Cape Town – On Earth Overshoot Day, Extinction Rebellion (XR) Cape Town gathered at the Cape Town Civic Centre, amplifying global calls around actions that could be taken to push back Earth Overshoot Day.
XR activists protested on Wednesday in a creative display of tug-of-war depicting the “fight” over #MoveTheDate between the fossil fuel industry on one end and activists on the other.
The action was aimed at educating locals, corporations, and local, provincial and national governments.
This year, Earth Overshoot Day fell on August 2 and marks the date when humanity’s demand for ecological resources and services in a given year exceeds what the earth can regenerate in that year.
Simply put, in seven months, humanity has used up all the natural resources that the earth is able to regenerate in a year sustainably, and is now operating in an ecological deficit or overshoot.
To determine the date of Earth Overshoot Day for a particular year, the Global Footprint Network calculates the number of days that Earth’s bio-capacity can provide for humanity’s Ecological Footprint.
XR’s demands to the government were: to move the date of Earth Overshoot Day by taking immediate action to lower the country’s ecological footprint; invest in and support renewable energy projects; reject investment in new fossil fuel projects (coal, oil, and gas); and to build quality public services for all.
In a statement, XR Cape Town said: “If we use only what the Earth can supply for our use or only create as much waste as the Earth can absorb, we stay in balance. If we use more in a year than nature can supply or absorb, we run down nature’s resource stocks and we start messing with the earth’s atmosphere. It is like not just eating the eggs that your golden goose lays but starting to take bites out of the golden goose itself.”
XR researcher and spokesperson Judy Scott-Goldman said they had solutions to #MoveTheDate.
“At an individual level, we can act by shifting to eating more plant-based meals and less meat, buying locally sourced food, using public transport or bicycles.
“Companies need to act by giving us products that can be repaired and which contain elements and packaging that can be recycled. The City needs to act by rolling out efficient, safe, reliable public transport and bicycle paths and encouraging renewable energy and at national level we want taxes, subsidies, policies that make the environmentally friendly choice the default choice so no exploiting fracking and offshore oil.
“Getting away from fossil fuels and into renewable energy is the most important way to move the date because our carbon footprint is the biggest part of our ecological footprint.”
Source : IOL