Inside Out

Earth Day

"The Blue Marble" photograph of Earth, taken by the Apollo 17 mission. The Arabian peninsula, Africa and Madagascar lie in the upper half of the disc, whereas Antarctica is at the bottom.

Image Credit: NASA

The Blue Marble” as taken on December 7, 1972, by the crew of the Apollo 17 spacecraft en route to the Moon at a distance of about 29,000 kilometers (18,000┬ámi). It shows Africa, Antarctica, and the Arabian Peninsula.


In celebration of Earth Day, I watched “The Martian”, as it portrays the ingenuity, curiosity, passion and compassion of mankind. It also begs the question, why do we look for other places to live in the universe? Shouldn’t we rather take good care of this one good planet we are on?

Today was also the March for Science, very appropriate at a time, when science is questioned or worse ignored by a growing portion of politicians and the general public. This is puzzling to me. Scientists spend years of their lives in search of new frontiers, often times at the expense of personal and financial gains. Why on Earth, would the general lay person dare to contradict scientific findings? Science is so complex these days that we should at least acknowledge scientific findings. The ethical, political, and financial concerns are a whole different story, but they should not confuse the scientific data.

When we are sick, we go see the doctor (most of us). We always can choose to do or not do what the doctor ordered. That’s different from saying the doc is a hack.

Science is not a hoax.

Happy Earth Day.


“I have to science the sh-t out of this.”

Mark Watney, Space Pirate

Standard
Inside Out

What’s on my mind?

A plane has disappeared in the ocean. All the Search & Rescue teams have found so far is floating garbage in size larger than Texas. Global warming forecasts are becoming more dire and very little action is taken by our governments. I know this is a highly polarized topic with little or no middle ground. So why bother writing about it? Hasn’t it all been said and disputed already? Maybe.

I don’t know much about biology or meteorology but I believe this planet cannot sustain an exponentially growing world population. It’s that simple. I think our politicians, economists, philosophers, religious and spiritual leaders need to come up with a plan that does not include exponential growth in our future.

Maybe we forget sometimes that Earth is not an infinite, open system, that can provide food and water for an unlimited number of people, and serve as a garbage dump at the same time.

What is the number of people Earth can sustain? I don’t know.
How much fossil fuel do we have? I don’t know.

What happens, when we run out of that energy source? I don’t know.

If a scientist had the answers, would we believe and act accordingly?

I don’t know. I think not.

Standard