Erle C. Ellis

Nota: Este archivo abarca los artículos publicados por el autor desde el 1 de mayo de 2009. Para fechas anteriores realice una búsqueda entrecomillando su nombre.

Science Alone Won’t Save the Earth. People Have to Do That.

This planet is in crisis. The safe limits within which human societies can be sustained, the earth’s “planetary boundaries,” are being exceeded, a path leading inevitably toward collapse. The experts have spoken. Only if humanity heeds the science, reverses course and lives within earth’s natural limits can disaster be avoided.

Or maybe you believe the opposite: that human ingenuity can continue to overcome those limits, that there is no need for environmental concern.

Both miss the point. In the age of humans, the Anthropocene, there is no safety in natural limits. Or in overcoming them. For those reasons, we should put the idea of limits off limits.…  Seguir leyendo »

Many scientists believe that by transforming the earth’s natural landscapes, we are undermining the very life support systems that sustain us. Like bacteria in a petri dish, our exploding numbers are reaching the limits of a finite planet, with dire consequences. Disaster looms as humans exceed the earth’s natural carrying capacity. Clearly, this could not be sustainable.

This is nonsense. Even today, I hear some of my scientific colleagues repeat these and similar claims — often unchallenged. And once, I too believed them. Yet these claims demonstrate a profound misunderstanding of the ecology of human systems. The conditions that sustain humanity are not natural and never have been.…  Seguir leyendo »

Scientists interested in drawing attention to the human transformation of planet Earth have begun calling the current geological epoch the Anthropocene — the age of man. Naming an epoch is serious business — and in this case the new name is well deserved, given humanity’s enormous alteration of the Earth.

We have acidified the oceans and changed global climate with our use of fossil fuels. We have bent more than 75 percent of the ice-free land on Earth to our will. We have built so many dams that half of the world’s river flow is regulated, stored or impeded by human-made structures.…  Seguir leyendo »