Humanity has already completely used up the naturally available resources for this year this Wednesday. According to calculations by the research organization Global Footprint, the so-called Earth Overload Day falls on August 1st this time – the world’s population has never lived this early on eco-pumps.
The scientists calculate when the resources that could grow again within a year, i.e. are sustainably available, will be used up. In 1970 it was mathematically only at the end of December, and in 2000 it was already in September. According to Global Footprint, the world’s population now operates as if it had 1.7 earths at its disposal.
Environmentalists use the day to urge a more careful use of raw materials. “From today we will live on credit for the rest of the year – and at the expense of future generations,” said Federal Environment Minister Svenja Schulze (SPD). “One consequence of our overexploitation is climate change with increasingly frequent extreme weather events that we are already feeling. “Business as usual” is not an option, she stressed.
“We must finally make our way of life more climate-friendly and sustainable in order to stop the depletion of resources,” said Annalena Baerbock, the Greens leader. “The energy transition, ecological agriculture and the increasing awareness of sustainable production must be on the political agenda.” Among other things, all laws would have to be checked for their consequences for the climate.
In order to determine the Earth Overload Day or World Exhaustion Day, the Global Footprint Network not only looks at the consumption of wood, animals and soil, for example. The CO2 emissions are also included in the calculation. “For the rest of the year we live on credit and thus use up the livelihood of our children and grandchildren,” warned Jörg-Andreas Krüger, Director Ecological Footprint at WWF. as a successful industrial nation, it must finally place itself at the forefront of a global eco-movement. “Burning forests, melting glaciers – the planet’s red warning lights have long been shining,” said the chairman of the Association for the Environment and Nature Conservation Germany (BUND), Hubert Weiger.
Greenpeace wanted to protest for a law on resource protection in around 30 German cities on Wednesday. “We consistently ignore the simplest rule of business: Nobody can spend more than they earn in the long term,” commented spokeswoman Viola Wohlgemuth. A resource protection law is overdue. Among other things, it is intended to forbid goods that are as good as new and usable from being destroyed, as is often the case with returns in online retail and the textile industry. According to Greenpeace, the French government is already working to ban the destruction of new textiles. Supermarkets in France already have to donate food waste, compost it or use it as animal feed.