9 hours ago
Today is the day we as a society celebrate Planet Earth. Perhaps this represents a critical failure in our collective moral compass—after all, what could be more important than the rocks we stand on, the air we breathe, the water we drink, and our biological companions that make our lives worth living? Should we not be celebrating this planet every waking second of every day, doing everything in our power to maintain its health and beauty, if not for the sake of the living then for the sake of those yet unborn? It isn’t shopping malls and golf courses that make us who we are; it’s that marvelous and unique confluence of geosphere, atmosphere, hydrosphere, and, of course, biosphere that we call the Earth system. Everything alive is dependent on it, and has been for the past ~4.2 billion years of evolution. Planet Earth is almost surely not the only body in the universe to support life, but it definitely is the only place to support life as it appears here. The astonishing biodiversity of which we are a part represents the most recent chapter of the greatest story ever told: the History of Life. Yet rewind the tape and play it back, and the story might look very different. We must appreciate the fragility of the system that just so happened to allow our species to rise to dominance, and let it humble us. A species that has existed for just a sliver of a chapter in this great story is controlling the plot of the next chapter. And it is looking to be quite grim.
I implore you to do your best to limit your impact on our planet not just today, but every day. Educate others, and celebrate the magnificence of our one and only home.
Pictured above is my lifer tiger rattlesnake (Crotalus tigris) found on a mountain with an approaching monsoon in the distance. A representation of geosphere, atmosphere, hydrosphere, and biosphere in one image.