Scientists describe 'human world'

September 21, 2005

The internationally syndicated Earth & Sky Radio Series today announced the launch of a special report on its web site on what it calls "the Human World." In the report, 50 leading scientists describe the Human World from various scientific perspectives including that of economics, health, transportation, urbanization, energy, water, the human brain, human social interaction, human values and more.

"The Human World paradigm is new. It suggests a new way of thinking about the Earth and its humans," said Ryan Britton, Executive Director of Earth & Sky, Inc. "Many people alive today remember a paradigm shift similar in scope to the one we are suggesting here. That is, when the first images of Earth were returned from space, we all understood that we live on a water planet. Today, we live on a planet of humans. It's a Human World."

He added, "Many have already embraced the idea that human activities affect Earth. But the Human World paradigm is MORE THAN that idea."

Deborah Byrd, Executive Producer of the Earth & Sky Radio Series, said, "Much as space and time came to be linked a century ago, so today's scientists have realized that Earth and its humans are linked. Scientists call it a 'coupled human-environment system.' Humans do not simply affect Earth. Earth and its humans mutually affect each other."

"Yes, there are billions of us on Earth today," she continued. "That fact changes the way we need to live on Earth. But people have always traded ideas, and as human population and the complexity of human problems both have increased, so there's been a major leap forward in humanity's ability to share visions and collectively solve problems. The scientists featured on our web site are trying to do that, and their perspectives on the world are extremely compelling."

"The key is that we are an intelligent, adaptable, cooperative species. There are challenges to be met in our Human World of the 21st century, but we have the tools to meet them. We believe the first step is public awareness. That's what Earth & Sky's Human World special report is all about," said Britton.

A link to the report can be found at www.earthsky.org

Source: The National Academies

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