Wednesday, April 22, 2015


Three quotes for Earth Day 2015:

“Earth processes that seem trivially slow in human time can accomplish stunning work in geologic time. Let the Colorado River erode its bed by 1/100th of an inch each year (about the thickness of one of your fingernails.) Multiply it by six million years, and you’ve carved the Grand Canyon. Take the creeping pace of which the continents move (about two inches per year on average, or roughly as fast as your fingernails grow). Stretch that over thirty million years, and a continent will travel nearly 1,000 miles. Stretch that over a few billions years, and continents will have time to wander from the tropics to the poles and back, crunching together to assemble super-continents, break apart into new configurations- and do all of that again several times over. Deep time, it could be said, is Nature’s way of giving the Earth room for its history. The recognition of deep time might be geology’s paramount contribution to human knowledge.”
― Keith Meldahl, Rough-Hewn Land: A Geologic Journey from California to the Rocky Mountains.

“I realized up there that our planet is not infinite. It's fragile. That may not be obvious to a lot of folks, and it's tough that people are fighting each other here on Earth instead of trying to get together and live on this planet. We look pretty vulnerable in the darkness of space.”
― Alan Shepard, astronaut.

“He who knows Mars, Venus, Mercury or Jupiter very well will also know very well how very precious our earth is!”
― Mehmet Murat ildan.


mike said...

Happy ED to one and all! Our modern, abstracted, human existence has removed from our consciousness most of the natural phenomena inherent in Gaia. We only notice the natural processes that interfere with our lives and cause havoc: pestilence, disease, weather, quakes, floods, landslides, sink-holes, etc. We first-world inhabitants have developed a "humanism" similar to your post yesterday regarding sexism. I'm sure the Earth will get along just fine without us, though it may take a couple million years to repair the damages caused by our stay.

Paganism-pantheism seems to be a requirement for humans to fully embrace our position on terra firma and the relationship with the universe: all things are one. Our self-conceit of superior positioning by denying our co-existence amongst all of nature is our own demise.

"Pantheism is mentioned in a Papal encyclical in 2009 and a statement on New Year's Day in 2010, criticizing pantheism for denying the superiority of humans over nature and 'seeing the source of man‍‍ '​‍s salvation in nature.'"

“The ultimate test of man's conscience may be his willingness to sacrifice something today for future generations whose words of thanks will not be heard.” Gaylord Nelson

mike (again) said...

BTW - I'm on a crusade to support our monarch butterflies and today being ED is perfect for my plea! I have copious butterfly weed and dill planted to support a very large, hungry bunch of monarch caterpillars...about 500 square feet of these two plants. I've done this for the past nine years. Dill is not usually listed as a source, but I can attest that monarch caterpillars eat dill weed, as do swallowtails.

Through 2013, I always had many adult monarchs passing through and laying eggs. The caterpillars would strip the plants bare of leaves, usually in March. Last year and this year, the adult monarchs migrating north out of Mexico and laying eggs on my plants has been extremely sparse. Only a couple this year. Something is terribly wrong with the monarch population! Most of my dill weed has matured, turned brown, and gone to seed, so I'll be pulling it this week. My butterfly weed has put-on fresh leaves and will thrive for the coming months, so any monarch stragglers bearing caterpillars will have a food source.

I encourage anyone with the dirt to plant dill, butterfly weed, and-or milkweed, whichever is appropriate for your area. Plant native plants to support the bees and other butterflies in your neck of the woods.

There are several websites offering seeds for a donation and-or cost of postage that one can find by searching "free milkweed seeds". Many commercial seed companies offer a selection of milkweed and butterfly weed seeds.

Twilight said...

mike ~ Earth Day greetings to you too! It's a glum time in prospect though, as you've outlined. We simply have to appreciate, even more, what we have right now.

Well done on the butterfly front, mike! We seldom see a butterfly in our yards. Could be because we've nothing to tempt them of course. Due to the watering ban here it'd be a waste of time trying to grow butterfly-tempting plants. By early summer things here will be dry as a bone once again. :-(

Anyjazz makes sure our bird visitors (and we have many) always have food, buys it by big sackfuls for 'em, and keeps the several feeders stocked.
Once there's no rain to replenish the bird bath we shall need to be crafty about filling it -and hope nobody's watching the back yard!
We usually have a timed fine hose playing into the bird bath, but probably that's outlawed this year.

We've had a new visitor for the past few days - a rabbit. He seems to have set up camp with us and the squirrels, for now. Not a white rabbit though, so I shall not be tempted to follow him down any holes. ;-)