White-settler “frontier” mythology has come to dominate the expansionist thinking and economic planning across the world from the United States to Russia and from Israel to China and India. All the regimes in these countries have expressed the desire to “conquer” new “frontiers” of space in the name of expanding the potential for perpetual economic growth.
These endeavors will in all probability prove suicidal for our finite planet. Civilization will not survive the desperate attempts of these nations — and potentially many more — to expand into the “frontiers” into space. This is simply because limitless expansion off a finite sphere is not possible. Moreover, as global climate change reeks havoc for hundreds of millions of Earth’s citizens on a burning planet in the decades and centuries to come, the nation-state and its corporate allies will not be able to deliver a sustained supply of the life-support systems needed to launch moon walks and Mars landings for very long.
We already live on the largest inhabitable space-ship in the known universe — planet Earth. We cannot live elsewhere without mimicking in precise detail the Earth-like environment that we have evolved within. We need now to focus our attention not to trying how to “escape” this circumstance but to turn all of our scientific and technical know-how to the task of living sustainably within this space-ship.
- “Food, Famine and the Frontier Mentality,” Worldview, 24, 12 (December 1981), 14-16.
- “Rubbish and Racism: Problems of Boundary in an Ecosystem,” The Yale Review, (Winter, 1983), pp. 225-244.
- “Agents of Empire: Steps Toward an Ecology of Imperialism,” Environmental Review, 11, 4, (Winter, 1987),
as well as:
- We live on a planet with finite resources and infinite throughput energy….
- Launching Moon Walks and Mars Landings From a Burning Planet: The Myth of Perpetual “Frontier” Expansion vs The Science of Human Survival on Earth
- Drawing the Wrong Conclusions – An Anthropologist Looks at History: Cultural Mistakes Since 1492 – The “Frontier” Metaphor & the Myth of Endless Growth
- The Troublesome Legacy of Columbus: Look Out ! What Are We Celebrating?
- The Rise and Coming Demise of “Free-Market” Fundamentalism – Viewpoints from Balliol College Over Time
- Infinite Growth on a Finite Planet Is Not Possible
- Video: Tim Weiskel – Advice to Young People: Environmental Sustainability
See absurdly ironic but related contemporary stories from the same news source within the same week:
- To the Moon and beyond
- Nasa picks headquarters for Moon lander – BBC News
- Nature’s emergency: Where we are in five graphics – BBC News
- Elephant protection debate to dominate conservation meeting – BBC News
- Palestinian lawmaker: Ilhan Omar and Rashida Tlaib were kept out to hide Israeli apartheid