Earth Overshoot Day

Four charts that show how India and the world are living beyond their ecological means

The world has just consumed all natural resources that can be regenerated by the Earth in 2015. India was done with its supply for the year by June 30.

As of Thursday, August 13, 2015, we have used up all the ecological resources that the earth could generate through the entire year, according to calculations by sustainability think tank Global Footprint Network. In other words, from this day – called the Earth Overshoot Day – on we will be overdrawing from our global annual budget of natural resources.

Global Footprint Network estimates how much we consume, how efficiently we produce, how many people we are and how much the earth’s natural systems generate. As both the world’s population and consumption have been increasing, Earth Overshoot Day arrives earlier and earlier every year – from December 23rd in 1970 to mid-August now.


India crossed its own ecological deficit line this year more than a month ago. India’s ecological deficit day – the day when the country’s demand for ecological resources and services exceeded what its ecosystems can regenerate in that year – was on June 30.  India has rich ecological resources and is among the top 10 countries contributing to the world’s biocapacity. But it also has the third biggest ecological footprint, according to the World Wildlife Fund’s Living Planet report released earlier this year.



One of the most stressed natural resources in India is water. The Water Footprint Network finds that India (13%), along with China (16%) and the US (10%), has the biggest water footprint – the use of water to produce food, other commodities and products.


India is the world's largest consumer of blue water, which is the surface and ground water used to make a product. Most of this blue water in India goes towards growing wheat, rice and sugarcane in that order. Croplands, in fact, have the largest ecological footprint due to production. 



The costs of ecological overspending are already being seen as deforestation, drought, fresh-water scarcity, soil erosion and biodiversity loss. Carbon emissions are hastening the overshoot process. According to the WWF, the world’s carbon footprint more than doubled between 1961 and 1973, which is when the world went into ecological overshoot.



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Following a mountaineer as he reaches the summit of Mount Everest

Accounts from Vikas Dimri’s second attempt reveal the immense fortitude and strength needed to summit the Everest.

Vikas Dimri made a huge attempt last year to climb the Mount Everest. Fate had other plans. Thwarted by unfavourable weather at the last minute, he came so close and yet not close enough to say he was at the top. But that did not deter him. Vikas is back on the Everest trail now, and this time he’s sharing his experiences at every leg of the journey.

The Everest journey began from the Lukla airport, known for its dicey landing conditions. It reminded him of the failed expedition, but he still moved on to Namche Bazaar - the staging point for Everest expeditions - with a positive mind. Vikas let the wisdom of the mountains guide him as he battled doubt and memories of the previous expedition. In his words, the Everest taught him that, “To conquer our personal Everest, we need to drop all our unnecessary baggage, be it physical or mental or even emotional”.

Vikas used a ‘descent for ascent’ approach to acclimatise. In this approach, mountaineers gain altitude during the day, but descend to catch some sleep. Acclimatising to such high altitudes is crucial as the lack of adequate oxygen can cause dizziness, nausea, headache and even muscle death. As Vikas prepared to scale the riskiest part of the climb - the unstable and continuously melting Khumbhu ice fall - he pondered over his journey so far.

His brother’s diagnosis of a heart condition in his youth was a wakeup call for the rather sedentary Vikas, and that is when he started focusing on his health more. For the first time in his life, he began to appreciate the power of nutrition and experimented with different diets and supplements for their health benefits. His quest for better health also motivated him to take up hiking, marathon running, squash and, eventually, a summit of the Everest.

Back in the Himalayas, after a string of sleepless nights, Vikas and his team ascended to Camp 2 (6,500m) as planned, and then descended to Base Camp for the basic luxuries - hot shower, hot lunch and essential supplements. Back up at Camp 2, the weather played spoiler again as a jet stream - a fast-flowing, narrow air current - moved right over the mountain. Wisdom from the mountains helped Vikas maintain perspective as they were required to descend 15km to Pheriche Valley. He accepted that “strength lies not merely in chasing the big dream, but also in...accepting that things could go wrong.”

At Camp 4 (8,000m), famously known as the death zone, Vikas caught a clear glimpse of the summit – his dream standing rather tall in front of him.

It was the 18th of May 2018 and Vikas finally reached the top. The top of his Everest…the top of Mount Everest!

Watch the video below to see actual moments from Vikas’ climb.

Play

Vikas credits his strength to dedication, exercise and a healthy diet. He credits dietary supplements for helping him sustain himself in the inhuman conditions on Mount Everest. On heights like these where the oxygen supply drops to 1/3rd the levels on the ground, the body requires 3 times the regular blood volume to pump the requisite amount of oxygen. He, thus, doesn’t embark on an expedition without double checking his supplements and uses Livogen as an aid to maintain adequate amounts of iron in his blood.

Livogen is proud to have supported Vikas Dimri on his ambitious quest and salutes his spirit. To read more about the benefits of iron, see here. To read Vikas Dimri’s account of his expedition, click here.

This article was produced by the Scroll marketing team on behalf of Livogen and not by the Scroll editorial team.