Operating Our Spaceship Earth

  • Hidefumi Imura


This chapter discusses how to see and understand complex environmental phenomena by focusing on the finite size of the Earth and its limited availability of natural resources. Spaceship Earth is complex, and running it properly is much easier said than done. One reason for this is that it requires an enormous amount of knowledge and creativity to understand the relationships between human activities and the environment. Another reason is that, although humans are attentive when it comes to short-term profits, they are not so good at thinking and taking action on matters that may affect the distant future, on timescales longer than an individual life. Thus, it is necessary to convince people on matters of this type by presenting things to them in easy-to-understand terms, explaining the need to act and the benefits of taking action, and providing an accounting of advantages and disadvantages. To help with these explanations a variety of model-based computer simulations, cost–benefit analyses, and other studies have been developed, but not everyone will be convinced even with such tools. This is why, more than ever, there is a need today for environmental systems studies that evaluate the issues from a variety of perspectives.


Chemical Oxygen Demand Kyoto Protocol Environmental Space Emission Reduction Target Cultivate Land Area 
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Copyright information

© Springer Japan 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  • Hidefumi Imura
    • 1
  1. 1.Yokohama City UniversityYokohamaJapan

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