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Williamstown - 1969 

En 1969, à l'instigation de la NASA, de jeunes chercheurs et ingénieurs américains et européens, la plupart âgés de moins de 40 ans, futurs acteurs des plus belles pages de la recherche spatiale, se sont réunis à Williamstown pour discuter de leurs projets. Voici un extrait de leurs conclusions visant à mettre l'outil spatial au service de l'environnement

 

At the exponentially increasing rate at which we are plundering the earth of its ressources and befouling the environment in which we live, it is extremely difficult to predict what life will be like ine the 21st century. However, there are a few things of which we can be absolutely sure:

 

  1. The planet earth is the only home for the human race for at least several centuries to come.

  1. If the quality of life is not to decline drastically within 100 yr, then we must either limit the population or attain a much more thorough understanding of this earth on which we must live. It is imperative for us to understand the circulation system of the oceans, on which we will depend much more for our food, and the processes in the formation of earth crust, from which we tear the materials to build our evermore complex technology.

  1. The attainment of this improved understanding will be long and difficult task, with some trends we can now predict, but also with many twits and turns we cannot forsee. But, we do know that we now have at hand several tools to help mightily in this task: an increasingly accurate and elaborate technology, a ferment of ecxiting ideas in several related areas of geophysical research that are attracting brillinat young people, and a management capability in NASA that could well be turned to matters of social benefit.

It is difficult to see why anyone who cares two cents about his own great-grandchildren (let alone the rest of the world) does not agree we should get on with the job now.

Voir le rapport complet : THE TERRESTRIAL ENVIRONMENT: SOLID-EARTH AND OCEAN PHYSI