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Let me tell you a little story. A story about a planet named Earth.
We live on this Earth, and we have been for a very long time. It is our home, a small, fragile haven, soaring in orbit around our sun, within our galaxy, in the giant, seemingly infinite expanse of the cosmos.
In this absolutely incomprehensibly large universe, we, the human race, have but one home, and it is here, on our vanishingly small planet of a measly 196,939,900 square miles (316,944,046 Square km). Without the Earth? All of what we were, what we are, and what we will eventually become, will be lost, forever. We, as a species, as humans, will never be seen again. We will be a long lost relic, which lasted only the blink of an eye, in the eternity of the universe.
And what are we doing to this fragile little blue and green home of ours? What do we do to protect it?
We extort it, we mercilessly, relentlessly, recklessly strip it of its resources, with no regard for its well-being, or the well-being of the generations of the future.
every single year, the volcanoes of the earth spew out an estimated 500 million tons of CO2 into the atmosphere. That sounds like a lot, but it's not, for we humans, spew out a staggering 30 billion tons of CO2, every year. Where does all of this Carbon Dioxide come from? It comes from our industry, founded entirely on the burning of coal to fuel our economy, to let the pistons keep pumping, the machine keep churning. Our planet's CO2 levels are at an unprecedented high, in fact, the planet Earth has not seen CO2 levels this high, for many millions of years.
As the air heats up, so too does the oceans, and as the oceans heat up, so too does the polar ice caps which rest on the north and south poles.
Ice is the most reflective surface on our planet. It reflects sunlight back into the universe, relieving some of the relentless onslaught of energy that the sun rains down on us without end. In contrast, the open ocean is the most absorbent surface on the planet. It stores the energy from the sun, using it to heat itself up even further, which causes more ice to melt, which results in more open ocean being revealed.
Eventually, ocean temperature will be so high that no ice can form anywhere on the planet, and this will have extremely turbulent consequences:
Shore line cities, such as New York, San Fransisco, Paris, London, and a multitude of other, high output cities, will be under water, completely submerged by the swelling tides, turning them into modern Atlantis'.
Permafrost will melt as well. The millions of years old ice that never melted. It contains an abundance of old, long dead biological matter from largely plant life, such as dried leaves and old roots, from long gone trees and other fauna. If this permafrost melts? It'll be like unplugging your freezer; the ice will no longer be an effective seal for this biological matter, and it will slowly start to rot, releasing not only an estimated amount of CO2, substantial to doubling the yearly CO2 output, but also high levels of Methane, another potent green house gas.
All of these consequences of our burning coal for energy will eventually heat our planet to such a degree that we'll turn it from a world of paradise, into a world of Hell.
Eons ago, when the Solar system was newer, Venus was a planet expected to have looked a lot like Earth does today. It most certainly had oceans, and it may very well have been a second cradle to nurture life. However, run-away greenhouse effects eventually heated this planet up, and without any escape for the heat, and losing its oceans to the cosmos, thereby having no oceans to absorb Carbon into? The volcanic eruptions of CO2 gradually built up, until finally, what little sunlight managed to penetrate the thick cloud cover of Carbon Dioxide, would no longer be able to escape.
This heated Venus up so much, that you can, today, put a block of led on the surface, and it will melt.
Venera 13 was a Soviet made lander which touched down on Venus on March 1st, 1982. It transmitted data, including pictures, for 2 hours, 30 minutes longer than its designers anticipated, before the sweltering heat fried its circuits, despite them being refrigerated!
Our actions are rapidly deteriorating the sensitive balance that our planet has, permitting us to live comfortably on the surface.
So what can be done to undo this damage? The answer is in the text I just wrote above: Solar Power.
Every single hour, the sun bombards the entire planet with enough energy, to provide our entire global civilization with electricity, for a full year. If we could just harvest a mere fraction of that energy, we would be able to provide clean, CO2 free energy for the entire planet, even where there currently is no energy available!
We could store the excess electricity gathered to recharge solar powered cars over night, or send it over wires to the far reaches of the Northern/Southern hemisphere where the sun sometimes won't rise for months! That is if they managed to use up all the energy they collected over the opposite 3 months of sunlight that came before it.
Electricity would be largely free! Corporations would no longer have to pay for electricity to power their businesses, they'd only have to pay for upkeep of the solar panels to ensure they're functioning properly! Place solar panels on every factory's roof tops, and they'd have all the energy they'd ever need!
CO2 would be eliminated, at least our finger prints would be, and over time, the planet would return to its natural state, to it's natural respiration of inhaling CO2, and exhaling Oxygen for us to breathe.
As it is right now, the Earth is being filled with CO2 faster than it can absorb it, and we must rectify this, lest we wish to see our one, fragile home in the cosmos, to be destroyed. Not by an outside hand, or natural disaster, but by it's own inhabitants.
A healthy child would never harm his or her mother. So why, everyone, are we harming ours?
Let's make a difference. Let's let everyone know how dire this situation is, and how easy it would be to fix it! Let us steer away from selfish acts of self importance and self absorption. Let us come together as one, to protect one thing, the ONE, undeniable, irrevocable thing that we all have in common: Our home, the Earth.
- August 18
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