TED Conversations

Peter Emer

The Lil Project

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Where will we be in 2050?

Our population is rising and we are using more and more raw resources. And we do not have an endless supply of these materials and eventually they will run out. My question is that would we have adapted in time to face with that potential catastrophe or will we see a turn around in civilization as we know it? The UN has been accurate in the past when it comes to predicting the global populations, and it has predicted the population to reach 9.1 billion. Can earth as it is sustain such a number considering the rate that we we use our natural resources that are very essential to our survival?


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    Jul 30 2012: I came to this conversation expecting to link to two recent TED videos, and I find that you've already chosen the very same videos in your topic. Outstanding!

    Beyond that, let me suggest that we need not rely on Earth alone for our resources. They are readily available in near-Earth space. For further reading, I highly recommend

    Mining the Sky, by John S. Lewis
    The High Frontier, by Gerard K. O'Neill
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      Jul 30 2012: Now that is what I call helpful. For some reason my thumbs up is not working but you shall have one as soon as it is and I will seek out these books. Thanks, Lawren!
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      Jul 30 2012: Hey Lawren, i completely agree the idea of mining out of space(: But i have always wondered if we can pull that off in time. I know technologically we are advancing exponentially and we will continue making progress. And with advances like Space Port America, its only a matter of time. But can we pull it off? Just a little side note...we can also pursue this on Mars and potentially making it habitable. I dont remember the link, but there was this special documentary about how we can do that and it would take 15-20 years to give it at atmosphere that can sustain basic life.

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