August 2 is Earth Overshoot Day! (Here's what that means)

As of August 2, 2017, humanity has used more of Earth's natural resources than it can renew for the year, according to independent think tank Global Footprint Network

The group, based out of the U.S., Switzerland, and Belgium has been tracking the 'Earth Overshoot Day' since 1987 (when it fell on December 19). 

As you can imagine, the day has been inching farther and farther away from December 19 every year since they've been keeping track, and as of this year, we're the closest to January 1 we've ever been as a species. 

Earth Overshoot Day is a metric of two things: how many resources we use, and a guide to how many 'Earths' we would need to sustain ourselves. According to GFN, this year it's 1.7 Earths.

That's kind of related more to how much the 7.3 billion people on this planet consume versus the 7.3 billion people themselves.

Last year, the BBC put out an in-depth investigation trying to get to the bottom of 'how many people can this planet support'? And the answer... (drum roll please): we have no idea.

We don't even know as a society if seven billion is remotely sustainable. And the population is growing. According to the United Nations (page 7), humans on Earth will number 8.5 billion by 2030 and 11.2 billion by 2100. 

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It's feasible to expect those people want things like housing, food, toys, electronics, cars and pretty much everything else.

That's kind of the point of Earth Overshoot Day - raising awareness about the AMOUNT of things we consume.

Granted, one person choosing not to get the latest iPhone isn't going to make much of a dent in humanity's ecological footprint, but information is kind of the point of stuff like this.

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But what is the state government doing about the pressing climate issues? In July, Gov. John Hickenlooper committed Colorado, along with 12 other states, to the U.S. Climate Alliance. 

The alliance places emphasis on advancing clean energy and reducing greenhouse gas emissions in the state. The state is taking a three-pronged approach you can learn more about here.

Happy Earth Overshoot Day everyone!

© 2017 KUSA-TV


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