What is Ecological Overshoot?

Using resources faster than they can regenerate and creating waste faster than it can be absorbed – is called ecological or earth overshoot.  And this has dire consequences on the planet’s capacity to provide resources to sustain life.  As we “draw down” our capital from our planetary bank account, we have put into motion a series of impacts on the quality of life never before experienced.

Did You Know . . .

  • The annual income of the richest 1% is equal to that of the poorest 57%, and more than 45,000 people die each day from poverty and malnutrition.  Thirty-eight thousand (38,000 of these are children).
  • The debt of poor countries continues to increase, despite paying back their original borrowing many times over, while millions more die of preventable diseases.
  • The HIV and AIDS global pandemic afflicts life in all parts of the world, affecting the poorest where generic drugs are not available.
  • More than 2 billion people, almost one-third of the world’s population, are infected with the microbes that cause tuberculosis.  TB kills 5,000 people every day and nearly 2 million people each year.
  • The majority of those in poverty are women and children, and the number of those living in absolute poverty (less than one U.S. dollar per day) continues to increase.
  • Resource-driven wars continue to claim the lives of millions of people.
  • Increased temperatures associated with climate change are melting glaciers faster than expected and putting millions of people at risk from floods, droughts and lack of drinking water.
  • The policy of unlimited growth among industrialized countries, and the drive for profit of transnational corporations, has severely damaged our environment.
  • In many parts of the world, high levels of radioactivity threaten health and ecology, including marine ecology.
  • By the end of the century, half of all species on earth may be extinct.  Who will survive the world’s dwindling biodiversity, and why?  Click here to read more . . .
  • U.S. incentives for biofuel production are promoting deforestation in southeast Asia and the Amazon by driving up crop prices and displacing energy feedstock production.  Click here to read more . . .