URGENT EXPLORATIONS: Doing Our Homework – Lesson 2: Environment


Not only is it a “blue marble” it is also a blue marvel.  Our home, planet Earth, is an amazing confluence of the sciences (biology, chemistry, physics) and life.  Right now, it is the only planet we are certain of that produces and supports life.   The millions of other Earth-sized, potentially habitable planets in the universe are, as yet, unproven hosts. That seems to me to signal an important reality.  If we hope to continue and progress as a civilization we need to take special care of our home.  To become homeless in this galaxy and the universe would be brief and most likely painful. Additionally, if we truly wish to reach out and explore our surrounding solar system and maybe our galaxy, we must carefully preserve and protect our home base. In the broad sense we are talking about our environment; lesson 2 in our homework assignment.

Environment:

Extreme views on both sides of the issue claim either the planet is dying or that we are being misled by overzealous liberals who twist science to fit their arguments.  Certainly some of the serious levels of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere are a by-product of the bellowing arguments of politicians, lobbyists and serious environmentalists. As we know, despite sound evidence, critical warnings and appeals, we continue to steadfastly work to destroy our only home.  At the rate this is happening, we may kill Earth before we ever succeed in terraforming (if that is even an effective method) the Moon, Mars or some other distant solar system moon.

Put simply, this behavior has to stop, and stopping it will take more than the earnest and sincere efforts of the “Green Corps.”  We must evolve an entirely new lifestyle that enables us to continue to progress as a spacefaring civilization while doing our utmost to restore, preserve and protect our blue marvel.  All of this can be a very positive activity and not the negative, and destructive measures that many large corporations, misguided politicians, and equally misguided citizens proclaim.  It is an exploratory challenge.  Industry must find new ways to produce, politicians must return to representing we-the-people instead of big business, and we all must take time and effort to turn around our misguided citizens.  None of these are easy tasks, but each hour that we ignore the challenge, our wish to explore beyond our home drifts further away from our realization.

This is not just about alternative energies or global warming. It is about oceans that are shedding the precious life they contain, it is about greenness that gives way to greed, and it is about humankind that continues to abuse both itself and its environment.  It is also about a civilization that has strong desires to reach out and explore where no human has ventured before.  In order to do that we must first venture forth here on Earth.  Industry must explore and develop new ways to produce in a non-poisonous way. Politicians must unite (gasp) and move to give both laws and incentives that encourage both civil and public entities to actively pursue safe environmental practices. Equally important, we citizens of Earth must reach out to educate and support our fellow humans in their efforts to help preserve and protect our blue marvel.  Not easy tasks in any venue, but vital.  If we fail, we lose and in losing we go nowhere and we wither away as one more failed civilization in the universe.  Oh yes, I know right now we are not sure there are more of us, but science pretty well certifies that there is, and if it is at or has been at the stage we are in now, then it may have prospered and is awaiting our visit, or it may have failed and no longer exists. We should strive for that meet up, not our disappearance.

Am I preaching this with crossed fingers?  I am definitely not.  I no longer use a vehicle, I walk, run or use public transportation. I strive to cut my carbon footprint further by carefully recycling and by not using energy resources when I do not need them.  Just think about all of us, globally doing these very personal acts to support and save our environment.  Very worthwhile and important, but not enough to save our home.  Everything, globally must change, but it must change positively and with clear progress.  We accomplish nothing if all we do is shake our fists, scream and holler and blame big industry while we drive away in out big, big gas burner vehicle.  If we shake our fists, let it be in encouragement for industry that take steps to grow bigger and environmentally safer.  If we scream and shout let it be in praise of every citizen that is taking direct steps to lower their personal carbon footprint. If we place blame, let it be on ourselves for nodding in agreement and doing nothing.

I will never have the opportunity to explore space, even a quick trip to our Moon, but should that deter me from making sure that future generations have that opportunity?  As I have written throughout this Explorolgy blog, we are mandated by our very existence to explore.  In order to explore we first must preserve our launch point – planet Earth. Will you start today?  If you do, take time to hug a tree, it helps supply your breath of life.

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