There is a lot of argument about global warming, the state of this planet and our species. There is always a lot of argument. That’s what one of my very early teachers said. She said, “This is the Garbage Planet.” I waited for more. For elucidation, but she just looked at me as if I was stupid. I was. And I was unsure of myself and in the middle of learning a lot of “new stuff.” I didn’t ask or go further in that moment. In the decades since, though, I have had occasion to learn a lot about what she said and I couldn’t agree with her more.
This is the Garbage Planet. And a beautiful planet it is!
I recently came across an article that I consider to be the smartest writing I have seen exploring – with facts and scientific evidence – the connection there is Everywhere. To say “everywhere” sounds trite or easy or just true.
Some things can’t be said easily or taken lightly. Some Things get in our way and we have to live with, or they make our way and we live with that. We are all like the fish in the ocean or in your tank, we are dependent upon you yes, you, to keep it healthy. If you don’t, we aren’t.
This is the beginning of the article – you should read it all! Tell me what you think.
In 2018, Earth picked up about 40,000 metric tons of interplanetary material, mostly dust, much of it from comets. Earth lost around 96,250 metric tons of hydrogen and helium, the lightest elements, which escaped to outer space. Roughly 505,000 cubic kilometers of water fell on Earth’s surface as rain, snow, or other types of precipitation. Bristlecone pines, which can live for millennia, each gained perhaps a hundredth of an inch in diameter. Countless mayflies came and went. As of this writing, more than one hundred thirty-six million people were born in 2018, and more than fifty-seven million died.
Tidal interactions are very slowly increasing the distance between Earth and the moon, which ended 2018 about 3.8 centimeters further apart than they were at the beginning. As a consequence, Earth is now rotating slightly more slowly; the day is a tiny fraction of a second longer. Earth and the sun are also creeping apart, by around 1.5 centimeters per year, although the effect of tidal interactions is very small. Most of the change is due to changes in the sun’s gravitational pull as it converts some of its mass into energy by nuclear fusion.
The entire solar system traveled roughly 7.25 billion kilometers in its orbit about the center of the Milky Way. This vast distance, however, is only about 1/230,000,000th of the entire orbit.