Document Type

Article

Publication Date

6-7-2019

Department

Philosophy and Religion

Abstract

Current calls to protect the Martian environment with “Planetary Parks” maintain environmental merit. However, they lack a sufficiently urgent timeframe for initiating protection as well as a robust scientific method for the establishment of noteworthy Martian natural landmarks as natural reserves. In response, if we return to the seminal environmental preservation teachings of Aldo Leopold and John Muir, we encounter the importance of grounding Martian preservation efforts on the fundamental environmental science method of a base-datum of normality, or baseline ecology. This method establishes natural reserves that feature both minimal human interference as well as known origination dates, thereby providing longitudinal environmental control samples for scientific use. Applied before humans appear on Mars, preserved baseline ecologies thereby aid our scientific understanding of human environmental impacts, both now and well into the future, while they enhance a variety of other outcomes in terms of Martian protection. However, the baseline ecology method requires that, through international agreements, we establish these reserves as quickly as possible and certainly before humans arrive on the planet.

Publication Title

Space Policy

Available for download on Monday, June 07, 2021

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