How to pilot "Spaceship Earth"?
Dr Ralph K. Rosenbaum (IRTA, Spain) explained why Life Cycle Analysis gives a broader picture on environmental impacts than carbon footprint, which focuses on a selected problem :
Food production has major impacts on terrestrial biodiversity, water scarcity, fish stocks, soil quality, toxicity of emissions to air, nutrient cycles and climate change. As human population grows at rapid pace, these environmental impacts must be monitored and reduced.
Inventory of all impact categories is included in Life Cyle Analysis methodology :
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Earth is like a spaceship, inhabitants are all astronauts. Earth is a “mechanical” vehicle that requires maintenance, otherwise it will malfunction. We cannot re-supply the resources we have on board. Like the complicated cockpit of a space shuttle, human population needs sophisticated tools such as LCA to safely pilot Earth for a long journey.