Friday, 25 September 2009

Ecological Debt Day

Today - 25th September 2009 - is World Ecological Debt Day. It's a moveable feast, which represents the day on which the World's consumption for the year begins to exceed its available resources. That's just one day later than in 2008, despite the effects of global recession. And almost two whole weeks earlier than in 2007, when it fell on October 6th.

Ecological Debt Day is a useful way of demonstrating our failure to achieve "one planet living". However, it doesn't take a account of the massive differences in consumption levels from country to country. According to the Third UK Interdependence Day Report, published today, it took only until 7pm on January 4th to consume the same amount of resources that Tanzania would use in the entire year. The UK entered ecological debt on 12th April 2009, meaning we would need more than 3 planets if the whole World consumed in the same manner as the UK.

In 1995, World Ecological Debt Day fell on November 25, so in just under 15 years we've brought Ecological Debt Day forward by two full months. If global financial meltdown only buys us a day, then what will it take to recover those two months?

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