Tuesday, April 24, 2007

EARTH DAY POST

In the spirit of the earth, I wanted to take time out to draw a quote from the book "Pale Blue Dot" by Carl Sagan written 1994
Amazon /// Carl Sagan wiki

The book analyzes our planet, and other planets and how the Apollo program put our view of earth in prespective and the future of the space program.

This quote is taken from a chapter about the prespective of another life form coming across our planet in the solar system and analyzing it over a long period of time...because space is about long periods of time...

"By this point your expedition to the Earth must be considered highly successful. You've characterized the enviroment; you've detected life; you've found manifestations of intelligent beings' you may even have identified the dominant species, the one transfixed with geometry and rectilinearity. Surely this planet is worth a longer and more detailed study. That's why you've now inserted your spacecraft into orbit around the Earth.

Looking down on the planet, you uncover new puzzles. All over the Earth, smokestacks are pouring carbon dioxide and toxic chemicals into the air. So are the dominant beings who run on the roadways. But carbon dioxide is a greenhouse gas. As you watch, the of it in the atmosphere increases steadily, year after year. The same is true of methane and other greenhouse gases. If this keeps up, the temperature of the planet is going to increase. Spectroscopically, you discover another class of molecules being injected into the air, the chlorofluorocarbons. Not only are they greenhouses gases, but they are also devastatingly effective in destroying the protective ozone layer.

You look more closely at the center of the South American continent, which (as you know by now) is a vast rain forest. Every night you see thousands of fires. In the daytime, you find the region covered with smoke. Over the years, all over the planet, you find less and less forest and more and more scrub desert.

You look down on the large island of Madagascar. The rivers are colored brown, generating a vast stain in the surrounding ocean. This is topsoil being washed out to sea at a rate so high that in another few decades there will be none left. The same thing is happening, you note, at the mouths of rivers all over the planet.
But no topsoil means no agriculture. In another century, what will they eat? What will they breathe? How will they cope with a changing and more dangerous enviroment?

From your orbital perspective, you can see that something has unmistakably gone wrong. The dominant organisms, whoever they are (who have gone to so much trouble to rework the surface) are simultaneously destroying their ozone layer and their forests, eroding their topsoil, and performing massive, uncontrolled experiments on the planet's climate. Haven't they noticed what's happening? Are they oblivious to their fate? Are they unable to work together on behalf of the enviroment that sustains them all?

Perhaps, you think, it's time to reassess the conjecture that there's intelligent life on Earth."


HAPPY EARTH DAY