Earth vs. The Universe: Biosphere Wins

A reading of The Value of Biosphere Earth, part 4: "Earth vs. The Universe" by researcher/author, Chris Searles. In two short paragraphs, and with two simple graphics, Chris dismantles the idea that science fiction is real. In other words, We cannot "live" in any normal sense of the word, on another planet for the foreseeable future. Those planets with life-potential are so far away it will take thousands to millions of years to actually get the first probes there, with current technology. As far as Mars goes: it will be robots, not humans, who go to Mars for the foreseeable future. Anything else is just inhumane.

This series seeks to connect people of all backgrounds to a better understanding of what Earth's life-support system
is to us today -- Earth's planetary-scale composition of diverse-life and living ecosystems, Earth's biosphere. The research in this series then goes further to show how "Biosphere Earth"'s quality and integrity are Civilization's #1 priority. In this episode, author Chris Searles, synopsizes how Earth's biosphere compares that of +4,500 other planets scoped by NASA. Scroll down for program and citations.


Read The Value of Biosphere Earth, part 4: Earth vs. The Universe  

About Chris Searles


1 Earth from 3.75 billion miles away.
• Kooser. NASA remasters Voyager 1’s famous “Pale Blue Dot” image. CNET (2020).

2 Of the more than 4,500 planets surveyed.
• NASA. NASA Exoplanet Archive. Infrared Analysis and Processing Center, California Institute of Technology. [Retrieved 10/20/21].
• Planetary Habitability Laboratory. Habitable Exoplanets Catalog. University of Puerto Rico at Arecibo. [Retrieved 10/20/21].
• NASA. How many exoplanets are there? NASA Exoplanet Exploration. [Retrieved 8/17/20].

3 “No life beyond Earth has ever been found.”
• Kaufman. Life, Here and Beyond. Astrobiology at NASA. [Retrieved 08/17/20].

4 Mars, the dead planet.
• Wade, et al. The divergent fates of primitive hydrospheric water on Earth and Mars. Nature 552, 391–394 (2017).

5 Is more than 73,000 years away from Earth.
• Byrd. How long to travel to Alpha Centauri? EarthSky (2017).

6 Proxima Centauri b is a deathtrap, receives regular radiation blasts 14,000X stronger than Earth.
• Carter. Our Neighbors Are Probably Dead. The Closest Earth-Like Planet To Us Is Being Thrashed By 7-Second ‘Death Rays’. Forbes Magazine (2021).

7 Teegarden’s b is 12 light years from Earth.
• Press Release. Teegarden's Star: A Nearby System with two Potentially Habitable Worlds. Planetary Habitability Catalog, University of Puerto Rico at Arecibo (2018).

8 None of the "most Earth-like" planets have been proven to have rocks, water, or an atmosphere.
• Planetary Habitability Laboratory. Habitable Exoplanets Catalog. University of Puerto Rico at Arecibo. [Retrieved 10/20/21].

9 Top 5 Relocation Candidates.
Planets chosen according to Earth "similarity," according to NASA's data.
Top 5 planets. 
• Planetary Habitability Laboratory. Habitable Exoplanets Catalog. University of Puerto Rico at Arecibo. [Retrieved 10/20/21].
• Travel time estimates computed according to the formula: 1 Light Year requires +17,000 years of current technology space travel. Source: Byrd. How long to travel to Alpha Centauri? EarthSky (2017).
Proxima Centauri b. 
• Tasker. Does Proxima Centauri Create an Environment Too Horrifying for Life? NASA Astrobiology. (2018)
Teegarden’s b. 
• Exoplanet Catalog, Teegarden’s Star b. NASA Exoplanet Exploration (2019). catalog/7423/teegardens-star-b/
Trappist 1-d. 
• Press release. Study brings new climate models of small star TRAPPIST 1’s seven intriguing worlds. University of Washington (2018).
TOI 700-d. 
• Kazmierczak. NASA Planet Hunter Finds its 1st Earth-size Habitable-zone World. NASA Goddard Space Flight Center (2020).
K2-72 e. 
• Reference article. Astronomy: K2-72e. Handwiki. [Retrieved, 8/01/21]. 

10 11 reasons Mars will never be a life-support system.
  1. No oxygen. Reference article. Comparing the atmospheres of Mars and Earth. European Space Agency (2018).
  2. No atmosphere. Ibid.
  3. No macro life. Wade, et al. The divergent fates of primitive hydrospheric water on Earth and Mars. Nature 552, 391–394 (2017).
  4. No known micro life. Ibid.
  5. -81 F. Reference article. Mars Facts. NASA Mars Exploration Program. [Retrieved 8/01/21].
  6. Soils not conducive to life. Fackrell, et al. Development of Martian regolith and bedrock simulants. Icarus 354, 114055 (2021).
  7. Not enough carbon. Jakosky, Edwards. Inventory of CO2 available for terraforming Mars. Nat Astron 2, 634–639 (2018).
  8. Not enough water. Fedorova, et al. Stormy water on Mars: The distribution and saturation of atmospheric water during the dusty season. Science 367, 6475, 297-300 (2020).
  9. Deadly radiation, frequently. Webster, et al. Large Solar Storm Sparks Global Aurora and Doubles Radiation Levels on the Martian Surface. NASA 2017-254 (2017)., Williams (2016). How bad is the radiation on Mars? PHYS ORG (2016).
  10. Planet-covering dust storms, often. Malik. Epic Dust Storm on Mars Now Completely Covers the Red Planet. (2018).
  11. Earth’s biosphere took +4 billion years of growth to host humans. 
  • 3.5 billion years ago. Sim, et al. Role of APS reductase in biogeochemical sulfur isotope fractionation. Nat Commun 10, 44. (2019)
  • 4 billion years ago. Penninsi. Life may have originated on Earth 4 billion years ago, study of controversial fossils suggests. Science: Biology, Chemistry, Earth. doi:10.1126/science.aar7944 (2017). 
  • 4.47 billion years ago. Service, R. How an ancient cataclysm may have jump-started life on Earth. Science: Chemistry, doi:10.1126/science.aaw606 (2019).

11 “Not being a space-faring civilization would be sad.”
• Musk. Joe Rogan Experience #1169 - Elon Musk. YouTube PowerfulJRE (9/06/2018), 2:37:02.

12 Biospheric collapse is occurring now due to overconsumption and destruction of Earth’s biospheric resources.
• Plumptree, et al. Where Might We Find Ecologically Intact Communities? Front. For. Glob. Change, 4, 626635 (2021).
• Bradshaw, et al. Underestimating the Challenges of Avoiding a Ghastly Future. Front. Conserv. Sci. 1, 615419 (2021).
• Pultarova. The devastating wildfires of 2021 are breaking records and satellites are tracking it all. Space (2021).
• Leonhardt, Wu. Fighting the Dixie Fire. The New York Times (2021).
• Bologna, M., Aquino, G. Deforestation and world population sustainability: a quantitative analysis. Sci Rep 10, 7631 (2020).
• World Wildlife Fund. Living Planet Report 2020 (2020).
• Ceballos, Ehrlich, Raven. Vertebrates on the brink as indicators of biological annihilation and the sixth mass extinction. PNAS 117 (24) 13596-13602 (2020).
• Intergovernmental Science Policy Platform on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services. Global Assessment Report on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services. (2019).
• Steffen, et al. Trajectories of the Earth System in the Anthropocene. PNAS 115 (33) 8252-8259 (2018).
• Watson, et al. Protect the last of the wild. Nature 563, 27-30 (2018).
• Newbold, et al. Has land use pushed terrestrial biodiversity beyond the planetary boundary? A global assessment. Science 353, 6296, 288-291 (2016).

13 There more than enough carbon in biospheric rescue and restoration to avoid catastrophic climate change.
• Strassburg, et al. Global Priority Areas for Ecosystem Restoration. Nature 586, 724–729 (2020).
• Cook-Patton, et al. Mapping carbon accumulation potential from global natural forest regrowth. Nature 585, 545–550 (2020).
• Chapman, et al. Large climate mitigation potential from adding trees to agricultural lands. Global Change Biology 26, 8,4357-5465 (2020).
• Press Release. Economic Benefits of Protecting Earth’s Land and Ocean Outweigh Costs at Least 5-to-1. Wyss Campaign for Nature (2020).
• Clark, et al. Global food system emissions could preclude achieving the 1.5 and 2C climate change targets. Science 370, 6517, 705-708 (2020).
• Theurl, et al. Food systems in a zero-deforestation world: Dietary change more important than intensification for climate targets in 2050. Science of the Total Environment 735, 139353 (2020).
• Crusius. “Natural” Climate Solutions Could Speed Up Mitigation, With Risks. Earth’s Future 8, 4, e2019EF001310 (2020).
• McNicol, et al. Climate change mitigation potential in sanitation via off-site composting of human waste. Nat. Clim. Chang. 10, 545–549 (2020).
• Hawken, et al. Food, Agriculture and Land Use, from (2020).
• Dinnerstein, et al. A Global Deal for Nature: Guiding principles, milestones, and targets. Science Advances 5, 4, eaaw2869. (2019).
• Bastin, et al. The global tree restoration potential. Science 365, 6448, 76-79 (2019).
• Frechette, et al. A Global Baseline of Carbon Storage in Collective Lands. Rights and Resources Initiative (2018).
• Zomer, et al. Global Sequestration Potential of Increased Organic Carbon in Cropland Soils. Sci
Rep 7, 15554 (2017).
• Jewell. This brilliant floating farm actually heals the world’s oceans. The Climate Center (2017).
• Griscom, et al. Natural Climate Solutions. PNAS 114 (44) 11645-11650
• Poorter, L., Bongers, F., Aide, T. et al. Biomass resilience of Neotropical secondary
forests. Nature 530, 211–214 (2016).
• Krause-Jensen, D., Duarte, C. Substantial role of macroalgae in marine carbon sequestration. Nature
Geosci 9, 737–742 (2016).
• Chazdon, et al. Carbon sequstratoin potential of second growth forest regeneration in the Latin American
tropics. Sci Adv 2, 5, (2016). DOI: 10.1126/sciadv.1501639
• Chang, et al. Soil carbon sequestration potential for "Grain for Green" project in Loess Plateau, China.
Environ Manage. 48(6):1158-72 (2011).
• Gough, C. M. Terrestrial Primary Production: Fuel for Life. Nature Education Knowledge 3(10):28 (2011).
• NASA. Chlorophyll. NASA Earth Observatory (2002-2021).
• Field, et al. Primary Production of the Biosphere. Science. 281, 5374, 237-240 (1998).


PROGRAM, Earth vs. The Universe

0:00 Intro: "Let's set the record straight."
  • "Space" = the extremely-vast nothingness between extremely-dead and deadly other planets. 
1:45 Paragraph 1: There's only one life-support system.
3:45 Paragraph 2: Earth-bound reality.
5:25 About the graphics; G#1: Top 5 Candidates for Earth's Replacement: "habitable" and "similarity" are misnomers
8:00 G#2: 11 Reasons Mars Will Never Be a Life-Support System for Humans"
12:30 Wrap up
13:00 Conclusion: Biosphere Earth > The Universe


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