A global ecological deficit is called overshoot, and today, August 13, is Earth Overshoot Day. Earth Overshoot Day marks the date when humanity's demand on renewable natural resources exceeds the supply that our planet can regenerate. More simply, it's the date humanity has spent our planet's budget for the entire year. This year, that date arrives more than four months before the year ends. As recently as 2000, Earth Overshoot Day fell in October.
If that climate and irresponsible water use and management further delimits the amount available for all uses just in the critical climate and under-supply we know today, what will the inevitable change in water valuation and consequent increase in price mean for the cost of a Volkswagen or anything else on earth?
The pope provides a moving and profound view on the deep connection between environmental and social issues, between humans and animals, and between spiritual and practical. He also hits head-on the contentious issue of man's "dominion" over nature: Many have interpreted the Bible to indicate that man should conquer nature, but the pope explains how wrong that reading is.
Building and maintaining a strong constituency for protected areas is essential if wildlife and wild places are going to be conserved. This requires honesty when considering the benefits and costs of protected areas, an inclusive approach to decision making, and a willingness by those who benefit from the taking of natural resources to compensate those whose lives are diminished.