“We only have one planet that serves as an example and in science it’s not good to derive information from a sample size of one.” -David Grinspoon
Although there will never be a shortage of doubters, the scientific evidence is overwhelming that humans have impacted the planet, particularly over the last few millennia, like no other species ever has. It’s not only the climate that’s changed, but the oceans, atmosphere, freshwater, land use and even the plants and animals that can survive and thrive in the environment. We might be averse to thinking of it as such, but we’re already conducting a terrifying experiment in geoengineering.
Industrialization and mass production have brought many benefits to humanity, but there continues to be an ongoing environmental cost that needs to be addressed and dealt with. Public domain image.
The Earth has forever been changed by what humanity has already done in leaving our mark on the world, and it’s up to us to steer it in the right direction from here. If we do it wrong, all we’ll leave is a legacy of having plundered and scarred our world, but if we do it right, this might only be the beginning of the most remarkable journey any species in our Universe has ever taken.
The Solar System, atop, and the planets that fall into the habitable zone and (in red and orange) the extended habitable zone. Image credit: Chester Harman; PHL at UPR Arecibo, NASA / JPL / APL / Arizona.