In The News – Ecological Debt Day and Peak Oil Secrecy

We’ve gone into the ecological red

On 21 August our environmental resource budget ran out. Now we’re living beyond the planet’s means to support us

At the weekend, Saturday 21 August to be precise, the world as a whole went into “ecological debt”.

That means in effect that from now until the end of the year, humanity will be consuming more natural resources and producing more waste than the forests, fields and fisheries of the world can replace and absorb. By doing so, the life -support systems that we all depend on are worn ever thinner. Farms become less productive, fish populations crash and climate regulating forests decline. All become less resilient in the face of extreme weather events.

The date is arrived at by comparing our annual environmental resource budget with our ecological footprint – the rate at which we spend it.

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Peak oil alarm revealed by secret official talks

Behind government dismissals of ‘alarmist’ fears there is growing concern over critical future energy supplies

Speculation that government ministers are far more concerned about a future supply crunch than they have admitted has been fuelled by the revelation that they are canvassing views from industry and the scientific community about “peak oil”.

The Department of Energy and Climate Change (DECC) is also refusing to hand over policy documents about “peak oil” – the point at which oil production reaches its maximum and then declines – under the Freedom of Information (FoI) Act, despite releasing others in which it admits “secrecy around the topic is probably not good”.

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