Deputy Director’s Corner: Earth Overshoot Day

Deputy Director’s Corner

Earth Overshoot Day 2016 Each year, we mark the day when human demand surpasses what our planet can renew…

Earth Overshoot Day

NPG Deputy Director Tracy Canada can be reached by email at

According to the Earth Overshoot Day website: “On August 8, 2016 we will have used as much from nature as our planet can renew in the whole year. We use more ecological resources and services than nature can regenerate through overfishing, overharvesting forests and emitting more carbon dioxide into the atmosphere than forests can sequester. The consequences of this ‘overshoot’ include shrinking biodiversity, collapsed fisheries, eroded topsoil, and climate change.”

The site goes on to say: “If ever there was a time to roll up our sleeves and take action… that time is now. Ahead of Earth Overshoot Day, let’s act to reverse the trend of overshooting our planet’s resources and producing more carbon than nature can absorb.”

While NPG commends the recognition of Earth Overshoot Day – global awareness of this critical environmental date is imperative – I can’t help note what has gone sadly unsaid: that many of the challenges listed here are population-driven. While environmental conservation is critical, this important commemorative event is utterly ignoring the overpopulation problem.

I would have liked to see Earth Overshoot Day promotional materials include the obvious link between environmental strain and population growth. Even if they had only gone as far as to say: “In addition to implementing far-reaching environmental conservation programs and continuing public education on green living, we must also pursue national policies which work to reduce our population size and growth.”

For if our human numbers continue to increase, we have no hope of ever preserving our natural resources or protecting our environment indefinitely into the future.

This is why NPG has created the

Earth Overshoot Day Petition – and

I need you to sign it TODAY!

Air and water pollution are reaching dangerous levels. Agricultural and development runoff are causing outbreaks of toxic algae. Rising greenhouse gas emissions are contributing to climate change. America’s children are watching species after species vanish forever. Basic infrastructure – things like reliable energy and clean water – are becoming more of a challenge. This is the frightening reality in all 50 states across the country, including in your own community. And things are only going to get worse as our nation gains more and more people.

However, population growth is rarely addressed

as a major problem by our elected officials.

Even the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change has acknowledged that “…greenhouse gas emissions have increased since the pre-industrial era, driven largely by economic and population growth, and are now higher than ever. …Their effects… are extremely likely to have been the dominant cause of the observed [global] warming since the mid-20th century.”

At our present population numbers, in just over 7 months human activity has wholly depleted the natural resources that Earth could renew for us this year. This means that every day until the end of the year will be lived in deficit. As a planet, we will be taking more than can be restored. Through our rate of consumptionand our sheer number of consumerswe are continuing to live beyond our environmental means.

Today I am calling on you to join with NPG by signing our Earth Overshoot Day Petition, which asks the U.S. Congress and President Obama to address the looming population crisis in recognition of Earth Overshoot Day 2016. Won’t you help us DEMAND that our elected leaders take action NOW to protect America’s exceptional environmental treasures and quality of life?

Earth Overshoot Day is the right time to push for recognition of population growth as a major crisis that threatens our shared future, as increased population feeds all other environmental problems.

CLICK HERE to sign the Petition.

If we are going to succeed in making Earth Overshoot Day a major media story, I need you to act immediately and sign the petition by August 7th.

and build a more powerful army of citizen activists. Your voice is necessary to bring about positive change to the failed population and immigration policies that hurt all of us today and pose such a huge threat to our children and grandchildren. Time is short. It’s time to demand that our elected leaders address population growth now, before it destroys America’s precious environment and distinct quality of life.

We at NPG know you care a great deal about America’s future. Your activism and financial support make our programs possible – and we are extremely grateful for your dedication to our efforts to slow, halt, and eventually reverse population growth.

Thank you again for all you do!




There is no remedy that can possibly avert disastrous Climate Change and Global Warming unless we first address the problem of world population size and growth, and its impact on the size of the greenhouse gas emissions that cause global warming.That means that we need to address the population size and growth of each nation, which together make up the world total.

World population, now over 7.3 billion, is predicted to rise to 9 billion by 2050, an increase of almost two billion, or 23%, in the short space of only 34 years from now.In the highly unlikely event that per capita greenhouse gas emissions could possibly be decreased by an equal percentage in such a short space of time (a blink of an eye) the total amount of worldwide emission would remain the same!

From this simple illustration it would appear that without drastically reducing the size of world population, there is no solution to the problem.None at all.So then why do our world leaders pretend that there is one?What is to be gained by pretending rather than by proposing a solution that would solve the problem – a reduction in the size of world population to not more than 1- 2 billion?
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