Less than eight months into 2015, humans have already consumed a year's worth of the Earth's resources.
Ecological Debt Day, or Earth Overshoot Day, falls on Thursday and marks the point in the year when "humanity’s annual demand for the goods and services that our land and seas can provide -- fruits and vegetables, meat, fish, wood, cotton for clothing, and carbon dioxide absorption -- exceeds what Earth’s ecosystems can renew in a year," the international think tank Global Footprint Network explains in the video below.
This means that for the rest of 2015, we will be "living on resources borrowed from future generations," the World Wildlife Fund said. It's like overdrawing a bank account.
The earth is going into ecological debt earlier each year, The Guardian notes. This year's Earth Overshoot Day is six days ahead of last year's, and months earlier than in 2000, when it arrived in October.
Global Footprint Network and other experts say addressing the growing problem of overpopulation is a cornerstone of reducing ecological debt. John R. Wilmoth, director of the United Nations Population Division, announced Monday that the world population of 7.3 billion people is predicted to reach 9.7 billion by 2050 and up to 13.3 billion by 2100. He said there's only a 23 percent chance that the world’s population will stop growing before the end of the century.
The U.S. is the world's ninth-biggest resource hog, using 310 percent of its capacity for resources, Global Footprint Network data shows. Top offenders are the United Arab Emirates (750 percent), Singapore (590 percent) and Belgium (460 percent.)
How to vote
Vote-by-mail ballot request deadline: Varies by state
For the Nov 3 election: States are making it easier for citizens to vote absentee by mail this year due to the coronavirus. Each state has its own rules for mail-in absentee voting. Visit your state election office website to find out if you can vote by mail.Get more informationTrack ballot status
In-person early voting dates: Varies by state
Sometimes circumstances make it hard or impossible for you to vote on Election Day. But your state may let you vote during a designated early voting period. You don't need an excuse to vote early. Visit your state election office website to find out whether they offer early voting.My Election Office
General Election: Nov 3, 2020
Polling hours on Election Day: Varies by state/localityMy Polling Place