There's an organization called Nature Needs Half, their website explains how to increase Biodiversity and prevent humans from going extinct, we need to give the wildlife half of the Earth to re-wild and make the world sustainable again. However good the idea is, it's ignoring 3 big things: It's avoiding fixing what's causing the problem with a band-aid, it will dramatically change how we live our lives, and it doesn't have a concrete timeline.
Moving Humans to only utilize 50% of the Earth is a great idea, however it's ignoring all the real problems that are causing our planet to go bad. We need to make our factories produce less carbon, make our cars use renewable energy, and stop releasing greenhouse gases into our environment, but what this Half-Earth project gets us is an excuse to produce more carbon use fossil fuels and release more greenhouse gases. This will backfire on us if we don't do everything at once.
Humans right now are so used to being able to go wherever they want, travel far distances and occupy large areas of space. If we make 50% of it untouchable, however selfish it is, will make our human lives dramatically different. Preventing people from entering half of the earth will cause people to rebel, and won't get support of their citizens. It's already hard to make people agree with all the government choices, but taking their territory won't make anyone happy.
Nature Needs Half doesn't have a timeline to make things happen yet. To make people actually do something there needs to be a sense of urgency, but all they're trying to do is convince people that it's coming and say we should all help eventually. This doesn't help the Earth which is deteriorating in an accelerated rate and seems like a great idea just bad execution.
To fix what Nature Needs Half is doing, we need to stop everything making the planet worse and then set in place everything that will make it better. We are in a society where everyone is selfish and if you can make it relate to them you can make them listen.
I recently watched this TED talk by George Monbiot. This world "rewilding" is fairly new, but it has multiple meanings. The main one I will be discussing here is reintroducing wildlife into environments and seeing how introducing wild animals can influence the ecosystem of the environment. It's a strange concept, and pretty unbelievable, but it's been observed before. Introducing new animals can change how all the animals interact with each other, and eventually one thing will lead to another and essentially make the cycle of life a lot better than it was before. Rewilding can make rivers straighter and cleaner, can cause more plants to grow, and can even increase current animal populations. The world wasn't made for humans to build things and destroy the environment. That's why our world is so polluted today. Rewilding would turn our world back to what it was supposed to be and all the endangered animals and extinct animals may even come back to how they used to be. Clearly that's not exactly what we're doing. Instead of fixing our problems, we'd rather find a new world to go to, find land we haven't used yet and just dispose of this world and leave our problems behind. That doesn't sound so good no matter who you ask. I believe people should just understand what is happening in our world today, and if we can get everyone to understand our current situation, people might actually start to do something.
In this article, by Michael D Lemonick, he talked about the Top 10 Myths about Sustainability, I'll be talking about my top few from his list.
One of the interesting ones on the list was Number 5
Sustainability is expensive.
Sustainability can indeed be expensive, but usually in the long run, it ends up being more profitable and makes up for the losses when transitioning to the Sustainability stages. Money spent on sustainability is usually money well spent as it will make living sustainable a whole lot easier.
His number 2 Myth was that Sustainability was all about the environment
He explains that being sustainable doesn't just mean saving the environment. It was originally intended to be used as a term to help poorer countries become more like the richer ones in the way they lived. It's not just for the environment, but for how we live.
Another one was that living sustainable will lower the quality of our lives
Just because we're living with less resources, doesn't mean we can't change the way we use them. That can result in better more efficient products and more breakthroughs because of how lower resources make us use our creativity.
In this article by Robert W. Kates, he mostly talks about how sustainability articles are growing, the emergence of academic fields, and the history of sustainability science. He mentions how sustainability science is primarily use-inspired, where significant fundamental and applied knowledge are put into society. Just like how we're trying to save on water, or save our planet from global warming, we are using the knowledge we gain from all of our experiences and using it to better the earth, consequently bettering the places we live in. Sustainability science is aimed at responding to normal science problems in a more sustainable approach. I agree with Robert that Sustainability is growing as we are seeing more uses for it, and the more we need it.
My take on what science sustainability science is, is that it's a science that uses our current available resources and use them to better our societies. Normal science combats problems in basic everyday lives, while sustainable science combats problems to save our everyday lives.
People always ask me how I think of my ideas. From weird ones such as my game "Rice in a Bowl" and my Apple Watch Phone case to creative big projects made for others like my arcade machine and schedule bot. The first thing I think of is a problem, usually a problem that I have, and try to solve it using my resources. I don't have a factory to produce prototypes and I don't have a team to help me with every step of the process, so I need to think creatively. Instead of thinking about what I don't have, I think of what I do have. A computer, a 3D printer, and some random parts lying around. That's all I need to create something people haven't seen before. That's how I make my ideas come to life. The arcade machine was made out of scraps from the School's maker space, Schedule Bot runs on an old computer, and the smaller projects were made in my bedroom. To create things you have to understand to use what you have. There is an article by Scott Sonenshein from the Fast Company, it compares people with abundance resources to those with scarcities. Most times, those with scarcities managed to create a better product, use case or ideas. Usually when we have less resources, we tend to figure things out better. Our current society already passed some of the boundaries Steffen talked about in his TED talk, the Sustainability doughnut. Hopefully passing these boundaries will wake people up and our current situation will make great ideas come out and eventually help solve this problem.