Earth Overshoot Day 2014 raggiunto, cos’è l’Ecological Debt Day e storico delle date

di Redazione 42

Oggi, martedì 19 agosto, è l’Earth Overshoot Day 2014, conosciuto anche come Ecological Debt Day. Ma di cosa si tratta? In estrema sintesi, da oggi consumeremo più risorse di quante ne produciamo, in base alla stima delle risorse prodotte e consumate dall’umanità ogni anno diffusa dal Global Footprint Network. Vediamo allora più nel dettaglio cos’è l’Earth Overshoot Day e lo storico delle date degli ultimi 27 anni.

Cos’è l’Earth Overshoot Day, o Ecological Debt Day che dir si voglia? Nella giornata così denominata il fabbisogno delle nostre società sorpassa la capacità rigenerativa della Terra. Anche quest’anno (anche se di poco), la giornata è arrivata prima rispetto al passato, il che rappresenta ovviamente un pessimo segnale, dato che testimonia l’incremento del consumo di risorse da parte dell’umanità. Giunto poco dopo la metà dell’ottavo mese, l’Earth Overshoot Day 2014 indica che al momento avremmo bisogno delle risorse di un pianeta e mezzo per sopperire a quanto consumiamo in un anno, e come comunicato dall’associazione storicamente correlata alla giornata, “Di questo passo, prima della metà di questo secolo, ogni anno consumeremo il quantitativo di risorse prodotto da due pianeti“.

Lo storico delle date dell’Earth Overshoot Day parla chiaro in merito al continuo progredire nel consumo di risorse naturali da parte dell’umanità. Nel 1987 l’Ecological Debt Day è giunto il 19 dicembre, nel 1990 il 7 dicembre e nel 1995 il 21 novembre. La progressione è continuata a grandi balzi, tanto che l’Earth Overshoot Day 2005 si è verificato il 20 ottobre. Passo indietro  nel 2007 quando la giornata è venuta a cadere il 26 ottobre, ma poi, nel 2008, abbiamo avuto l’Earth Overshoot Day il 23 settembre, e l’anno successivo il 25 settembre. Dopodiché un nuovo balzo nel consumo di risorse: nel 2010 l’Ecological Debt Day si è registrato il 21 agosto, per poi cadere dopo, il 27 di settembre, nel 2011. Poi di nuovo un notevole aumento nel consumo di risorse ha riportato la giornata in agosto. Nel 2012 l’Earth Overshoot Day si è verificato il 22 agosto, nel 2013 il 20 e quest’anno, come abbiamo visto, oggi, 19 agosto 2014.

La formula ufficiale per il calcolo dell’Ecological Debt Day è la seguente (World Biocapacity/World Ecological Footprint) x 365. Dove per “world biocapacity” si intende l’ammontare di risorse naturali generate dal pianeta in quell’anno, per “Ecological Footprint” il consumo delle risorse naturali della Terra da parte dell’umanità nell’anno in questione. Il numero 365 rappresenta ovviamente i giorni dell’anno secondo il calendario gregoriano.

Dopo il giorno del superamento l’umanità rinsalda il suo debito ecologico prelevando e sfruttando risorse naturali ed emettendo e accumulando anidride carbonica nell’atmosfera. Come spiegano gli esperti del Global Footprint Network,

In termini planetari, il costo dell’eccesso di spesa ecologica sta diventando più evidente di giorno in giorno. Il cambiamento climatico—il risultato dell’emissione di gas climalteranti sempre più veloce della capacità di assorbire di foreste ed oceani—né è il risultato più evidente e probabilmente il più preoccupante. Ma ne esistono altri—la riduzione delle foreste, la perdita delle specie viventi, il collasso della pesca, i prezzi sempre più alti delle materie prime, i disordini civili, solo per citarne alcuni.

Anche quest’anno l’Earth Overshoot Day è arrivato prima dell’anno precedente. Riuscirà mai l’umanità a invertire questo trend?

Photo credits | Dinosaurs are not dead su Flickr

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