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April 19, 2022

Scott Denning answers: Is it possible to heal the damage we have done to the Earth?

Professor Scott Denning wrote this piece for The Conversation, as part of the Curious Kids series for children of all ages. Colorado State University is a contributing institution to The Conversation, an independent collaboration between editors and academics that provides informed news analysis and commentary to the general public.

Sometimes it may seem that humans have altered the Earth beyond repair. But our planet is an incredible system in which energy, water, carbon and so much else flows and nurtures life. It is about 4.5 billion years old and has been through enormous changes.

At some points in Earth’s history, fires burned over large areas. At others, much of it was covered with ice. There also have been mass extinctions that wiped out nearly every living thing on its surface.

Our living planet is incredibly resilient and can heal itself over time. The problem is that its self-healing systems are very, very slow. The Earth will be fine, but humans’ problems are more immediate.

Read the full article, “Is it possible to heal the damage we have already done to the Earth?

Image at top: The Earth viewed from the Apollo 8 lunar mission on Dec. 24, 1968. Credit: NASA