Spaceship Earth

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The metaphor of the Earth as a spaceship, travelling through space as a self‐contained system, dependent on its own vulnerable supplies of natural resources (including air, water, and soil). There are some interesting implications of the Spaceship Earth metaphor. For example: spaceships are self‐contained, and as such must carry all the resources they require; spaceships are small relative to the vastness of space through which they travel; spaceships are complex systems (involving many computer control systems, air conditioning, wiring, and so on) with many components fitted together into a stable, working whole; no spaceship would be able to operate for long without a constant supply of energy to power all of its systems; in many spaceships some of the energy comes from within (from batteries and other non‐renewable fuel sources) and some from outside (they use solar energy by means of solar panels, for example); conditions in spaceships are carefully controlled to suit human life; if conditions in a spaceship change too much or too fast they can become unsuitable for human survival; spaceships don't last for ever!

Subjects: Environmental Science.

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