On August 20th, Global Footprint Network, an international think-tank, named the United States and Qatar environmental plunderers, declaring that the two countries have already exhausted a year’s budget of natural resources.
Calling the event Earth Overshoot Day, Global Footprint Network stated that their metrics determined that in the past eight months, both countries have continued their depletion of trees, oceans, and other natural resources and have contributed greatly to rising CO2 levels.
At the present rate of depletion, we would need an Earth and a half to match the present rate of consumption, and by 2050, we will probably need two Earths.
A big exacerbator of this problem is the exploding global population. The world’s population is due to rise from 7 billion to 9 billion by mid-century, and 80% of the world’s residents live in countries that use more resources than their ecosystems can renew.
Shockingly, China’s ecological footprint is smaller per capita than North America and Europe, although it is the largest in the world in raw size, having the largest population in the world.
But believe it or not, there are other countries whose per capita demands on the globe’s ecosystems are even higher. Four Earths would be required if the rest of the world used the same amount of resources used by the United States, and in Qatar, the typical resident requires the resources of six and a half Earths.