The idea of ‘Earth Overshoot Day’ seems as good as any in order to convey the strains that our current economic model place on the resources at our disposal:
“August 20 is Earth Overshoot Day 2013, marking the date when humanity exhausted nature’s budget for the year. We are now operating in overdraft. For the rest of the year, we will maintain our ecological deficit by drawing down local resource stocks and accumulating carbon dioxide in the atmosphere.”
In addition to marking this event, the website by the Global Footprint Network finds other innovative ways to convey both our absolute resource use, as well as the extent to which we consume resources relative to each other. For example, “How many Chinas does it take to support China?”
The website also takes the time to highlight potential areas of positive behavior although, even here, we are far from sustainable:
“Not all countries demand more resources and services than their ecosystems can provide. Australia, for example, uses half the capacity of Australia but its ecological reserve has been eroding over time.”
To discover whether your country is an “ecological creditor or debtor,” see this website: http://storymaps.esri.com//globalfootprint/. My guess is that the answer is rarely going to be good.
Have a good weekend.
David Chandler & Bill Werther
Strategic Corporate Social Responsibility: Stakeholders, Globalization, and Sustainable Value Creation (3e)
Instructor Teaching and Student Study Site: http://www.sagepub.com/chandler3e/
Strategic CSR Simulation: http://www.strategiccsrsim.com/
The library of CSR Newsletters are archived at: http://strategiccsr-sage.blogspot.com/