Recent Submissions

  • Dumb Growth and the Biosphere 

    Cairns, John (National Academy of Sciences, 2014-01-22)
    Dumb growth is defined as any growth that is unsustainable on a finite planet. Growth in population and consumption of finite resources are not sustainable practices and have already damaged the biospheric life support ...
  • Eco-Ethics and Sustainablility Ethics to Protect the Biospheric Life Support System 

    Cairns, John (National Academy of Sciences, 2014-01-22)
    Eco-ethics, used in the local and regional context, are considered the essential foundation for sustainable use of the planet and consists of a series of value judgments to which humanity is committed. Sustainability ethics, ...
  • Ecotoxicology in an Era of Rapid Environmental Change 

    Cairns, John (Virginia Tech, 2014-01-22)
    Ecotoxicology involves testing that uses attributes at higher levels of biological organization as endpoints. Ecotoxicologists have been accustomed to a relatively modest rate of environmental and ecosystem change. However, ...
  • Biospheric Health and Integrity: The Top Priority for Humankind 

    Cairns, John (National Academy of Sciences, 2014-01-22)
    All life on Earth depends on the biospheric life support system to provide both natural capital, or resources, and ecosystem services. Why, then, is the human economy, a subset of the biosphere, given the highest priority ...
  • The Sword of Damocles and the Biosphere 

    Cairns, John (National Academy of Sciences, 2014-01-22)
    The tale of the sword of Damocles can be used to describe the sword hanging by a thread over humankind with the damage it is doing to the present biosphere. The sixth biosphere, or the current biosphere, is experiencing ...
  • Slowing Down Biospheric Change 

    Cairns, John (National Academy of Sciences, 2014-01-22)
    In the latter part of the 20th century and the beginning of the 21st century, rapid climate change and damage to the biosphere have increased the risks to Homo sapiens. So much harm has already been done to the biosphere ...
  • Monitoring Biospheric Health and Integrity 

    Cairns, John (National Academy of Sciences, 2014-01-22)
    The biosphere serves as the life support system for Earth and also is the basis of the human economy; therefore it should be maintained in optimal condition. In order for this maintenance to occur, a response team must be ...
  • Biospheric Feedback Loops and Rapid Global Climate Change 

    Cairns, John (National Academy of Sciences, 2014-01-22)
    A positive feedback loop makes an existing process speed up while a negative feedback loop decreases the impact of an existing process. A source emits carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases while a sink retain and stores. ...