‘Overshoot Day’ is a dramatic description of a situation we all understand – going into debt, running out of cash, and being broke, and it’s now applied to how we treat the planet that we take for granted.

The system that generates jobs through continued growth depends on selling more and more to all of us driven by an enormous amount of clever and selective advertising. It’s deemed to have failed if growth stalls, or reduces marginally, despite the producers making a profit.

In terms of what close on eight billion of us are doing to the planet it’s helpful to consider the date when a country goes into ecological debt, that is uses more power, land, food, vegetation and life forms than can be replaced each year while producing excessive CO2 emissions and waste.

We can all recognise simple examples of this greedy abusive use with overfishing and the destruction of forests but it’s far more complex with our agricultural indulgences, intensive energy use, international travel and ownership of land, housing and cars.

With just half the current world population, and simpler life styles, the 1970 world Overshoot Date was mainly in late December for most countries but since then it has moved relentlessly back through the year. Globally it was August 2nd this year, meaning that there were five months remaining where we were going to continue relentlessly abusing the planet and stealing from the future.

While the date in Cuba is December 2, it’s June 23 for China, UK May 4, the USA, Canada and Australia in the middle of March, while Qatar and Luxembourg, mid February, are the greediest nations.

We need at least seven productive acres each to satisfy our current appetites and as less than five are available, we’ll need two planets to provide our lifestyles by 2050, unless we change – now.