Save the planet

Saturday, August 22, was Earth Overshoot Day. This is the date when humanity’s demand for ecological resources and services in a year exceeds what Earth can regenerate in that year. Clearly, we are in overshoot: there are too many of us, using too many resources, producing too many wastes.

We need to stabilise our numbers everywhere, and then reduce them voluntarily, before nature does it for us. We need to use fewer resources, apart from those needed to lift the poor out of poverty. And we need to reduce our wastes, not least the greenhouse gases that we release into the atmosphere and cause global warming. This last one is critical.

Back in 2011, Professor Hans Joachim Schellnhuber, director of the Potsdam Institute and climate adviser to the German Chancellor Angela Merkel and to the EU, said that in a 4-degree warmer world, the human carrying capacity was less than one billion people. We are at 7.8 billion now.

Jenny Goldie Canberra Times 2 September 2020

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