9 October 2006
This was a prime example of how being picked up by some cyberspace heavyweights can spread something round the net like a fire out of control. As fun as it was, I have no illusions about how short-lived this popularity will be. It peaked on Saturday and Sunday when the daily hit rate was almost 18 000 hits. But, despite the hit rate taking until yesterday before it reached the number one spot on SA Topsites, it had already dropped off rather dramatically. Today, it has dropped even more, even though the hit rate is unbelievably higher than usual.
My fifteen minutes of fame lasted fifty hours!
|9 October 2006 - Top spot||8 October 2006 - Over 17000 hits!!|
On a more serious note, 9 October 2006, was the day humanity starts eating the globe:
New calculations released today show that from now until the end of the year we will be living beyond our global environmental means. Research by the US-based Global Footprint Network in partnership with nef and Best Foot Forward reveals that as of today, humanity has used up what nature can renew this year and is now eating into its ‘ecological capital’.
Each year, the day that the global economy starts to operate with an ecological deficit is designated as ‘ecological debt day’ (known internationally as ‘overshoot day’). This marks the date that the planet’s environmental resource flow goes into the red and we begin operating on a non-existent environmental overdraft.
The fact that this year, ecological debt day falls on 9 October, only three quarters of the way through the year, means that we are living well beyond our environmental means. This leads, in effect, to a net depletion of the resources. From October 9 until the end of the year, humanity will be in ecological overshoot, building up ever greater ecological debt by consuming resources beyond the level that the planet’s ecosystems can replace.
The day that we begin living beyond our environmental means is creeping ever earlier in the year as human consumption grows:
- humanity first went into global ecological debt in 1987, with the first ecological debt day on 19 December that year;
- by 1995 it had jumped a month forward to 21 November;
- now, new estimates based on the latest available data indicate that in 2006, we run out of ecological resources today, Monday 9 October.
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. The consequences of this ecological overshoot can be seen most seriously in our rapidly warming climate, but also in deforestation, the collapse of fisheries, species extinction, insecure energy supplies, water shortages and crop failure.(From NEF - New Economics Foundation)
And, on a possibly more somber note, 11.36 am yesterday, North Korean time, marks the time when the world's last Stalinist state inserted itself into the club of so-called "undeclared" nuclear powers, previously made up of Israel (which still has never admitted having such a capacity), Pakistan and India. While the recorded seismic blast has been low enough for some experts to question if a nuclear blast actually took place, the aftershocks of the claim more than make up for the possibility that the North Koreans are faking it.