Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Could The Exploitation Of Space Solve The Earth's Environmental Crises?

Date:
October 4, 2007
Source:
Inderscience Publishers
Summary:
Could the industrialization of space could help solve environmental problems here on earth? Ecologism offers a solution by emphasizing the need for major socioeconomic reform aimed at a post-industrial era. Environmentalism, in contrast, focuses on the preservation, restoration, and improvement of the natural environment within the present framework. Now a pundit suggests that there is a third approach to sustainable development that has until now been excluded from the agenda - namely a large-scale industrial expansion into space.

Apollo 11. In this photo Aldrin assembles a seismic experiment. Now Rasmus Karlsson, a political scientist, suggests that a large-scale industrial expansion into space should be considered as a method of addressing Earth's environmental issues.
Credit: NASA

The Soviet Union successfully launched Sputnik I fifty years ago on October 4th, marking the beginning of our use of space for political, military, technological, and scientific ends. Since then we have launched hundreds of satellites, space probes, telescopes, moon missions, and planetary landers.

Now, political scientist Rasmus Karlsson suggests that space could provide us with a sustainable future not possible from an earthbound only perspective.

Karlsson, a researcher at the University of Lund, Sweden, explains that over the years, two strands of thought on sustainable development have emerged. They are ecologism and environmentalism.

Ecologism offers a solution by emphasizing the need for major socioeconomic reform aimed at a post-industrial era. Environmentalism, in contrast, focuses on the preservation, restoration, and improvement of the natural environment within the present framework.

However, Karlsson, suggests that there is a third approach to sustainable development that has until now been excluded from the agenda - namely a large-scale industrial expansion into space.

He suggests that access to the raw materials found on the Moon as well as unfiltered solar energy could be used to increase dramatically our stock of resources and energy while providing unlimited sinks for pollutants. Such an approach would satisfy two of the most demanding issues regarding sustainability, finding renewable energy sources and the disposal of pollutants.

Resource scarcity, pollution, and dwindling fossil fuels, have become of serious environmental concern in the last few decades. As such, environmentalists have called for massive reductions in energy and material consumption. Seemingly unrelated but running in parallel is that the promise of space exploration has been limited to technological optimists whose economic framework rarely acknowledges any such scarcity.

Karlsson suggests that it is time to reconcile the politics of scarcity with this technological optimism and to devise a unified political vision for the 21st century that will allow lead to a truly sustainable planet by extending our reach into space.

This article is published in the October issue of Inderscience publication, International Journal of the Environment and Sustainable Development.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Inderscience Publishers. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

Inderscience Publishers. "Could The Exploitation Of Space Solve The Earth's Environmental Crises?." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 4 October 2007. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2007/10/071004110855.htm>.
Inderscience Publishers. (2007, October 4). Could The Exploitation Of Space Solve The Earth's Environmental Crises?. ScienceDaily. Retrieved September 18, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2007/10/071004110855.htm
Inderscience Publishers. "Could The Exploitation Of Space Solve The Earth's Environmental Crises?." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2007/10/071004110855.htm (accessed September 18, 2014).

Share This



More Earth & Climate News

Thursday, September 18, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Raw: Scientists Examine Colossal Squid

Raw: Scientists Examine Colossal Squid

AP (Sep. 16, 2014) Squid experts in New Zealand thawed and examined an unusual catch on Tuesday: a colossal squid. It was captured in Antarctica's remote Ross Sea in December last year and has been frozen for eight months. (Sept. 16) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Man Floats for 31 Hours in Gulf Waters

Man Floats for 31 Hours in Gulf Waters

AP (Sep. 16, 2014) A Texas man is lucky to be alive after he and three others floated for more than a day in the Gulf of Mexico when their boat sank during a fishing trip. (Sept. 16) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Researchers Explore Shipwrecks Off Calif. Coast

Researchers Explore Shipwrecks Off Calif. Coast

AP (Sep. 16, 2014) Federal researchers are exploring more than a dozen underwater sites where they believe ships sank in the treacherous waters west of San Francisco in the decades following the Gold Rush. (Sept. 16) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Isolated N. Korea Asks For International Help With Volcano

Isolated N. Korea Asks For International Help With Volcano

Newsy (Sep. 16, 2014) Mount Paektu volcano in North Korea is showing signs of life and there's not much known about it. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins