Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Why didn't the earth replace the dinosaurs?

"What the Earth Knows" by Robert B. Laughlin, physics professor at Stanford appears in The American Scholar - http://www.theamericanscholar.org/ .

Laughlin provides insights about how the earth survives - with or without us. The earth didn't replace dinosaurs, it just moved on.

The author writes that our real problem of living involves overpopulation, overuse, habitat destruction; pesticide abuse, species invasion etc. He details how the earth does climate changes on its own routinely without asking permission or explaining itself.  It recycles and changes for its own needs regardless of our energy crisis.

He definitely makes one aware that human beings have little impact, regardless of positive environmental action taken on the minute level we "control."

During my morning jogs I notice the nature of human beings during their acts of unconscious or selfish behavior.  They toss cigarettes from cars, drive with knees while yelling on cellphones and drinking from cups. Not many will pick up paper that litters the sidewalk within their reach.  So many take for granted  that the sun will rise again in what appears like a lifestyle of irresponsible and entitled behavior.

Why do they neglect the earthstyle? Why miss the colors, scents and flavors of our living planet?  Would an earthquake or tsunami that removes their privileges of a comfortable life jar them into reality?

Sadly, regardless of our behavior, the earth doesn't need us so we can remain self-consumed.  The earth has suffered floods, volcanoes, meteors, upligts into mountains and abuses greater than what we'll ever inflict.

Laughlin's article lingers during my day as I avoid the media's concern with tragedy. I can control only my attention to moments with respect and responsibility for myself.

We do not know when or how the earth will react.  It certainly will outlast and not replace us either.

How I interact with and appreciate the natural world matters, even if it has a mind of its own.  Sunrises and sunsets, roses and stargazers, squirrels and pelicans will enrich my moments in movement.

Creative Write:  After reading the article, choose a concern you have with "civilized living."  

Does it matter what we do?  Must we have systems like religion, ethics, politics and self-responsibility to control us since we have no control over our planet?

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