If the human race continues expanding, fuelling climate change, and using resources at its current rate, it will eventually need to colonise three more planets to sustain itself, a NASA scientist has claimed.
“The entire ecosystem is crashing”, Dennis Bushnell, chief scientist of NASA’s Langley Research Centre, said on Thursday.
“We have freshwater problems, deforestation, pollution, fish stocks, on and on and on […] Essentially, there’s too many of us. We’ve been far too successful as the human animal”, he added.
“People allege we’re short 40-50% of a planet now. As the Asians and their billions come up to Western living standards […] we’re going to need three more planets.”
Bushnell was speaking at an event in Washington marking the release tof he Millennium Project’s State of the Future report.
The annual comprehensive review analyses all threats to humanity’s future prospects, ranging from climate change and war to corruption and inequality.
Though it strikes a partly optimistic note, the report observes that – among other things – glaciers are melting, water tables are falling, pollution is increasing and demand for resources is rising.
Bushnell did not say when these extra planets would be needed, or how such a thing would be feasible.
“If NASA terraforms Mars, that’ll take about 120 years, and that’s only one planet. We’d need more very shortly”, he said.
He went on to argue that taking to the stars wasn’t necessarily the only way to go, saying that instead we must realise that the ecosystem won’t allow “econometrics based” growth.
“We’re going to have to go for sustainability”, he added.
One separate campaign has sought to highlight humanity’s disregard for the natural resource budget. The Global Footprint Network’s (GFN) annual Earth Overshoot Day marks the day that the planet’s resource budget for the year is exceeded.
Last year it fell on August 20, and it is arriving earlier every year. In 1993, it fell on October 21. In 2003, it was September 22.
The GFN says that our current need for ecological resources is currently equivalent to that of more than one and a half Earths.
Like our Facebook Page
Harnessing the Sun: The Far-reaching Benefits of Solar Panels
7 Benefits of Purchasing Sustainable Housing
Our Top Five Sustainable Home Renovations For 2023
6 Ways Eco-Friendly Photographers Can Take Beautiful Natural Pictures
Emerging Research In Seagrass Restoration: What Does The Future Hold?
Sustainable Bites: How To Make Your Diet Eco-Friendly
Coffee Farms & Cloud Forests: Colombia’s New Eco Initiatives
Electric Cars: Are They Worth The Switch?
Maximizing the Efficiency of Deliveries: Strategies for Sustainable Businesses
The Rise of Sustainable Cloud Computing
The Future of Sustainability In The Logistics Industry
Can Eco-Friendly Businesses Embrace VPNs to Bolster Cybersecurity?
Eight Different Eco-Friendly Developments in the Food Industry
UK Lags EU in Installing Heat Pumps to Slow Climate Change
5 Key Areas to Look at When It Comes to Business Sustainability
Addressing Leadership Challenges in Green Entrepreneurship
Holding Eco-Friendly Coins is Greener and More Profitable
5 Reasons That Diamonds Can Be Excellent Green Investments
Eco-Friendly Airlines Use Weather Models to Make Safer Flights
Why Should We Invest in Eco-Friendly Homes?
- Features3 months ago
What is the Eco-Friendliest Option to Wash Your Dishes?
- Environment7 months ago
6 Home Improvements You Can Make to Help the Environment
- Environment11 months ago
How to Ensure Your Home’s Eco-Friendly During Construction?
- Business10 months ago
The Pulp & Paper Industry is Reaching its Sustainability Goals