Popular Science USA – Summer 2019
English | 132 pages | True PDF | 128.6 MB

WHEN I WAS A KID, THE water cycle blew my mind. I think it was fifth grade science when I learned about the phenomenon through song (perhaps you did too), a musical description
of how our planet turns moisture from everywhere into the water we drink. I remember it with a honky-tonk swing that I probably imagined. I’m absolutely sure about one thing: After the lesson, I walked up to the teacher to double- check the facts. “You mean we’ve got all the water we’re ever gonna get?” Yep, he replied. Kaboom. Worldview obliterated.This still amazes me. And water
is just one of many resources we’ll never get more of. From the International Space Station to your flat-screen TV to carrots and horses and mason jars, all our planetary riches come from
the same pile of ingredients that smashed together during the creation of our solar system. (OK, fine, we do get some additional material from meteorites every so often, but we’re not making cheeseburgers out of that stuff.)So how much do we actually have, and how many of us can our world support? That’s a question Eleanor tackles on page 40. The rest of the pdf magazine is comprised of origin stories and cautionary tales because we cannot take our
finite resources for granted. And to be real honest with ourselves, it sure seems like we do. We’ll need to change course immediately to avoid creating a planet that we can’t survive. Otherwise, we won’t be exploring space out of a sense of adventure; we’ll be fleeing a broken world that spat us out. Let’s leave that narrative for science fiction. If it feels a little hypocritical to be reading this in a paper magazine, don’t worry; that’s on our minds too. Using ink from renewable resources and postconsumer paper, we’re working hard to make Popular Science as sustainable as possible. More than anything, though, we’re committed to creating a magazine that you’ll want to keep for years. We’re not in the business of making trash.