22 Sep '11, 3pm
'Ecological debt' can't be forgiven or wiped away
Starting next week, everything you eat, breathe, use, and touch will put you further in debt to the planet. Each year, humans consume more resources than the planet can produce , putting us into "ecological debt" to the planet. Unlike monetary debt, this over-budget spending can't be forgiven or wiped away. Since the 1970s, humanity's been using more than we have available, and "pretty soon, you run out of savings, " according to Mathis Wackernagel, the awesomely-named president of the Global Footprint Network, which tallies these things. Who's most culpable for this over-consumption? Americans, of course. We are champion overspenders in every way.