Year 2020, pandemic, lockdown and therefore “everyone at home” forcibly for a few months: if for many of us this was a real disgrace both in terms of health and in economic terms, there is someone who benefited from it: our dear planet Earth.
The Earth breathed a sigh of relief at that time because with stopped cars, planes and ships and with industrial activities reduced to a minimum, we polluted much less, that is, we produced less CO2 than in the same period in previous years.
Another huge benefit of the forced closure was that the overshoot day moved forward to coincide with 22nd August, while in the previous year it fell on 29th July.
What is Earth Overshoot Day
Earth Overshoot Day is the day when the demand for ecological resources that we need (exploit) from the Earth exceeds what the planet can regenerate.
In other words, to continue living in today’s lifestyle we would need about half the planet more to exploit, which means that in a few years the Earth will no longer be able to sustain the rate at which WE consume its natural resources.
We consume too much!
This “consumption day” was established in 2006 and calculates the days we live in overshoot, which is consuming more resources than the planet would be able to regenerate to restore the global ecosystem.
This data therefore arises from the calculation based on the UN data on agricultural production, pastoralism, forests, hunting, fishing, urbanisation, consumption of food and timber and also on the basis of the capacity that wooded and forest areas have to absorb the CO2 that is produced.
In this regard, read the article on the Paulownia tree, which is a tree capable of absorbing a lot of CO2 and from which we obtain the wood that we at Enessere use to coat our vertical micro wind turbine Hercules Wind Turbine.
Therefore, producing energy also has its impact on Overshoot Day and according to data from the International Energy Agency (IEA), the CO2 emissions due to the use of fossil fuels are growing again this year 2021.
Here is a quick summary table that clearly shows us how in 2020 this day has come rather later than usual (and in 2021 everything is back as before).
We can clearly see how in the last 10 years the overshoot day date has progressively come before, except in 2020 where, due to the pandemic, it was “even” postponed to 22nd August.
To understand the seriousness of the problem, however, just think that 50 years ago this date fell on 21st December, that is, we only had 10 days in overshoot compared to 155 days today.
Renewable energies in aid of the planet earth
The problem, however, is not entirely underestimated, there are organisations and nations around the world that are committed to making the planet more livable through a more sustainable lifestyle and this is also possible through the production of energy through renewable sources such as the sun or the wind.
Solar and wind energy are in fact the most advantageous and exploited renewable sources to create energy, both through the construction of large centralised plants – for the production of energy in the order of MW or GW – and through domestic installations such as our micro wind power plants.
Perhaps we should push more on this last point, creating a social conscience to understand that here it is not a question of evaluating the cost/benefit ratio only in economic terms, but above all in the perspective of an environmental well-being.
Producing clean energy independently does not only mean being able to use the washing machine even at night because I use wind energy, but also and above all giving us cleaner air to breathe and a better future for the planet Earth.
The Global Footprint Network, a non-profit organisation that is committed to a more sustainable lifestyle, argues that adapting buildings to be less “energy-intensive” and creating energy by reducing the use of fossil fuels could shift this fateful date of 21 days. Also, reducing the consumption of meat – breeding farms are among the largest producers of CO2! – we would have another 17 days of positive deficit.
In short, if it is true that climate change is perhaps not entirely man’s fault, it is also true that we can actively slow it down.