• Preserving Mars Today using Baseline Ecologies

    Author(s):
    Daniel Capper (see profile)
    Date:
    2019
    Subject(s):
    Environmental humanities
    Item Type:
    Article
    Tag(s):
    Environmental ethics, Space Ethics, Astrobiology, Planetary Protection
    Permanent URL:
    http://dx.doi.org/10.17613/zqzv-pr30
    Abstract:
    Current calls to protect the Martian environment with “Planetary Parks” maintain environmental merit. However, they lack a sufficiently urgent timeframe for initiating protection as well as a robust scientific method for the establishment of noteworthy Martian natural landmarks as natural reserves. In response, if we return to the seminal environmental preservation teachings of Aldo Leopold and John Muir, we encounter the importance of grounding Martian preservation efforts on the fundamental environmental science method of a base-datum of normality, or baseline ecology. This method establishes natural reserves that feature both minimal human interference as well as known origination dates, thereby providing longitudinal environmental control samples for scientific use. Applied before humans appear on Mars, preserved baseline ecologies thereby aid our scientific understanding of human environmental impacts, both now and well into the future, while they enhance a variety of other outcomes in terms of Martian protection. However, the baseline ecology method requires that, through international agreements, we establish these reserves as quickly as possible and certainly before humans arrive on the planet.
    Metadata:
    Published as:
    Journal article    
    Status:
    Published
    Last Updated:
    1 month ago
    License:
    All Rights Reserved
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