An open letter to the 21st century humans

Dear 21st Century Humans,

We’ve got to hand it to ourselves. We have redefined achievement with just one thing- speed. We have managed to do things faster than anyone could have ever dreamed of back in the old, slow days.

Look at our stats-

  • Fastest 100 sprint- 9.58 seconds (WHAT?!)
  • Fastest internet speed- 23Mbit/sec (I have to relocate! South Korea, I’m coming.)
  • The age for getting into school; from 5-6 years to 3 years. Today, a kid going into school when he/she is 6 is considered to be a “late” entry.
  • Fastest cars, fastest laps.
  • Fast, fast fast. (I typed this line really fast.)

That’s just the tip of the iceberg. We are obsessed with speed. Flash will have competition in the days to come.

Speed is becoming synonymous with “better”. If something is faster, then it’s better than before. If you are faster than before, you have “achieved” something.

Here’s another thing we’ve managed to set a record in, yet again! This year, 2015, we have managed to finish the resources that Earth can produce in one year to support all living things on it in record time; we hit Earth Overshoot Day.

This is the day when the total combined consumption of all human activity on Earth in a year overtakes the planet’s ability to generate those resources for that year. And we’ve hit this day on August 13th.

That’s faster than last year! Last year, we were 4 days late to hit this day last year (Oh god. That was slow).

Congratulations. Oh, no! I’m not being sarcastic at all. There’s nothing to look sheepish about. Sure, we have exhausted the resources that Earth can hypothetically produce this year, but that doesn’t mean we will not have resources this year at all. We just have to dig into Earth’s reserves. Use the resources that Earth keeps as it’s surplus. That’s not stealing (Earth is ours, isn’t it?).

Of course, this is just the average date. There are still some countries in the world who haven’t hit their overshoot capacity. Countries like Brazil and Columbia. Good job! It’s not like you have an abundance of resources already stacked up in your backyard, right?

Hey, hey. I hear all the scientists screaming too. “We are supposed to hit this date after 31st of December!” they’re saying. “This is not sustainable!” they’re saying. What do they know? They’re scientists! They are slow anyway. They do not understand what it means to be fast. They will never appreciate the fact that we hit the “resource overshoot point” in the 8th month itself!

That said, this is still not that good. We can improve. Oh yes, we can improve a lot. We need to target hitting Earth Overshoot Day within the 7th month next year! I mean, hitting the day in the 8th month, in a year of 12 months ain’t that great. The record books show that we are much much better than 1970, when we hit the day on 23rd December (What?! They used to be that slow?!) but our target should be the 1st half of the year.

Let’s do it! Are you with me humans?


Fellow 21st century human.

P.S- On a totally different note, I’m a huge fan of Chandler Bing from F.R.I.E.N.D.S. Just saying.

Oh please! Don’t be alarmed. That’s just an apple.

(All stats related to Earth Overshoot Day were sourced from this National Geographic article.)

Author: Saurab Babu

Usually found sitting with a good book, nibbling on a piece of dark chocolate. Always ready for a good story.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.