Mankind Is Using Up Global Resources Faster Than Ever

Published on
by
the Telegraph/UK

Mankind Is Using Up Global Resources Faster Than Ever

The growing world population and increasing consumption has pushed the world into ‘eco-debt’ a month earlier this year, according to the latest statistics on global resources.

by
Louise Gray

Think tank the New Economics Foundation (NEF) look at how much food, fuel and other resources are consumed by humans every year. They then compare it to how much the world can provide without threatening the ability of important ecosystems like oceans and rainforests to recover.

This year the moment we start eating into nature's capital or ‘Earth Overshoot Day' will fall on 21st August, a full month earlier than last year, when resources were used up by 23rd September.

Andrew Simms, Policy Director at NEF, blamed increased consumption.

He said people in developing countries like China are consuming more meat and demanding cars and other energy-intensive goods. Even with green developments and energy efficiency, rich countries are also consuming more as individuals demand the latest technology, food fad or car.

He explained that the earlier humans use up Earth's resources, the more strain is put on resources, forcing up fuel prices and driving climate change. Ultimately ecosystems like fisheries and even the Earth's climate system will suffer and future generations will experience food shortages and rising global temperatures.

Mr Simms called for a transition to a more sustainable way of living to prevent poverty and starvation in the future.

"The banking crisis taught us the danger of a system that goads us to live beyond our means financially," he said. "A greater danger comes from a consumer culture and economic policy that pushes us to live beyond our means ecologically."

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