Earth Now Needs Agricultural Worlds
In their recent Living Planet Report for this year, the World Wildlife Federation is suggesting that this planet's resources won't be enough for us.
(Living Planet Report [pdf])
The Earth’s biocapacity is the amount of biologically productive area – cropland, pasture, forest, and fisheries – that is available to meet humanity’s needs.
Since the late 1980s, we have been in overshoot - the Ecological Footprint has exceeded the Earth’s biocapacity - by about 25%.
Effectively, the Earth’s regenerative capacity can no longer keep up with demand – people are turning resources into waste faster than nature can turn waste back into resources.
A moderate business-as-usual scenario, based on United Nations projections of slow, steady growth of economies and populations, suggests that by 2050, humanity’s demand on nature will be twice the biosphere’s productive capacity.
SF writers have worked out the answer - agricultural worlds like those envisioned by Isaac Asimov's 1951 classic Foundation:
Daily, fleets of ships in the tens of thousands brought the produce of twenty agricultural worlds to the dinner tables of Trantor....
(Read more about agricultural worlds)
Larry Niven came to the same conclusion in his awardwinning 1970 novel Ringworld. In the story, creatures called Puppeteers are herd animals; they number in the hundreds of billions on their homeworld. There is only one way to feed that many beings:
"We moved our world to a tenth of a light year's distance, keeping the primary only as an anchor. We needed the farming worlds and it would have been dangerous to let our world wander randomly through space. Otherwise we would not have needed a sun at all."
Of course, an alternative to finding and developing additional planets and their resources would be to more intelligently and conservatively use the resources of the one planet we have.
"We had brought suitable worlds from nearby systems, increasing our agricultural worlds to four, and setting them in a Kemplerer [sic] Rosette."
(Read more about the Kemplerer (Klemperer) Rosette.)
From WWF via io9.
Scroll down for more stories in the same category. (Story submitted 11/2/2008)
Follow this kind of news @Technovelgy.
| Email | RSS | Blog It | Stumble | del.icio.us | Digg | Reddit |
you like to contribute a story tip?
Get the URL of the story, and the related sf author, and add
Comment/Join discussion ( 6 )
Related News Stories -
Mealworms Food Of The Future
Get your grubs on.
Self-Driving Domino's Pizza Car
Yes, but can it negotiate entry at your Burbclave?
Mmm, Tasty Duck From A Petri Dish
'Laboratories in every city had produced synthetic food and meats, grown in large test tubes...' - David H. Keller, 1933.
Eden-ISS, Greenhouse In Antarctica
'With this kind of light we could get the gardens going again." - Barbara Humbly, 1983.
Technovelgy (that's tech-novel-gee!)
is devoted to the creative science inventions and ideas of sf authors. Look for
the Invention Category that interests
you, the Glossary, the Invention
Timeline, or see what's New.
A 'Genuine Nanorobotic Production Factory'
'Microscopic machinery, smaller than ants, smaller than pins, working energetically, purposefully - constructing something...'
Neuromorphic Computer Offers Non-von Neumann Architecture
Fires faster than brain at 1/10K energy.
Evorus Your Crowd-Powered Conversational Assistant
'...the DS [Daily Schedule] was suddenly transformed into a valued confidante.'
Mealworms Food Of The Future
Get your grubs on.
Alibaba's AI May Read Better Than You
'Mike ... could accept other languages and was doing technical translating - and reading endlessly.'
Musk's Boring Flamethrower
'Skeletons in tatters. Burned by a flesh gun'
Humanity Star LEO Advertisement?
'Everyone has noticed those enormous advertisements...'
Nissan ProPILOT Slippers Are Self-Parking, Autonomous
Beyond science and fiction.
Atomristors - Atomic Memristors - Using Thin Nanomaterials
'I could almost feel those little tunnel junction neuristors working, forming their own interconnections as I operated it.'
Bigelow Prepares Inflatable Lunar Hotel
'Suddenly, hitherto unheard-of sums of money became available for investment in civilian orbital stations.'
Drunk Driver Of Tesla Claims Autopilot Was In Charge
'Mr. Garden, you are in no condition to drive.'
Medical Exoskeleton From Cyberdyne Gets FDA Approval
It's been a long road for HAL-5; I started writing about it in 2005.
Fungi-Infused Concrete Repairs Itself
'I noticed that curious mottled knots were forming, indicating where the room had been strained and healed faultily.'
Shiftwear Display Shoes
'He unlaced her shoe and glanced at its readout.'
NASA SEXTANT First With X-Ray Nav In Space
'You need at least four beacons for an accurate fix.'
GM Introduces Cruise AV With No Steering Wheel
'How about the steering wheel?' ... 'I do not need one.'
More SF in the News Stories
More Beyond Technovelgy science news stories