Earth Overshoot Day

Earth Overshoot Day occurred on Monday 29 July this year.  It  is the calculated illustrative calendar date on which humanity’s resource consumption for the year exceeds Earth’s capacity to regenerate those resources that year.

We went to a local church to ring the church bell in alarm and sorrow that this day had occurred so early this year.

The ringing of the bell made me wonder how long it will take before there is no sickness or sorrow because there is no-one left to be sick or sorrowful.

The ringing made me wonder how long it will take before there is no joy because there is no-one left who can feel joy.

In my darkest moment I wondered whether the last human to die has already been born.

20 thoughts on “Earth Overshoot Day”

  1. Earth Overshoot day just reminded me how little is being done to avoid a tragedy for all who depend on the earth for their future.
    Sorry if it doesn’t fill you with joy.

  2. Lighten up Dude, it’ll be fine.

    The trend in abject poverty, natural disaster deaths, child mortality rates and overall human early deaths are down considerably decade on decade.

    Brian, I’m concerned you’re going to worry yourself sick if you don’t start looking at some positive things happening.

  3. That’s the kind of statement a business partner who has been raiding the company accounts makes before disappearing, Jumpy. A bit like Campbell Newman stuffing duffle bags into his car and blasting out of the “Executive Building” in bank heist fashion.

    https://www.couriermail.com.au/news/queensland-state-election-2015/queensland-election-2015-rolling-coverage-of-queensland-election-2015/news-story/a8ac0edb476667b4ecce2152c282e7dc?nk=7ca66c6d9916b091e7d563ccad41612f-1564400718

    ….before turning up some time later with (presumably) a large amount of money to invest.

    https://www.dailymercury.com.au/news/former-qld-premier-eyes-cheap-buys-mackay/3120426/

    Any good business person knows how rapidly accounts collapse once their balances fall into the negative.

  4. Jumpy: Thanks for the concern. You are right that plenty of things have got a lot better in my lifetime and it is unlikely that someone my age will end up being the last living human.
    On the other hand, since I got married world population has doubled and atmospheric CO2 gone up by about 30%. So things don’t look so good for my recently born grandson unless serious action starts very soon.
    Lots of species have passed the last living mark during my lifetime. The population crash and sudden extinction of the passenger pigeon was a surprise given the size of the flocks before the crash.
    The human flock is vulnerable to rapid crashes. GM, for example keeps on pointing out how small our fuel stocks are. Read somewhere that big cities have about 3 days worth of food in stock and depend on fuel using transport to keep us fed. Food transport can also crash if an epidemic stops food transport.

  5. Bless you, John.

    My latest hitch is that I’ve got new glasses, but not new reading glasses.

    The screen turns into a blur after I’ve been here a while.

  6. Lots of species have passed the last living mark during my lifetime. Prior to that the population crash and sudden extinction of the passenger pigeon was a surprise given the very large size of the flocks before the crash.
    The human flock is vulnerable to rapid crashes. GM, for example keeps on pointing out how small our fuel stocks are. Read somewhere that big cities have about 3 days worth of food in stock and depend on fuel using transport to keep us fed. Food transport might also crash if an epidemic amongst truck drivers stops food transport.
    Or imagine what would have happened if aids had morphed into a disease that was transmitted as easily as the common cold?
    Transport failure, localized wars in locations that are critical to the world economy, disease could lead to dramatic drops or even extinction.
    Time to stop and start thinking that everything will be right no matter what humans do.

  7. John, was your last sentence meant to begin, “Time to stop thinking…..”
    ?

    Here’s one tiny example of ripple effects.
    About ten to fifteen years ago, AIDS was spreading rapidly amongst Thai fishing boat crewpersons.

    Someone commented, that if the trend continued, millions of landlubber Thais might start running a bit low on protein rich food.

  8. The population crash and sudden extinction of the pasenger pigeon was a surprise given the size of the flocks before the crash.

    I think carrier pigeons are still about, although less abundant because we stopped breeding them due to better long distance communication methods.

    Or did you mean Passenger pigeons ?

    In any event, animal extinction due to invasive species is quite rightly blamed on humans.
    This is one area that Federal Government is totally responsible for with border security and quarantine.

    I would back anyone who’s single policy was to make Australia cat free in ten years for the preservation of our native animals.
    I’m hoping as a conservationist you would too.

  9. Ambi:

    John, was your last sentence meant to begin, “Time to stop thinking…..”

    Yep. Thinking was getting a bit too depressing.
    Jumpy: Thanks. The carrier pigeons are now passenger pigeons.
    Also agree about destructive introduced species.

  10. That Passenger Pigeon thing is a real doozy, not clear at all what happened.
    Could be an introduced parasite, disease or fungi that got em.

    I must state that I don’t hate cats or cat owners.
    But the scientific evidence so far suggests that the Australian fauna is threatened by cats big league.

  11. So, restrict cats to urban areas? All cats wear those jingly bells? Cat curfew from one hour before sunset to one hour after sunrise? (Offenders shot on the spot).

    The work colleague quoted above had a small holding adjacent to bushland, and a gun. Never saw any of his hats. The majority of the adjacent bushland trees were emitted vertically as very hot CO2 or CO or other combustion products on Black Saturday, 2009. Pity help any feral cats that day.

  12. Mr A,

    So, restrict cats to urban areas? All cats wear those jingly bells? Cat curfew from one hour before sunset to one hour after sunrise? (Offenders shot on the spot).

    Nope, totally Feline Free Australia ( FFA ) in 10 years.
    Zoo exemptions of course.

    There are a number of amendments to some current legislation but very doable.

    I’m not sure #caxit would be popular with some, perhaps a campaign focused on the power imbalance between cats and native fauna.

    Better still, ask Trump to tweet his love for cats.
    Immediate eradication would ensue.

  13. Jumpy: Then there could be fox free aus, FFA2, dingo free Aus DFA and…. Some nasty people even think it would be better to have a homo sapien free Aus HSFA. (The human plague in Aus has quadrupled since I started school.)
    Reversing the growth of the human and cat plagues would be a good start.

  14. There are a number of amendments to some current legislation but very doable.

    I thought the yoke of government already restricts our freedom to an intolerable degree (just ask Jumpy).
    Surely there’s a libertarian solution?

  15. My guess is the libertarian solution would be that the cats and native birds fight it out amongst themselves. It would surely be unfair for any Govt to express a preference.

    “Species neutrality”

    And as for a Govt using money extorted from taxpayers to employ shooters and trappers…. that’s the start of a very slippery slope. Next you’ll be proposing that large tracts of land be set aside for native fauna and flora to inhabit…. What would a socialist government call those?

    State Parks,
    National Parks
    Peoples’ Parks
    Hugo Chavez Memorial Oil Exporting Parks
    Chairman Mao Eradicate Flies and Rats Parks

    ???

    If we’re going for eradication, here’s my list:
    Cane toads, blackbirds, foreign mynahs, wild dogs (dingos have only been here a few tens of thousands of years??)

    What about the tiger worms people have in their ‘worm farms’? Are they imported?

    Hmmmmm …. European trees, merino sheep, European cattle, wheat, barley, hops, grape vines, …. rattus rattus, mouse us mouse us, …

    Can of worms, anyone?

    I draw the line at Quill Geese: absolutely vital to the Colony of Victoria. Harrumph!!!

  16. Ambi, add fire ants, and a long list of invasive plant species.

    Fire ants attack the eyes of small animals, and if let go would wipe out the land-based small animals everywhere below the snow line in eastern Australia.

  17. John, ringing the church bell was obviously a very moving experience.

    In general terms, I don’t think our future will be limited by a shortage of power. In human terms, power from the sun and wind (indirectly from the sun) are unlimited, although there are issues in relation to rare earths and other components.

    A surprising one is that I heard the other day that the world is short of sand. You can’t use any old sand to make concrete, for example. In three years China was said to have used as much sand as the US did in a century. Sand production is not well regulated, with lots of unauthorised activity, especially in places like India.

  18. Brian:

    John, ringing the church bell was obviously a very moving experience.

    Yep. There were about 12 people there, all in the have grandchild age group. The Anglican priestess with her pink crew cut and tats said some sensible words and then the bell was shared amongst those who wished to ring it. Add that to the recent arrival of a new grandson who will not be much older than I am in 2100, moving to a place not very much above sea level and lack of government action and the bell drove home how depressing the climate action situation really is.
    On current progress I am inclined to agree with Jumpy that capitalism is our best chance. Most of the action in Aus is driven by companies and individuals who want to save money and think long.
    Hope that “climate wars” means going onto a war footing on climate change, not invading armies surging across borders from countries running out of food.

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