Tuesday, April 22, 2008

The Earth Abides Forever

Man does not have the power to destroy the Earth. The Earth may be a small rock in a vast universe but it is still large enough to survive whatever we pitiful humans can do to her.
Mankind is not so sturdy. Humans are fragile bags of cells in a saline solution. We need the Earth to convert the sun's energy into food. We need the Earth's cycles to give us water to drink. The Earth is our home but we are parasites upon her not the rulers we pride ourselves to be.

The Earth has survived for countless eons and will survive for many more. As long as the sun shines and there is hydrogen oxide (water) the Earth will be a cradle for life. But the Earth does not care if that life is Trilobite or Sauropod or Homo Sapien.

We can continue to play with the Earth's climate. The Earth will change and abide. We can make the Earth inhospitable to our species but life will find a way. Perhaps some future species will develop civilization enough to ponder over the fossils mankind leaves behind. Perhaps they will marvel at a species so stupid, so arrogant as to foul the only planet we can call home.


Anonymous said...

One of my favorite books:
Earth Abides by George R. Stewart.

Loren Heal said...

Something else for us to agree on: even if (and we disagree on the likelihood of this) Man can make Earth inhospitable for himself, I don't think we can erase life from it. Apart from intentionally siphoning off the atmosphere (and the new atmosphere which would replace it), it would take quite a bit of intentional work to arieform Earth.

Even boiling off the oceans would not do it. We'd have to split the planet into chunks, and probably drop the chunks into the Sun -- and be sure we got them all, before dropping ourselves into the Sun afterward.

Alternatively, it might be possible, continuing the morbid fantasy, to cover the surface of the planet with magma.

In all of these scenarios, the problem is being sure the deed is fully done, and that the last one to die doesn't change his mind or even accidentally leave his own carcass behind to sustain bacteria of decomposition.

I think it may be unlikely enough to call impossible, since it would take the cooperation of too great an army of conspirators.