There was a fairly stiff article in today's Independent (UK):

"Today is a bleak day for the environment, the day of the year when mankind over-exploits the world's resources - the day when we start living beyond our ecological means."

That's it, folks today was Overshoot Day. According to Global Footprint Network, October 9th was when we began using more than our fair share of the Earth ­when "humanity started eating the planet".

Assuming that the world has a certain quantity of natural resources that can be used sustainably each year, October 9th is the date on which we've used it up. We've gone into the red, and the interest rates have started kicking in.

From the World Overshoot Day website:

"Overshoot has been called ‘the biggest issue you’ve never heard of.’ Yet despite its lack of publicity, its causes and effects are as simple as they are significant.In any given year, if trees are cut down faster than they grow back, then forests become smaller than the year before. If more fish are caught each year than spawn, there will be fewer fish in the sea. The consequences of our accumulating ecological debt also include global climate change, species extinction, insecure energy supplies, water shortages, and crop failure. "

"As humanity’s consumption of resources increases, World Overshoot Day creeps earlier on the calendar. Humanity’s first Overshoot Day was December 19, 1987. By 1995 it had jumped back a month to 21 November. Today, with Overshoot Day on October 9, humanity's Ecological Footprint is almost thirty per cent larger than the planet’s biocapacity this year. In other words, it now takes more than one year and three months for the Earth to regenerate what we use in a single year."

Read more in The Independent: Earth's ecological debt crisis: mankind's 'borrowing' from nature hits new record »

World Overshoot Day

Global Footprint Network »

Making Waves: Humanity has started eating the planet