I’m not using the word “debt” in the traditional monetary sense here but in terms of global capacity. On Saturday we, as a planet, used up all of the resources that the Earth can produce and renew in one year. Saturday the 21st of August, 2010 is day 233 of the Gregorian calendar: we’re as near as damn it exactly two-thirds of the way through the year.

Or, to put it another way, we have half the time from between New Years Day 2010 and today to survive on absolutely nothing if we want to balance our books. Big ask isn’t it? Obviously an impossible one and a situation that is disastrously untenable.

The day that marks our passing into ecological debt is happening earlier each year.

This report paints a bleak picture:

The result is collapsing fisheries, diminishing forest cover, depletion of fresh water systems, and the build up of pollution and waste, which creates problems like global climate change.

But that was 2005 and there are now 400 million more bodies on the planet who all, ideally, need to be housed, clothed and fed.

I’m not advocating direct governmental intervention by way of putting sterliants in the water supply or anything like that for example but a scheme like Michael E. Arth’s Birth Credits certainly sounds like a viable option to me.

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