What's Ecological Debt Day? Well, it's the calculated each year where the UK stops relying on its own resources and starts relying on the rest of the world to support itself. This year, according the nef (the New Economics Foundation), it was the 12th of April - Easter Sunday. That's two month's earlier than in 1961 and a month earlier than 1981. Basically, the day we live beyond our environmental means is arriving sooner in the year each one that passes.
The nef calculate this day by using ecological data from the last ten years to formulate a projected trend. Unfortunately the trend is that the UK is increasing its dependence on food and energy imports from the rest of the world. But not only are we looking outside for our resources we are, according the nef, ‘part of a bizarrely wasteful system of international trade.' The nef say that the latest research shows that just two years ago the UK exported 1.8 million tonnes of essential oils, perfumes and toilet preparations, at the same time as it imported 1.5 million tonnes of... you guessed it... essential oils, perfumes and toilet preparations.
Andrew Simms, policy director the nef, recently said to the Guardian that the nef calculated last year that we were about 100 months away from potentially irreversible global warming. On current trends, we're now only 92 months - or less than eight years. In his new book Ecological Debt: Global Warming and the Wealth of Nations, Andrew looks at these eco-economic issues in depth and offers some very sensical solutions.
All these latest calculations and research finding highlight to us once again how important it is to buy local where we can.