"Overshoot is the inevitable and irreversible consequence of continued drawdown, when the use of resources in an ecosystem exceeds its carrying capacity and there is no way to recover or replace what was lost. It takes many forms, depending on the system, but perhaps the clearest and in some ways the most touching is exemplified by Easter Island. When it was first settled a thousand years ago, the island was a rich and forested land covered with palms and a small native tree called the sophora, and on its sixty-four square miles a prosperous and literate culture developed organizational and engineering skills that enabled it to erect the famous massive stone statues all along the coastline. For reasons lost in time, the population of the island over the years increased to something like 4,000 people, apparently necessitating a steady drawdown of vegetation that eventually deforested the entire island and exhausted its fertile soils. Somewhere along the line came overshoot, unstoppable and final, and then presumably conflict over scarce food acreage, and ultimately warfare and chaos. By the time of Captain Cook's voyage to the island in the 1775 there were barely 630 people left, eking out a marginal existence; a hundred years later, only 155 islanders remained."

Dwellers in the Land, Kirkpatrick Sale

O`ver*shoot" (?), v. t. [imp. & p. p. Overshot (?); p. pr. & vb. n. Overshooting.]


To shoot over or beyond.

"Not to overshoot his game."



To pass swiftly over; to fly beyond.



To exceed; as, to overshoot the truth.


To overshoot one's self, to venture too far; to assert too much.


© Webster 1913.

O`ver*shoot", v. i.

To fly beyond the mark.



© Webster 1913.

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