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We're in Overshoot: Earth Overshoot Day

We’re in Deep: Earth Overshoot Day 2019 (Podcast Episode 31)

In seven months humanity has burned through the resources it takes the Earth a full year to replenish. This is overshoot, and yes, it is a very big deal. In 2019, Earth Overshoot Day falls on July 29. Find out how we know when “Earth Overshoot Day” falls, how and why we’re operating in ecological deficit, what it means for us and our children, and what – if anything – we can do about it.

Ecological footprint co-originator Mathis Wackernagel joins Erika and Dave for an in-depth discussion of overshoot. He explains the rigorous analysis done by the Global Footprint Network (which he founded) to calculate the biocapacity of the planet and the demands we place on it. Calculate your own ecological footprint using this footprint calculator and compare yours with Dave’s and Erika’s.

We discuss much of the information and ideas in his new book, Ecological Footprint: Managing Our Biocapacity Budget, co-written with Bert Beyers (available September 3, 2019). One of the most interesting and important is the idea that governments at every level, including cities, that continue today to invest in infrastructure designed around fossil-fuel powered transportation, will not be competitive in the new world we’re entering.

Plus: A new study claims cutting beef consumption by 40% will allow us to feed a world population of 10.9 billion people. Dave has a few problems with the reporting on this story and the rationale for doing the research. He suggests, “Let’s not put heroic efforts into feeding 10.9 billion. Let’s focus our efforts on not reaching 10.9 billion.” We know having fewer children doesn’t wreck the planet. We DON’T know the unintended consequences of the next “green revolution.”

LINKS:

Welcome to Overshoot: Have a Nice Day
(Bonus Episode Dave and Erika promise in this episode)

Ecological Footprint: Managing Our Biocapacity Budget by Mathis Wackernagel and Bert Beyers
(pre-order the book now, publication date is September 3, 2019)

Cut Beef Consumption in Half to Help Save the Earth, Says New Study

Creating a Sustainable Food Future: A Menu of Solutions to Feed Nearly 10 Billion People by 2050
World Resources Institute report

Footprint Calculator

Move the Date
Solutions to accelerate the shift to one-planet living

For further exploration:

Overshoot Index (2016)

Past Earth Overshoot Days

Mentioned or recommended by Wackernagel:

The One Planet Life  by David Thorpe

The Challenge of Man’s Future by Harrison Brown

The Next Hundred Years: A Discussion Prepared for Leaders of American Industry published in 1957
by Harrison Brown, James Bonner, and John Weir

Invisible Walls: Why We Ignore the Damage We Inflict on the Planet — and Ourselves by Peter Seidel
(According to Wackernagel, “This was such a fabulous book; I believe the first ever to so clearly lay out the psychological and cultural barriers we are up against in the transformation to sustainability.”)

 

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