HUMANS USING MORE RESOURCES THAN AVAILABLE
By: Mhleli Mkhize
Before the blink of an eye we might be a waterless country.
KwaZulu-Natal amongst other provinces is one of the highly affected provinces with shortage of water. Recently there have been shortages similar to ones of electricity, where water supply is cut off for two hours a day in different regions.
The question is: do we understand the risk that we are in and are we aware of what is happening around us?
It does not take a person to study Geology or Geography to understand the simplicity and significance of conserving the resources we have. We need to understand and educate ourselves about issues that speak of ecology such as global warming.
The South African Weather Service confirmed that this is due to having no rainfall for the past few months, and the little that we had the past few weeks has not been enough to sustain us. According to a press release from Global Footprint Network (GFN), “Earth over shoot day” is a result of humans having used more resources than what the planet can give. We are now borrowing resources belonging to the future generation.
Throughout most of history, humanity has used nature’s resources to build cities, roads, provide food and create products. In the mid-1970s, we crossed a critical threshold and human consumption began outstripping what the planet could reproduce.
According to GFN’s calculations, our demand for renewable ecological resources and the services they provide is now equivalent to that of more than 1.5 earths. The data shows the required resources of two planets well before mid-century.
An example made by GFN is that we are consuming or “spending” our natural wealth faster than it can replenish. This is similar to having expenditures that continuously exceed income.
In planetary terms, the costs of our ecological overspending are becoming more evident by the day.
At the beginnning of July, the eThekwini Municipality implemented water rationing at Tongaat in KwaZulu-Natal. They addressed the drought situation as a critical issue in a critical stage.
Water and land pollution are some of the reasons that have contributed to the damaging of our greenhouse gases.
In a statement in the news Democratic Alliance leader, Mmusi Maimane, said “Mining and manufacturing or any of our big industries are not the only causes of pollution. It is dysfunctional municipalities themselves – they neglected water treatment, and plants end up pumping sewage straight to our rivers and dams.”
If we do not right our wrongs now, we will have no-one to blame but ourselves. Future existence depends on us.