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NASA distances itself from end of civilization study it funded

Earth as seen by Apollo 17
Earth as seen by Apollo 17

According to a March 20, 2014 story in, NASA has “clarified” its position on a study the space agency funded that concluded that civilization is doomed because of excessive use of resources and the disparity between rich and poor.

“NASA officials released this statement on the study today (March 20): ‘A soon-to-be published research paper, 'Human and Nature Dynamics (HANDY): Modeling Inequality and Use of Resources in the Collapse or Sustainability of Societies' by University of Maryland researchers Safa Motesharrei and Eugenia Kalnay, and University of Minnesota's Jorge Rivas, was not solicited, directed or reviewed by NASA. It is an independent study by the university researchers utilizing research tools developed for a separate NASA activity. As is the case with all independent research, the views and conclusions in the paper are those of the authors alone. NASA does not endorse the paper or its conclusions.’”

The study has run into considerable criticism for its political assumptions and its predictions of doom should draconian measures not be taken to tamp down on resource consumption and decrease the gap between rich and poor, NASA has come under some criticism for funding a study that does not seem to be within its mandate of exploring space and not seizing on its conclusions, not matter how flawed, as a reason to access abundant resources in space