Happy Ecological Overshoot Day!!

Posted September 27th, 2011 in Blog, Featured Comments Off on Happy Ecological Overshoot Day!!

Fostering Ecological Hope
Today from Margaret Swedish:

Or not. It’s certainly something to get excited about – but not in a good way.

The Global Footprint Networkis one of the sources I like to cite in my presentations and workshops because they do such a great job of explaining in terms easy to comprehend the non-sustainability of the human presence as it now manifests itself on this planet. Some of the more somber, quiet moments at these programs comes when I present this material – the extent of the human footprint, the extent to which we are living beyond the capacity of this planet to support our levels of extraction, consumption, and waste.

2011 Earth Overshoot - Source: Global Footprint Network

Earth Overshoot Day is one of those ways of appreciating the scale of the crisis – like a freight train barreling downhill straight towards us and we frozen on the tracks unable to move out of the way in time, too weighed down by our material possessions, our technology, our expectations, our corporate-industrial growth-based global economy (growth resting almost entirely on consumption of goods and materials), the speed with which we arrived at this point in a mere generation.

And in this culture, the stubbornness of even some of the most progressive among us to realize that we can’t live like ‘this’ anymore.

So today I want to just put these links here for your reflection. The Footprint Network has been recalibrating the way in which it measures the human ecological footprint to come up with more accurate data, and while that moves the date forward a few weeks from last year, it still provides some rather sobering news:

Our research shows that in approximately nine months, we have demanded a level of services from nature equivalent to what the planet can provide for all of 2012.

To watch a brief video about this year’s overshoot day, click here.

To get a sense for how they measure this and what they are trying to communicate about our predicament and the urgent need to address it, check out the video with a link at this page. You can download it for free. It’s a few years old, but as relevant as ever.

Photo by Mom

We need some long, deep reflection and conversation about how we are going to proceed, what we are willing to do, to give up, to re-create, to let go, so that we can make a swift change in direction, to stop the runaway train from running over us all. We have this one precious planet, that’s all. We have kids being born right now, little ones full of wonder and curiosity, trusting the adults in their lives to make a safe world for them, to keep them well, to make a future possible.

So what are we willing to do? What contribution do we want to make? Time isn’t running out to ponder this. It has already run out. We have to stop waiting for some future to unfold itself that will make everything better and instead get about this ourselves, with our own hands and hearts.

Your thoughts and reflections are always welcome here.


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