Earth Overshoot Day 2016

Hoy conmemoramos el día en que hemos superado la capacidad de la Tierra de regenerar recursos naturales para el año 2016. En términos simples, esto quiere decir que el uso y la demanda humana de recursos que produce y regenera la naturaleza, ha superado la oferta que ésta nos brinda cada año.

La Global Footprint Network calcula la extracción y uso de los recursos naturales en forma de planetas necesarios para soportar la vida de los países de manera individual, y de la sociedad humana de manera global.

Este año, la voracidad humana ha hecho uso de los recursos renovables de la tierra en menos de 8 meses. Esto es equivalente a pensar que la sociedad humana global requiere este año de 1.6 planetas Tierra para satisfacer la demanda total. La demanda restante para el resto de este año será satisfecha mediante mayor deforestación, emisiones de carbono que la atmósfera, océanos y bosques no son capaces de absorber, la pesca de recursos marinos que ya han superado su capacidad de regeneración y que por lo tanto están en grave riesgo, etc.


Si bien el Acuerdo de Paris puede contribuir a que logremos disminuir nuestra demanda de recursos naturales, principalmente mediante la disminución de emisión de gases de efecto invernadero, hasta ahora el Acuerdo permanece principalmente como una firma de buenas intenciones más que de medidas concretas.

Países como Costa Rica, Alemania y Portugal, han demostrado en los últimos meses que es posible generar grandes cantidades de electricidad mediante el uso de energías renovables. En el caso de Portugal, por ejemplo, el país europeo logró satisfacer su demanda interna por varios días gracias al uso de fuentes renovables de energía.

Esta última es sin duda una buena noticia, pero la verdad es que mientras como sociedad planetaria no logremos disminuir nuestro consumo incesante de materias primas, la naturaleza, y nosotros como parte de ella, continuaremos poniendo en riesgo la continuidad de la vida actual en el planeta.

1 thought on “Earth Overshoot Day 2016

  1. As Farm Zeal-land merrily chugs along with politicians haughtily heralding promising that the galore of glorious growth it is imperative that primary resource nations such as our own remember one very essential fact: there is and always will be just one New Zealand. Yet, while we blossom with each new Spring litter to the demographic whicker basket we are either blasé or ignorantly intent on overlooking the fact that we must now share more of the Kiwi landscape with others. It is spectacularly and speculatively naive of our simpleton statisticians and statesmen to assume that rurally derived riches can expand ad infinitum. Yes, after several international jitters the Orient still wants our dairy, our meat, our flowers, our crops, our vino, our timber and even our water. But, how realistic should we be about stretching the potential of each of these resource romping pursuits. Do we really want to see more native biodiversity lost in order to increase our national bovine and porcine profits? Do we seriously want to deal a savage blow to our native bird species with the choice to place cashable exotics such as the pinus radiata before our sublimely unique natives? Why are we so misinformed and why are our indigenous Maori ignored in order to rub the gluttonous bellies of big business? Surely, there comes a point where the grandeur of growth does not only stack up in the sense of foreseeable benefits but is down right dimwitted in it’s ideological conception. At what point is it when we can honestly say that we have one farm too many? Lucrative as it may be, our primary agri-industries are far from environmental saints and more profits entail the dirty deeds of more animals, more oil chomping, more land exploitation and greater natural and biodiversity consumption. New Zealand-births maybe increasing but New Zealand-land is not. In fact, as in any other first world industrial age scenario we have committed our own share of ecological sins. As water ways, aquifers, costs and bush suffer from the insatiable kiwi wrathTo spin a quick buck why aren’t we asking ourselves that all important question of what is the social economic cost behind this stupid financial pilfering of our patch of planetary Terra firma? We are certainly not a mentally devoid nation and we are competitively driven. So why then haven’t we learned from past little agricultural big guns such as Denmark, Finland, Ireland or Israel that farming is not the only way to earn ones crust. Yet, we insist on jeopardising our promising tourist industry in order to sell raw resources to nations that even have the nerve to sell us the finished goods back. Couldn’t we make a smarter move by growing less sustainable logs and then converting then into plush posh profitable profits for the Asian market to snap up? You don’t need acres of land for a pharmaceutical lab and the information super highway is a space where the sky is literally the limit. In spite of these progressive avenues, we are still plagued with a colonial mentality of seeing ourselves as the serfs of the Capitalist state and foreign overlords. It is time that these Dark Age shackles were shattered. A curricular centred around pastoral pursuits needs to be reevaluated in order to stimulate a more relevant and sustainable STEM inspired syllabus. Of course, farming and farmers will always have an important place in our culture and economy just like our rugby heroes and sailing stars. That said, these land lovers should not be the be all and end all of a historically outdated idea that the only things us Kiwis are good at is growing apples and rearing sheep. We need to transcend these myths and our national insecurities in order to respect and value what we have as a nation. We are a microcosm of a global paradox and we should be leading the cause to find a smarter solution to savvier friendly farming. The notion of the eternal farming flame is a spill that must be swiftly contained before it further stains us with it’s bogus beliefs. If the one New Zealand canvas that we have is squandered there is no new New Zealand for second chances.

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