Karl Schroeder: Hey, Let’s Colonize Earth!

Over at WorldChanging, sf author Karl Schroeder talks about Colonizing Planet Earth:

if you ask where we should have been building our cities over the last century or so, the answer is in the Gobi desert, and the Sahara, and the barest and emptiest rocky plains we could find.

We should have been colonizing Earth as though it were a planet with no ecosystem resources to exploit.

Look at the difference between what we do when we settle a new area on Earth, compared to what we’d do on a planet like Mars. On Earth we’d take advantage of the free air and water, ready-made soils provided by local fauna, pollination provided by the local bees, all to minimize the costs of building and maintaining our colonies. This process is documented expertly by Jared Diamond in Guns, Germs and Steel; he points out that the conquest of the Americas was really the invasion of one ecosystem by another, rather than a simple matter of moving human populations. North America is the greatest success story of European expansionism because its ecology was most similar to that of Europe, more than for any political or social factors.”

Perhaps we coud colonize the set of the new Flash Gordon since there does not seem to be signs of intelligent life over there. [Ba-dum crash!]

[via BoingBoing]

2 thoughts on “Karl Schroeder: Hey, Let’s Colonize Earth!”

  1. North America is the greatest success story of European expansionism because its ecology was most similar to that of Europe, more than for any political or social factors.”

    He must have read a different Jared Diamond called Guns, Germs and Steel.

    The question Diamond posses in the book is why wasn’t it the Native Americans who colonized Europe rather then the other way around.

    And his answer is not that Europe had a similar ecology to North America. It had to do with Europe and Asia having a larger area with a similar climate then North America so it could draw upon a bigger base of animals and plants to domesticate, a bigger base of brain power (more people living in similar climates then North America) and because of the other two were able to create cities where diseases could develop and people could develop immunities.

    Actually the statement:

    the conquest of the Americas was really the invasion of one ecosystem by another

    seems to contradict the other.

    I don’t know if this guy is just a good BSer throwing stuff in he hopes would stick, or has a point and just isn’t that good of essay writer.

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