You’ve Heard of Holiday Debt, but Eco-Debt?

Our fragile world

Our fragile world

OK. I’ll come clean.

I’m in debt.

Not up to my eyeballs but, well, I’m having to beat it away from the waistband of my trousers. The credit card companies are closing in and offering me unbelievably good 12 month’s interest free credit deals that suddenly turn into something a little more Mafia-esque when the 13 month kicks in.

And I’m tempted, people, I’m tempted.

And you know what caused all this? Christmas last year. I’m still paying it off. It’s not like I haven’t had the money… it’s just that other things came up between then and now that I’ve spent it on. More important things. Things like DVDs and gadgets and a few coups that I’ve been funding in the Middle East (no seriously – just talk to my tax collector). And now this year’s Christmas is approaching. I may have to pronounce myself bankrupt.

I don’t feel great about this situation mainly because I’m aware that it’s all my own doing.

So I can do without the massive guilt trip that the world’s science bods dropped on me last month.

Because it seems that not only am I in financial debt but I’m also in eco-debt. In fact we all are. You, me, The President, Barney The Purple Dinosaur, everybody. According to a recent report (presumably held only on digital media or paper made from trees harvested from sustainable forests) the entire world has now gone into “eco-debt”.

This means that technically we have already used up all of the world’s natural resources for this year that we can sustain. In monetary terms we’d already spent the whole of this year’s wages way back in September. We are now spending next year’s. Which means by August 2012 we’ll be starting to eat into 2013’s.

The 21st century is fundamentally not sustainable!

This is a worrying thought.

I mean what’s the point of me funding the spread of democracy throughout the developing world (and investing in the Harry Potter DVD boxed set) if by 2023 we’ve harvested the entire planet into nothing more than a big ball of dust and we’re all dead of starvation… or at least living like The Flintstones? (P.S. I bagsy Wilma.)

So what can we do about it? To be honest, I’m not sure. I’ve checked with MBNA and the Bank Of America and they don’t appear to offer an interest free repayment plan on trees, oil, staple crops or precious metals.

Photo credit.


About Stephen Herrick-Blake

Stephen Herrick-Blake is a UK writer born into a family of complete underachievers and has spent the last 42 years of his life trying desperately and failing spectacularly to buck that trend. He currently has two novels to his name (but no agent or publisher), a collection of self penned juvenilia poetry that makes Sylvia Plath’s entire works sound like something fresh off Sesame Street and a blog called Bloggertropolis which continues to run despite his employer’s / the UK government’s best attempts to see it removed. Stephen is, despite his misanthropic and undeserving nature, married to a lovely wife and has two boys who are, at 10 and 3, already exhibiting full-on teenage behaviour. Stephen was a Goth in his younger years but now wears colours and can smile occasionally. Usually at other people’s pain, discomfort and displeasure. In the last ten years, dependent on his beard grooming regime, Stephen has variously been compared with Johnny Depp, Gerry Adams and Lenin. Go figure.


  1. Wilma eh? That beehive up-do and little tight white dress?

    (A serious subject and all I spot is one throw-away line!)

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  2. Martin Lower says:

    If the world’s overdrawn, then I wouldn’t worry about your credit card. Some of the richest people in the world owe absolute fortunes! Robert Maxwell owed at least £440 million when he died…

    Wilma? Betty Rubble every time for me. Besides, Barney was smaller than Fred; easier to knock over!

  3. Kirrily says:

    I think even I’d have a go at Betty.

    (You bring out the darndest things from me, sir)

  4. Wouldn’t worry about it…just another attempt to create a false market now the housing bubble has burst….carbon credits indeed!
    Wait until they tax farts…

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  5. Sounds a bit like the dinosaur omelette dilemma.

    ps the website is not mine

  6. First up: being very superficial. Love the layout of this blog! Very swish and not at all mediocre (which is all I ever aim for). When we got to the US nine years ago I couldn’t get credit cards for two years because i had no debt! Go figure as they say here…

  7. Marginalia says:

    Do you get paid for the Blackberry ad?

    You’re worrying unnecessarily. I suggest a holiday in Athens or Rome. Then you’ll have something really to worry about.

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