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A nationwide community inspecting Earth’s planetary limits

Credit: CC0 Public Domain

University of California San Diego Physics Professor Tom Murphy is amongst 5 authors of an essay, showing within the November 2021 difficulty of the journal Energy Research & Social Science, that cautions present ranges of worldwide financial development, power use and useful resource consumption will overshoot Earth’s finite limits.

The essay, “Modernity is Incompatible with Planetary Limits: Developing a PLAN for the Future,” additionally proclaims the institution of a community of students and researchers to advertise the understanding of planetary limits, envision situations for humanity to thrive inside planetary limits, higher educate school college students about these challenges and advise authorities officers and communities in creating efficient responses.

“We all are a product of our times, where ‘new,’ ‘shiny,’ ‘better’ seem normal and ‘more, more, more’ seems good, but that is a reflection of the abnormal period of the last century or so,” stated Murphy. “If humanity keeps growing its impact on the planet, we will overshoot planetary limits, so we need to plan to power down while there’s still time. Even the founders of economics recognized that Earth’s resources are finite and growth is but a transient phase.”

An astrophysicist who has utilized the rules of physics to finding out Earth’s limitations, Murphy not too long ago revealed a rigorous examination of those points in “Energy and Human Ambitions on a Finite Planet” (Murphy discusses the e book on this question-and-answer article and this video).

In their new essay, the authors wrote, “early flying machines invariably crashed despite an exhilarating brief airborne interval mainly because the contraptions were simply not built according to aerodynamic principles of sustainable flight. Likewise, the present economy is not built on principles for sustainable, steady-state operation.”

Essay senior creator Ben McCall and the authors acknowledge “the thought that growth should come to an end is counter to our culture.” But protecting at this tempo, society shouldn’t be going to get the longer term it has been promised, in line with McCall.

“We shouldn’t expect a ‘Jetsons’ future with flying cars, but with intentional planning we can hope to do better than a ‘Flintstones’ future,” he stated.

The authors additionally stress they’re preaching prudence, relatively than making an attempt to sound alarmist. 

“We hope this essay gets people to step back from the familiar, up-close view of their place in the world to see a broader perspective on the challenges modern society faces going forward,” stated David Murphy, affiliate professor and division chair of environmental research at St. Lawrence University. “We are not making predictions of ‘when.’ Our point is there are fundamental limits to our resources on this finite planet, and if we continue using them at this pace, we’ll exhaust our resources and that outcome won’t be good. We need to find ways to power our world without destroying it.”

Melody LeHew, a professor of inside design and trend research at Kansas State University, stated extra than simply engineers, economists and biologists want to review these and associated fields, however others have to get out of their silos to contribute to options. 

“As someone who studies fashion, I have seen how our current systems can lead to tremendous waste of resources, but also how dedicated scholars working together can make even the fashion industry more sustainable,” she stated.

Anyone can be a part of the community as a subscriber to obtain updates about community actions. Active students can be a part of as members to take part in boards or collaborators to obtain full entry to the community. 

“Our hope is that we might spark debate and deep thinking about how human civilization might thrive for millennia to come, rather than simply survive the bottlenecks of the next few decades,” stated Tom Love, professor emeritus of anthropology at Linfield University. “We want scholars to ask what role their current research plays in addressing these issues and contribute to the understanding how human activity might fit within planetary limits.”

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More info:
T.W. Murphy et al, Modernity is incompatible with planetary limits: Developing a PLAN for the longer term, Energy Research & Social Science (2021). DOI: 10.1016/j.erss.2021.102239

A nationwide community inspecting Earth’s planetary limits (2021, October 22)
retrieved 22 October 2021
from https://phys.org/news/2021-10-national-network-earth-planetary-limits.html

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