given that our ecological footprint’s single largest component (as much as 60%) comprises humanity’s carbon footprint, it was fitting that Overshoot Day should fall in the same month that record high fossil fuel subsidies for the previous year, as well as record high global air temperatures and global ocean surface temperatures, were announced. ..

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