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In a world home to more than seven billion people, humanity has become the dominant agent of global environmental change. The Science Museum of Minnesota, in partnership with University of Minnesota's Institute on the Environment and National Center for Earth-surface Dynamics, has created exhibits, web resources and public programs to help a wide range of audiences appreciate three main messages regarding humanity and the planet that we all share:
We dominate the planet. Humanity now surpasses natural processes in creating global environmental change and has set in motion changes that will endure far into the future.
We have tremendous assets. Earth now is home to the smartest, healthiest, wealthiest, best educated, most peaceful, creative, innovative, and connected populace in history.
We must innovate now. We need to be highly innovative technologically, socially, culturally and politically if we are to thwart undesirable planetary changes and adapt to those now underway.
While the understanding of the drivers and consequences of global environmental change will continue to advance with additional scientific research, the fundamental premise remains sound that humanity is profoundly altering the planet. This premise is supported by a large, robust and expanding compilation of scientific evidence. The future of Earth will be determined by human decision making, either by default or by design. What is the future we all want?
The Future Earth Initiative is funded by the National Science Foundation. Learn More