IDEAS home Printed from https://ideas.repec.org/a/gam/jsusta/v2y2010i2p591-603d7141.html
   My bibliography  Save this article

Is Humanity Doomed? Insights from Astrobiology

Author

Listed:
  • Seth D. Baum

    () (Department of Geography, Pennsylvania State University, University Park, PA 16802, USA
    Rock Ethics Institute, Pennsylvania State University, University Park, PA 16802, USA)

Abstract

Astrobiology, the study of life in the universe, offers profound insights into human sustainability. However, astrobiology is commonly neglected in sustainability research. This paper develops three topics connecting astrobiology to sustainability: constraints on what zones in the universe are habitable, the absence of observations of extraterrestrial civilizations, and the physical fate of the universe. These topics have major implications for our thinking and action on sustainability. While we may not be doomed, we must take certain actions to sustain ourselves in this universe. The topics also suggest that our current sustainability efforts may be of literally galactic importance.

Suggested Citation

  • Seth D. Baum, 2010. "Is Humanity Doomed? Insights from Astrobiology," Sustainability, MDPI, Open Access Journal, vol. 2(2), pages 1-13, February.
  • Handle: RePEc:gam:jsusta:v:2:y:2010:i:2:p:591-603:d:7141
    as

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL: http://www.mdpi.com/2071-1050/2/2/591/pdf
    Download Restriction: no

    File URL: http://www.mdpi.com/2071-1050/2/2/591/
    Download Restriction: no

    Citations

    Citations are extracted by the CitEc Project, subscribe to its RSS feed for this item.
    as


    Cited by:

    1. Baum, Seth D. & Handoh, Itsuki C., 2014. "Integrating the planetary boundaries and global catastrophic risk paradigms," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 107(C), pages 13-21.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    astrobiology; sustainability; environmental determinism; Fermi Paradox; physical eschatology; existential risk; global catastrophic risk; space colonization;

    JEL classification:

    • Q - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics
    • Q0 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - General
    • Q2 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Renewable Resources and Conservation
    • Q3 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Nonrenewable Resources and Conservation
    • Q5 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Environmental Economics
    • Q56 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Environmental Economics - - - Environment and Development; Environment and Trade; Sustainability; Environmental Accounts and Accounting; Environmental Equity; Population Growth
    • O13 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Development - - - Agriculture; Natural Resources; Environment; Other Primary Products

    Statistics

    Access and download statistics

    Corrections

    All material on this site has been provided by the respective publishers and authors. You can help correct errors and omissions. When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:gam:jsusta:v:2:y:2010:i:2:p:591-603:d:7141. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (XML Conversion Team). General contact details of provider: http://www.mdpi.com/ .

    If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

    We have no references for this item. You can help adding them by using this form .

    If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your RePEc Author Service profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

    IDEAS is a RePEc service hosted by the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis . RePEc uses bibliographic data supplied by the respective publishers.