World’s Overshoot day!!

Happy World’s Overshoot day!! Today we’ve exhausted all the natural resources generated by Mother Earth last year and as economists say, we are in a deficit, although not financial, but ecological. This could be quite shocking news to many, but interestingly this year World’s Overshoot day has been pushed by 3 weeks. In 2019, World’s Overshoot day was marked on July 29 as opposed to August 22 in 2020. In fact, this day has never been pushed so far since 2005. So, is it an achievement worth celebrating? Apparently not, cause it is not done by design, rather by the disaster. The World’s Overshoot day is calculated by GFN (Global footprint network), an independent think tank established in 2003 with its headquarters located in California, United States. Overshoot is calculated by ecological footprint, which is a measure of how much area of biologically productive land and water an individual, population or activity requires to produce all the resources it consumes and to absorb the waste it generates, using prevailing technology and resource management practices. Researchers estimate that the planet equivalent has grown from 1.5 in 2008 to 1.6 in 2020, i.e. now humans require 1.6 planet Earth to sustain themselves and this doesn’t account for all other species in the world. However, this doesn’t mean that all countries contribute equally to the spectrum. Overshoot day varies from country to country due to the prevailing technologies in different countries. For e.g. a world would be enough for Indonesians to survive, but it would require approximately two worlds to sustain ourselves if we were to live like Qataris. The worst country to perform in this index is Luxembourg, which consumed all its resources by February 16. Even Australia, the biocapacity giant is seeing deficit for the first time in its history due to the devastating fires of 2019-20. This shows how fragile biocapacity can be.
But this year is not an achievement, all though the COVID lockdowns brought down the Ecological Footprint by 9.3% reduction as compared to the same period last year and put a remarkable dent on the global economy. Since this pushed date is a reflection of a lot of sufferings and the reflection of imposed changes to our lives. The irony is that these vast reductions that scientists had always been craving but through sustainable developments rather than sufferings. Now it would be foolish to presume that in order to reduce our carbon footprints and planet equivalent we require such sufferings since such reductions are discriminatory, they disproportionately affect people of color and caste economically. Climate skeptics have used the situation to say that lockdown is what “green campaigners want” and they cannot enjoy things like international travel and economic growth in the future. But it is foolish to fall for such beliefs. The goal should be having better economies and social outcomes with lower emissions.
Researchers reiterate that balance of humanities consumption and Earth”s produce needs to be restored. It would be wise to make such balance intentionally rather than facing such disasters that comes at such high and terrible human cost.