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'Earth Is Exhausted': Humans Have Already Consumed the Planet's Annual Resources

'Earth Is Exhausted': Humans Have Already Consumed the Planet's Annual Resources

Jake Johnson, staff writer

With several months left until the end of 2017, humans have already used up more natural resources than the planet can regenerate in a year, making today Earth Overshoot Day. For the rest of the year, humanity is "living on credit."

"Humanity's carbon footprint alone more than doubled since the early 1970s."
—Mathis Wackernagel, Global Footprint Network

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“When the last tree has been cut down, the last fish caught, the last river poisoned, only then will we realize that one cannot eat money.”
-Heretics to Capitalism (a.k.a. Native Americans)


Here and there, I’ve repeated this comment about a 50 year gap in our first feeling the effects
of Global Warming …

But, this article makes clear what is ahead of us as we are only now feeling the effects of
the damage done to the planet up to 1967:—

"Humanity’s carbon footprint alone more than doubled since the early 1970s and remains the fastest
growing component of the widening gap between the Ecological Footprint and the planet’s biocapacity,"

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Most of us will realize it long before that. :anguished:


I think we are feeling the effects of all the greenhouses that have accumulated in the atmosphere, particularly carbon dioxide which accounts for almost three-fourths of global warming. What the lag of several decades means is that if we somehow were able to hold the level of greenhouse gas levels in the atmosphere steady where they are, which for carbon dioxide is a little over 400 ppm, it would take several decades to feel the full effects with regard to temperature. This is probably because the oceans absorb about 90% of the heat and it would take several decades to reach the equilibrium temperature. Of course polar ice would continue to melt and sea level would continue rise so the actual full effects of climate change would not be completely manifested for many hundreds of years. We need to get below 350 ppm for climate stabilization.

The end isn’t nigh but the end of the good times is! The end of the bountiful Earth that we were born into and the advent of the age of shortages and misery beckons. We in America have no real sense of want like people do elsewhere. We buy bottled water rather than thirst while others cannot buy water that isn’t there no matter that they have the money. Our farmers drain aquifers while fracking poisons underground water supplies.

But the days of want and shortages are nigh. The days when there are no fish in the oceans and when excessive heat and drought push the once bountiful American wheat and corn belt northwards.

It won’t be the end of the world. Humanity will not become extinct. It will be the end of the bountiful richness of our once gorgeous planet …not the end of us though! Count on it! It won’t be fun!


Golly, we might have to think about doing something, if it becomes a problem?

No one can say that – as a matter of fact what our scientists have long said was that
“no one can say how this will all compound.”

All I’ve posted the “secret” memo to W Bush here a number of times where the
Pentagon is making clear that Global Warming is a greater threat to the US than “terroristm” …
though I think most of us know that. And that we will have increasingly more devastating
weather events which will also be more frequent - cyclones, tornadoes, hurricanes, lightning
strikes, droughts/floods – and at that time they also included “Earthquakes” which was
scrubbed a few years later.

US alone has 100+ nuclear reactors which sit on waterways – even on Lake Erie in Ohio
which is a source of drinking water. More than 500 internationally. Fukushima is an example.
AND, the government there had plans to shut down Fukushima years before the accident
because their scientists were warning of increasing earthquake activity in the area of this
earthquake pone island. That didn’t happen because W sent a team to Fukushima and when
they left the government had been changed but the nuclear reactors were still operating.

There is also no way to say that say that our planet will keep turning and hold its position in
the skies through these events, or a polar shift.

Also recall that predictions for Global Warming’s effects were indicated at one time to be far,
far into the future by hundreds of years. Even our scientists have been astonished at the pace
of glacier melt and finding themselves standing in glacier mush long before the predicted rate.

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I don’t pretend to know the far future and I apologize if I gave that impression. I speak of the relatively near future of a matter of decades! Whether we reach the end of the century or not is too far for a technological prediction. For all we know our descendants will all be GMO human beings engineered to exist in a furiously hot planet?

I spoke only of a few decades - the life span of a young person living now. What they will see and have to endure is disheartening. Even more so because they will remember how it used to be from their own experience not just from films etc. What we our planet be like in twenty years? My guess is that we will be forced to experiment with risky geoengineering schemes just to survive. But I do believe we will survive. Others talk of humanity’s extinction. I don’t believe that.

What I do believe is that we will wait to the very last minute to do what we should have been doing to save our biosphere. The fish will be gone because the oceans are too acidic. The crops will be low yield because water is scarce and the heat unrelenting. There will be famine and war as well as plagues because we continue to overpopulate.

But that won’t be the end of humanity.

Just the end of the good times when once our planet was bountiful.

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You know I agree with you but that doesn’t change the equation. I am not in favor of using up our wondrous bounty and have spent decades trying to educate others concerning the problem. Nevertheless I recognize just how late in the day it is for the Bountiful Earth.

Our existence treats nature like a beautiful flower that is cut and placed in a vase. Eventually that cut flower withers and fades. We act as if there will always be another flower to be had but there are too many of us to each have a flower. It will be like that I think. A dystopian existence that is kind of like a flower vase without any flowers in it because there just aren’t enough flowers to go around anymore.


Hi Wereflea –

We are both only giving our opinions and neither of us need to apologize.

Our scientists were once speculating on Global Warming’s effects as though they did
know the far future.

But I should not have slid over the sadness you feel which I can also identify with and
understand. Especially the sadness for young people now.

My guess is that we will be forced to experiment with risky geoengineering schemes just to survive.

that already happened long ago . . .
We’ve had geo-engineering in our skies – Chemtrails – for more than 30 years.
And that has been hidden from the public for a very long time, though you only have to look up at the sky
to see it. Some very harmful chemicals have been put into our skies over that time and they do fall to
earth creating new problems. If you go to YouTube, you’ll find a lot of information from people who have
been studying this activity, hearings on this activity in the few places where that has happened, and info
on the chemicals themselves. Occasionally, they’ve been spraying Lithium if you can figure that out.

Actually, my Aunt would often speak of the Atomic Bomb and the changes she felt it brought to Nature as
she was seeing it at that time. I think we have to refer to ourselves as a pre-Atomic Bomb generation and
a post-Atomic Bomb generation.

Historically, the opportunity was there to change our societies and our behavior while JFK was president.
The Global Warming model was introduced in 1957 and very close by was the Environmental movement
which I think we could say came with Rachel Carson/Silent Spring and growing awareness of the harm
being caused to Nature. Rather, Elites who had immense control over our government and the nation’s
wealth and natural resources, began a campaign to deny Global Warming and have at this point seemingly
taken over the environmental movement and corporatized it. Every 7 years there is a new generation and
their innocence is met with intense propaganda of lies they have to work their way through.

Our crops are already suffering from the intense sun/heat, from very heavy rains which leave crops sitting
in water, and even our bees are threatened. On the other end, the desire to control food by bringing it in
from long distances also demands now heavy doses of COOLING/ICING which is resulting in vegetation
being put out which very often is being frozen to preserve it en route which harms the nutrition of the food.
Of course, pesticides and chemicals which came into use after WWII have also long been destroying the
nutrition of our foods. And we have the growing threat of Monsanto/GMO foods which seems to be on
minds of every shopper I see these days.

Keep in mind Global Warming isn’t only a Wild Card for us – it’s also a Wild Card for Elites and they are
running scared.

When you say you believe that “humanity will survive” I think of one of the scenes in “Dr. Strangelove…
Or How I Learned to Love The Bomb” where these world leaders outline how humans can survive underground.
That’s the question: Would it be a life worth living?

Many lies by rulers over the ages have brought us to where we are now.
One of the most harmful I tend to think was the overturning of the concept of “Reincarnation.”
All of the Major religions at one time taught the concept of Reincarnation.
And that happened because it became inconvenient for Elites.

It’s 90 degrees here in NJ and we’re awaiting thunderstorms so it’s a day for opining. :slight_smile:


Wereflea –

You’re reminding me of Howard Zinn’s writing of the New World as the invaders found it –
a world where squirrels could travel over the canopy of trees from one coast to the other –

And that as the invaders were off the coast of North/South Carolina the smell of tropical
flowers drifted in the air and across the water.

The invaders didn’t bring good news for the Islanders where every female seemed to
have a flower in her hair and enough flowers to make leis for everyone else.

Today, in our grocery stores, there are few flowers that even smell of fresh air, leave
alone the perfume nature intended.

Nature has a positive effect on humans which seems to be why Elites want so desperately
to destroy all the beauty of the world.

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I disagree with the “we’ll survive this” discussion. When we warm the planet to the point (at 4C and above) where plants can no longer grow, we are essentially killing off our food sources. EVERY SINGLE tree on my property (St. Paul, MN) is sick. The aspens, Colorado Blue Spruce, Siberian Elm, White Ash trees, Black Walnuts, etc. I think we’re loading too much industrial carbon into the atmosphere for these living organisms to keep pace. They are just the “canary in the coal mine.” It’s going to get much worse and much faster. Humanity itself won’t be able to keep pace once ecosystems start to fail. What do rats eat on a sinking ship? Themselves. And we are the proverbial rats sinking on our once sustainable and beautiful planet.


Too many humans, many of whom are flying around the globe and driving everywhere, all the time! We have become Satan’s servants with our God damn cars and planes. Hate to be so moribund but in a country where a piece of shit like Hair Hitler Trump got elected, it’s hard not to. .


Really enjoyed this post. Thanks.

We are losing species at the rate of dozens per day - many of which we haven’t even identified - and some of which we may depend upon for our own survival. We don’t understand how the disappearance of one species might indirectly affect other species. Something like 10,000 kinds of microbes live just within in the human body, and we’re only now identifying them and beginning to understand our dependence upon some of them and their role in human sickness and health. To think it’s likely that we’ll survive while thousands of other plants and animals die off each year is simply hubris. We are only incrementally smarter than chimps (99% of the same DNA, yo!), and we haven’t been here for very long in evolutionary time.

A more immediate concern is what happens when most of us realize the straits we are in, as Wise Owl alludes to in his quote above. We already have the capacity to - intentionally or by accident - destroy ourselves and most life on this planet in a matter of days. Under the political systems in which we live, the risk of war and homicide on a monstrous scale will grow rapidly once global shortages and limits to growth become apparent.

Whether you’re hopeful or pessimistic isn’t the point. Whether we all die off or a few of our grandchildren eke out a diseased existence on an irradiated, half-dead world is not a particularly interesting question. The point is to realize that we are on the brink right now. We have a small amount of time to make a large amount of change and transform our politics and economies into something just, rational and sustainable.

Well, I have to admit I’m surprised to hear this already.
I was totally expecting to hear it in a couple decades or so but not already.
I wonder if its an issue of definition- what it means to say “humans are using more natural resources than the planet can regenerate in a year.”

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Chemtrails are not science but a scam akin to a conspiracy theory. To talk of chemtrails is ridiculous. We part company there. If you wish, you can find proof of Bigfoot online just as you can this nonsense of chemtrails. So I suppose all these airline corporations and various governments are spraying mysterious chemicals on themselves? Think about that? On themselves? For what purpose? Chemtrails conspiracy theorists never actually explain the why some government ours or someone else’s would spray crap on themselves nor what the crap is. You said lithium like you or they have proof? They say they have proof but nonscientist has been shown any of this supposed proof!

Chemtrails are not geoengineering. The scam artist who started this myth to sell his book decided to use the scientific term for something else to try and legitimize his baloney conspiracy theory.

We part company on such things.

daah, - and the mental disability to deal with these most rudimental issues of existence
is growing exponentially among our species; - mentally overschooting the capacity
of our abstract creation of monoculture, and this since the days of Moses.
Our psychologically amputated ‘Intelligence’ is just looking for technological solutions,
approaching the Whole ‘thing’ with a decapacitated school of economic thinking,
still trying to ‘build’ on the ruins of a socially engineered belief system.
Isn’t it time to wake up, ‘face the music’ and get co-creative ?


Or to put it another way: How much money can one count while holding their breath while immersed in poisoned, polluted water?? Earth and her children are being murdered and capitalism is the murder weapon.

edit: There is a good essay at the Insurgeintelligence website that give a way forward from here. Re. Ted Trainer “The Solution to the Global Crisis of Capitalism is Simplicity Itself”, a way forward from here.