Data sources for the charts:
- Stockholm Resilience Centre
- Our World in Data: Annual CO2 Emissions
- Our World in Data: Outdoor Air Pollution
"Save the Planet" is a misnomer. Whether the result of human activity or natural long-term planetary cycles, planet change will not destroy the planet, but it might make it inhospitable to humans. The Earth is our home. If you stopped paying your electric bill, didn't repair your air conditioner, or got the water turned off to your home, your house would still stand and not crumble, but you wouldn't want to live there. So regardless of the cause of planetary change, we must take care of the Earth as our home. "Save the People" appears to be a more apt slogan.
The Stockholm Resilience Centre is an international research center on resilience and sustainability science. The center is a joint initiative between Stockholm University and the Beijer Institute of Ecological Economics at The Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences. The center believes in the importance of reconnecting humanity to the biosphere. People must stop considering nature as something separate from society because people and nature are intertwined in social-ecological systems. The development of places and things can no longer be done without an increased understanding of nature's role in humanity's own survival and well-being. [stockholmresilience.org]
One of the tenets of the Stockholm Resilience Centre is a set of nine planetary boundaries:
- Ozone - stratospheric ozone depletion
- Biodiversity - biosphere integrity
- Pollution - novel entities (e.g., organic pollutants, radioactive materials, nanomaterials, microplastics)
- Temperature - overall planetary warming from climate change
- Ocean - ocean acidification
- Freshwater - freshwater use
- Forests - land system change
- Plants - biogeochemical flows
- Clouds - atmospheric aerosol loading
The theory behind these boundaries is that if we allow the Earth to cross enough of them, there is no turning back. The Earth will no longer be a hospitable place for us. Though the nine planetary boundaries were established in 2009, there have been some recent articles (in the last few months alone) related to them:
At Autodesk, we are inspired by the prospect of a better world designed and made for all. Our mission is to empower innovators with design and make technology so they can achieve the new possible. To do that, we deliver customers intuitive, powerful, and accessible technology that provides automation and insight for their design and make processes, enabling them to achieve better outcomes for their products, their businesses, and the world. Everyone's definition of "better" may differ, but hopefully, everyone can agree that it includes "hospitable."
Respecting boundaries is alive in the lab.