Is Mars the Solution for Earth's Problems?

Geologist Marcia Bjornerud and Long Now’s Executive Director Alexander Rose debate about whether going to Mars is a viable long-term sustainability plan for human survival.

From Marcia Bjornerud’s Long Now talk, “Timefulness.”

About the Talk

We need a poly-temporal worldview to embrace the overlapping rates of change that our world runs on, especially the huge, powerful changes that are mostly invisible to us.

Geologist Marcia Bjornerud teaches that kind of time literacy. With it, we become at home in the deep past and engaged with the deep future. We learn to “think like a planet.”

As for climate change… “Dazzled by our own creations,” Bjornerud writes, “we have forgotten that we are wholly embedded in a much older, more powerful world whose constancy we take for granted…. Averse to even the smallest changes, we have now set the stage for environmental deviations that will be larger and less predictable than any we have faced before.”

About Marcia Bjornerud

A professor of geology and environmental studies at Lawrence University in Wisconsin, Marcia Bjornerud is author of Timefulness: How Thinking Like a Geologist Can Help Save the World (2018) and Reading the Rocks: The Autobiography of the Earth (2005).

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The Long Now Foundation is a nonprofit established in 01996 to foster long-term thinking. Our work encourages imagination at the timescale of civilization — the next and last 10,000 years — a timespan we call the long now.

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