How much of the Solar System must we leave as a preserve?


The latest to worry the wacko left. Overuse of the Solar System. How soon before the kiddies in school start being driven to protest this activity?

Space Mining Could Ruin Our Solar System If We Don’t Establish Protected Places Now, Researchers Warn.

A study finds that it is in peril of overexploitation:

The study, published April 16 in the journal Acta Astronautica, makes a case for designating 85% of our solar system a protected “wilderness” akin to Earth’s national parks, leaving just one-eighth of eligible planets, moons and asteroids free to be mined or developed by human interests.

According to the study,humans could deplete the solar system of all of its water, iron and other mineable resources in a matter of centuries — potentially leaving the solar system a dried-up wasteland in as little as 500 years.

“Then, we are done,” warn the authors.


From Hubble


Solar System resources are vast, but finite.
Normal exponential growth suggests 400 years before exhaustion is approached.
Prudent to adopt a “1/8 Principle” as a tripwire: “Do not exploit >1/8 of solar system”.
Rest should be left as Wilderness.
Many ethical and practical questions must then be dealt with.

“How much of the Solar System should we reserve as wilderness, off-limits to human development?” We make a general argument that, as a matter of fixed policy, development should be limited to one eighth, with the remainder set aside. We argue that adopting a “one-eighth principle” is far less restrictive, overall, than it might seem. One eighth of the iron in the asteroid belt is more than a million times greater than all of the Earth’s currently estimated iron ore reserves, and it may well suffice for centuries. A limit of some sort is necessary because of the problems associated with exponential growth.

For the convoluted math wander over to the “journal” link Acta Astronautica,

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