Today is Overshoot day! Hurray!!
But put down your party hats ladies and gentlemen, this is no celebration. Today is the [calculated] day that we exceed the annual supply of renewable resources and we surpass our carbon-absorption capacity [think trees]. Yes it is not a fun party indeed, so we need to put on our big boy and girl underwear and clean up this mess.
But first, what does all this even mean for us?
Overshoot day was started in 1975 when the earths population exceeded the biocapacity of the planet. That is the fancy way of saying we are using more than the earth is making for us. Trees turn CO2 into Oxygen, but they can only absorb so much, so what is left over is ‘borrowed’ from our children and their children.
Overshoot day rolls back a few days every year. In 1975 there were approximately 4.1 billion people. That is a lot of people! But today we have more than 7.3 billion people that need food, water, shelter, that have a carbon footprint, even if it is tiny it adds up. So every year Overshoot day is a little sooner.
I have a confession to make while I am on my soapbox. I don’t recycle, I don’t care about ‘green’ products and the post consumer waste that goes into making any paper in my household is zero.
Yep, call me a hypocrite. But there is a reason.
It’s our mess, recycling is a bandaid to the problem at hand. Sure we can put off our issues so that my kids, your kids, or even our grandchildren will have to deal with it. Screw it, it isn’t something I need to worry about as long as I can go on living the way I want.
That is not the mentality we should be having, hell that isn’t even a courteous thing to do, we complain that the baby boomers left social security in shambles [here in the US for my international readers]. But we are okay with us leaving the next generation a problem or two, really?
Who’s the hypocrite now?
I will argue that until the planet is in such dire need that it is more economically feasible to look into better ways to, filter water, farm, make clean renewable fuels, and use other technologies that are ‘too expensive’ that we should and need push the planet in that direction.
Is it a shitty thing to say?
Yes, yes it is.
However, it is how the world works, until it is cheaper to fix the planet than it is to screw it up, we will continue on the path of screwing it up. I am all for a better future, I have ideas that [I hope] will change the world. Sustainable farming practice ideas, recycling ideas, new ideas for batteries and better ways to harness energy. I am going to be an engineer for a reason, I want to change the world.
Until then this is our mess, so I will continue to avoid 7th generation [because my 7th generation doesn’t need to be dealing with my mess] and ‘green’ schemes that are nothing more than a way for you and I to feel good about the fact that we are screwing up the only planet we have. Which at the moment is a non renewable resource, mind you.
I will eat enough beef, chicken and fish that it won’t matter how many vegetarians there are [plants have feelings too FYI] because we need to get to a point that people will fix the actual problem, not ignore it under the guise of supporting ‘green products’ or ‘green organizations’.
So happy Overshoot day everyone and you know what, here’s to next year happening a week or two early.
Let’s get this party started! But when you are done don’t complain about the mess you have to help clean up, after all you helped make it.