Breathing Space

It's no secret that we humans have botched things pretty badly here on Earth. Can we change our relationship with the natural world before our wild spaces are lost forever? Or - as credible thinkers are now suggesting - will we have to leave this planet to save the human race? Two experts weigh in on humanity's future habitat.

By Stephen M. Meyer and William E. Burrows

Photomontage by Catherine Cole, image courtesy NASA


Sure, we've made a mess of things.  But it's not too late to save the Planet.  The question is, can we save the Earth? In addition to the many thousands of species that are already gone, we have accumulated a mountain of extinction debt—a roster of hundreds of thousands of species that are on the verge of disappearing. We cannot possibly restore relic and ghost species to their former status, nor do we have the knowledge to pick evolutionary winners and losers. We must stop pretending that protecting some species and preserving some crippled biodiversity hot spots has any meaningful ecological value. The recovery and restoration of nature is an illusion, and we must reset our expectations of what is possible with the means and time we possess.
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Issue 25

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