— Environment —

A safe place to live

What are the planetary boundaries?

It is unthinkable not to have a series on the environment. For those who don't know yet, what we call the environment is important to humans, but not for the planet and life in general. 

The planet has been rotating around its axis for 4.6 billion years and life has been there for about 4 billion years. Humanity won't influence that. Nature can withstand quite a lot, if humans are not considered. Even a meteorite impact did not kill all animals and plants. 

So why is the environment important to us? 

Because the environment, at least for humans, is bounded by what is called the planetary boundaries. These delineate the conditions necessary to make - and keep - human life possible and comfortable. Like a certain amount of oxygen. And water that is not acid. Our metabolism and food pyramid depend on it. It's not just about diesel versus petrol. 

If we believe we are important, the current equilibria are better not stretched to the limits. Again, what are the limits? Limits of conditions that are safe for humans. It's not about the planet or life. It's about us. Nature has to meet certain requirements so that humans feel good. 

Those requirements are in jeopardy. 

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I learned a lot on this topic through the free online courses of the SDG Academy (United Nations). SDG stands for Sustainable Development Goals. Jeffrey Sachs of the UN explains it awfully well.