How Earth Made Us …

... and the way we treat it!

Once again the British Broadcasting Company, BBC, has put together a spectacular television production; the epic story of how geology, geography and climate have influenced mankind.  It is remarkable and fabulous viewing as you can sample in these opening minutes from the first episode on Deep Earth.

The four programmes, Deep Earth; Water; Wind; Fire, are testament to both the incredible symbiosis between mankind and the elements and how that relationship is critically balanced in a way that allows us to survive.  Some of the images are truly outstanding, for example, the section on Prof. Iain Stewart exploring the Naica Cave system in Mexico.

Naica Cave system, Mexico

This theme of the balance of geological circumstances that allows, just, mankind to survive comes across time and time again in these films.  For example, our relationship with fresh water which we all take completely for granted.

Have any of us really pondered how long we would survive if there was insufficient clean, safe drinking water to go around?

The programmes also reveal something of the technological prowess that mankind has achieved to allow the way these films have been produced.

So why, oh why, are we also such a stupid, stupid species – so stupid that we foul our own nest to an incredible degree.

One could pick anyone of so many examples of our stupid short-sightedness but fouling the world’s oceans is as daft as it gets.

I am referring to the Great Pacific Garbage Patch, 100 million tons of plastic garbage (more than the weight of the plankton in the Pacific) that covers an area twice the size of the USA!

The Pacific Garbage

From The Independent newspaper:

A “plastic soup” of waste floating in the Pacific Ocean is growing at an alarming rate and now covers an area twice the size of the continental United States, scientists have said.

The vast expanse of debris – in effect the world’s largest rubbish dump – is held in place by swirling underwater currents. This drifting “soup” stretches from about 500 nautical miles off the Californian coast, across the northern Pacific, past Hawaii and almost as far as Japan.

There is a huge amount of information simply at the touch of a Google search but try this link and video.

I don’t have any answers just a profound dismay at some aspects of the way that all of us, and I do include me, don’t really understand how precious this beautiful planet is, to an extent that it really modifies our behaviours.

Globe Planet Earth NASA

By Paul Handover

5 thoughts on “How Earth Made Us …

  1. What a great post as you leave Mexico.
    If we can point this towards Greenpeace, then maybe trawlers can be diverted from their current overfishing of the worlds oceans, and remove some of the worlds rubbish before we choke to death.
    Safe journey
    Bob

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  2. You ask why are we such a stupid species – it’s not stupidity that drives us but greed – so long as a few are making lots of money and some are making enough money the pollution of our oceans and earth will never stop. Those with lots of money hold the power as well as the wealth and those with enough are too complacent to do anything about it while those with nothing are too busy trying to stay alive to worry. What can I say I am in the complacent group – personally the problem seems to big for me to tackle alone – a common excuse for doing nothing.

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  3. 850 million people in the developing world would probably think there is not enough drinking water to go around, as it is they who do not have access to safe water.

    We in the developed world arrogantly waste and misuse resources such as water ( who the hell buys bottled water when you have a tap in your home that will dispense perfectly good water at 1/1500 th of the cost you pay for botteld water.)
    The 1 litre plastic bottle uses 7 litres of water to make it, and the bottle is not degradeable ( being made form oil) and many then pollute our seas and countryside.

    Until we treat the environment and natural world as the most precious commodity we have and stop exploiting it for materialistic reasons we will continue to self destruct.

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