have had renewables and manageable natural resources, but we have increased the finitude of nature by a total lack of management and through ignoring the need to plan renewables.
Occassionally I come across wonderful facts such as the management of forests in some European countries dates back to the sixteenth century, where only small percentages of mature trees could be harvested annually, thereby protecting the resource for all of the environment and for all generations. But we seem to have subscribed to the capitalist notion of domination and utilization of nature. The truth is, what we have dug up, we can’t get back beyond some recycling.
I had a childs vision way back, that if we kept on digging up the earth then the earth’s surface would fold in on itself like a collapsing football with no air. Another was that Mars (and the other planets) were once lush places we had already exited because we had already wrecked them. But the truth is, we’re just constantly looking for a stop gap oasis.
And in the meantime sci-fi has picked up the theme.
Among several in the genre the movie Elysium is based around space stations as oases for the wealthy, those who can afford to get off the dying, choking earth, can live in hyper sealed luxury.
Sci-fi turned to reality with the Salyut, Almaz, and Skylab developments from 1971, Mir in 1986, the Inernational space Station from 1998, and more recently Tiangong from 2011. Then Branson, Musk, and Bezos have formed companies to launch satelites and then are hopping to launch space stations and to colonize Mars (also Mars One is a contender). More recently A private group headed by Ashurbeyli have been promoting the satelite/station Asgardia as a step to life beyond earth (but is yet content to be a free nation you can become a member of while still residing on earth).
In all the blurb by the billionnaires there is a constant refrain – we must explore and colonize space because if we stay here we will die. Problem is, we’re just transporting the problem into the future and future worlds. The other problem, it’s another capitalist ego venture which sounds to me like it could trend to Elysium like reality.
I believe space research is vital, but just imagine if we spent some that energy, intellect and money on redesigning our lives on earth. If we can’t sort out here we won’t achieve sustainable life elsewhere. And such projects, I believe, because of their nature, might sadly give licence to us not to care about the environment.