For most of human history we’ve been consuming resources at a rate lower than what the planet was able to regenerate.
Unfortunately we have crossed a critical threshold. The demand we are now placing on our planets resources appears to have begun to outpace the rate at which nature can replenish them.
The gap between human demand and supply is known as ecological overshoot. To better understand the concept think of your bank account – in it you have $5000.00 paying monthly interest. Month after month you take the interest plus $100. That $100 is your financial, or for our purposes, your ecological overshoot and its withdrawal is obviously unsustainable.
“One lesson from the five great global extinctions is that species and ecosystems come and go, but the evolutionary process continues. In short, life forms have a future on Earth, but humankind’s future depends on its stewardship of ecosystems that favor Homo Sapiens.” John Cairns, Jr., Future of Life on Earth