Happy belated Earth Overshoot Day!
Actually, it’s not happy at all.
It turns out that as a whole, we lived within our means until 1970. Since then, we’ve been overspending, overtaxing and overeating our way through the earth’s resources at a shocking rate. Humanity chomped through what the planet can provide in one year by August 13, and we still have a few months left in the year which we’ll be essentially borrowing from the future.
Scientists named Earth Overshoot Day for the day that humanity used up a year’s worth of resources. By 2030, scientists estimate that we’ll be using the resources of two earths if we continue on this path of consumption.
What’s worse is that by 2070, when our grandchildren are our age now, “food shocks” are going to be relatively commonplace if we don’t come up with solutions now. Food shocks are severe food shortages that we can’t prevent and we can’t bounce back from, and while they mostly occur in Sub-Saharan Africa now, they’ll be increasing and branching out to the U.S. and the U.K. within the next few decades.
A United Nations Food and Agriculture report says that the demand for food will increase by 60 percent by the year 2050, which means the massive amounts we already produce won’t be enough – and it appears that producing more will cause even more “overshoot.”
What Do You Think?
Should we revisit Newt Gingrich’s idea of colonizing the moon and growing our food there? Should we keep looking for more planets like Kepler-452-B and try to develop ways to explore them? What kinds of solutions should we be exploring to ensure that our kids and grandkids (and their kids) will have enough food to eat?