We’re environmentalists and science enthusiasts here at the Bucket and we’ve harped time and time again about how we need to the put Earth’s health first in economical decisions because there is no other planet we know of that supports life. Capitalist economies have protected the destructive fossil fuel and mining industries and now with climate change wreaking havoc on our planet’s ecosystems the lives of every living creature in is peril.
There’s an excellent video posted recently on YouTube by BigThink featuring astronaut Ron Garan that states this case beautifully. “We need to move from thinking economy, society, planet to planet, society, economy. That’s when we’re going to continue our evolutionary process,” Garan concludes.
In this season of peace on Earth, watch the video and reflect on how fragile our planet is and how important it is that we protect it.
The election season is driving us crazy so this post deals with something remarkable thanks to the scientists at NASA. Recently, NASA’s spacecraft Lucy sent back stunning photos of the Earth and the Moon from about a million miles and half a million miles away that reminds us how insignificant we are in the universe. It’s not the first to show the Earth and moon together but it’s probably one of the best.
We’re reposting a pic from July 26, 2013 when the Cassini spacecraft was still operational. That probe sent back an astonishing photo of the pale blue dot through Saturn’s rings. We thought it appropriate to add a little notation as a reality check to the denizens of planet Earth that God and all the other mythical gods were created on that insignificant speck by the species of animal known as homo sapiens. That’s right, folks: God didn’t create man; man created God.
But she’s not the first advocate for climate change. Jimmy Carter actually talked the talk and walked the walk back in the 1970s but thanks to conservative patron saint Ronald Reagan, the nascent green energy movement was ridiculed and quashed before it even got started. Of course, many other intelligent people have stepped to the forefront over the last forty years pushing for alternative energy, only to be ignored and vilified by the powerful oil, gas and coal industries and their Republican (and some Democrats) lackeys in Congress.
A few posts ago we noted how so many modern-day conservatives were against conservation, thus making themselves colossal hypocrites. But it’s much more complex than that, of course. It’s the collective, monstrous egos of our planet’s most intelligent (allegedly) species, homo sapiens, that have done the most damage. When you put it in that context, each and every human being on the planet is responsible for the demise of life on Earth. We are all to blame and if we’re to rectify the problem, we need to all get on the same page.We all need a giant philosophical paradigm shift and that starts with the realization that unregulated capitalism is killing the planet and all the life on it.
But how and why did having money become the most important thing in our world? Because we’re humans, goddamn it! We’re superior creatures! What are we humans supposed to do with our time? Go hiking in the wilderness, relax and enjoy life? Boring!!! We must grow, grow, grow! Bigger, bigger, bigger! We’re taught from day one that we must utilize our superior brains every second of the day or else we’re failures. We can’t just sit around doing nothing. Or can we? If you ask any sane person what their idea of paradise is, they’ll usually respond some idyllic tropical island like Tahiti or some mountain retreat with little to no development and lots of nature or some small remote village where people live simply. So, why are we constantly destroying nature and building ugly concrete and steel structures and athletic stadiums which only last for twenty years? Because we can; as a monument to human ingenuity and greed.
But just because we can do something, doesn’t mean we should. Would it really be so bad to just not build a new multiplex shopping center? Would it be so bad to adopt a simpler lifestyle and enjoy nature and the great outdoors? Would it be so bad to tear down some of our ubiquitous, ugly strip malls and skyscrapers and plant urban forests and farms? Plant an urban garden where that stupid parking lot is. Have a nature reserve where that stupid golf course is. If we combine this with a global effort of birth control and contraception, we can get things under control again. We need fewer humans, not more humans on this planet. Humans, especially ones from industrial, consumptive nations are at the forefront of environmental devastation. We’ve created so much waste that we’re exporting it to third world countries with poor waste management systems. If third world countries become like first world countries, then our planet is truly doomed and we can all kiss our materialistic asses goodbye. We need to dial our greed back from 11. We need to curb our consumption and learn to be content with fewer material possessions and simpler lifestyles. This is the only planet we know of that supports life. We need to put the welfare of our planet before our own wealth, because without the planet, how can we enjoy the wealth?We need to stop worshipping the greedy, egotistical and avaricious and start respecting and caring for nature and our environment. Those paradises we yearn for are right under our feet; we just don’t recognize them because of all the concrete, asphalt and steel.
Part of the problem is that capitalism has taken over the globe. In order for capitalism to succeed, it needs rampant consumption by consumers. Of course, these leads to a rampant increase in junk, garbage and debris. With lax environmental laws, people can just dump their stuff anywhere. Our planet is being inundated with plastics, electronic waste and garbage of all types. So in other words, unregulated capitalism is killing our planet.
Like we’ve commented before, what makes this so aggravating is that so many conservatives are somehow against conservation. How can that be? They didn’t use to be. Republicans like Teddy Roosevelt supported some of our most powerful environmental laws. Richard Nixon established the EPA and signed the Endangered Species Act into law. By the very definition of the word, they should be all for conserving resources, wildlife and nature. Modern day conservative Republicans, led by the Trump administration, are nothing but hypocrites when it comes to the environment.
There are many good environmental sites out there. The Kiwireport has a pictorial of shocking pictures of environmental destruction covering the globe. Warning: some pictures are extremely disturbing, especially if you love wildlife and nature. We’ve used a few in our photo-toon below. We urge people to wake up and support fully conservation efforts in your region. Like the environmentalists say: think globally, act locally. The health and welfare of Earth, the only planet we know of that supports life, depends on it.
If you’ve read any post or articles on this site, you know that we’re atheists. Our world view is solidly connected to a 21st century database of logic, reason and scientific knowledge obtained by thorough scientific methods and inquiry. Adherents to religion on the other hand, seem solidly connected to 1st century, 6th century or x century databases that may have made sense in those antiquated times, but given our advanced knowledge of the universe surrounding us, are now woefully obsolete.
Proponents of religion also claim that only they have the answers to life’s questions. Inevitably it boils to certain individuals in the upper echelons of the religious organizations who want to completely control their adherents or sheeple. History has many examples of bloody wars between adherents of one ‘faith’ disagreeing with followers of another leaving nothing but death and scorched earth behind. Many religions state that God made man in his image and that God created the Earth with man as ruler over all other animals. This directly conflicts with scientific evidence uncovered in the last three hundred years which concludes that man created God (or Odin or Zeus or Iron Man. . .pick you favorite fictitious deity) in his image and has used God and capitalism to commandeer and take control of the planet for fun and profit. Even the authoritarian dictator Napoleon commented that “Religion is excellent stuff for keeping common people quiet. Religion is what keeps the poor from murdering the rich.” That’s why there are so many wolves in sheep’s clothing out there making a killing off of the gullible sheeple. There’s also a link between religion and vaccine refusal. So people are dying unnecessarily because the religious leaders are telling their flock to trust prayer (basically thinking good thoughts) over science.
We’ve talked before that the best spaceship is our own planet. We need to stop being greedy materialists and live within our means. In the words of Henry David Thoreau, “Simplify, Simplify”. We need to listen to modern day scientists. They know what they’re talking about. We need to attenuate our consumption and more importantly reduce the human population using the ethical means of birth control and contraception. By doing this, we can lessen our carbon footprint, decrease our pollution and in general, return the planet to a healthy equilibrium. Ridding ourselves of the antiquated dogmas of religion and embracing environmental science will also go a long way to preserving all life on planet Earth.
The Trump administration’s assault on the environment continues to go unabated. We’ve commented several times on the Republican’s War on Science, so much so that we’ve created a category for it. But Scott Pruitt continues to dismantle our environmental protections, all to benefit the greed of oil, gas, coal, lumber, mining and other companies which have bought the loyalty of Republican ‘lawmakers’. Why this past week, Pruitt’s EPA announced it wants to lower gas efficiency standards for automobiles not only because that extra care and concern about the environment is cutting into the corporate executives profit too much but also because President Obama put them into place. And they’re auctioning off federal land for oil and gas development. Our capitalistic overlords are using up resources, killing species and fouling our environment like we’ve got a Planet B ready to travel to when we’ve completely trashed our own precious Earth. But guess what…there is no planet B!
One of the 20th century’s greatest scientific minds, Stephen Hawking recently passed away. We here at the Bucket liked Hawking, but editor Dex Rexter, who used to be a huge supporter of human space colonization (with memberships in the Planetary Society and the L5 society), after years of research on the subject, profoundly disagrees with many scientists, including Hawking and Bill Nye, who are calling for immediate human colonization of Mars and outer space. Yes, it would be fun to play Star Trek or Star Wars and zip around the universe in a spaceship. But to seriously consider extended space travel or colonization, we have to develop artificial gravity spaceships first. The best way to do this is the way the space station in 2001: A Space Odyssey did it: using a rotating wheel. The astronauts would experience centripetal acceleration, which would mimic the gravitational force humans need for normal activity. But we’re not even close to developing anything of that sort, which would be a colossal endeavor financially, not to mention logistically. And let’s say we actually get humans to Mars. We would have to completely terraform the surface and atmosphere to make it inhabitable: another gargantuan undertaking.
Like Buckminster Fuller stated a half century ago, we need to look at the big picture and see the Earth as what is it: a spaceship with all living things on the planet as inhabitants of the spaceship. Instead of continuing to befoul and pollute our planet like there’s no tomorrow, it is paramount that every human on Earth, to take action and conserve our planet. It’s necessary for people in the industrial, capitalistic countries to start eschewing materialism and living more simply, like the people in lesser industrialized countries, if we are to save our planet…and ourselves.
The bottom line is this: We will never find a better spaceship than planet Earth. It has everything we need to survive and live happy, peaceful, wonderful lives. The best, most efficient solution is not to put humanity out into the hostile environs of space or on a desolate planet like Mars, but for everyone to change our lifestyles and preserve the already spectacular life on our home planet: Earth.
Dear denizens of planet Earth: There is no Planet B. Let’s start taking care of our own spectacular planet.
Yes, American CEO/Dictator Donald Trump and his pal, Russian dictator, Vladimir Putin will almost certainly construct a new world order which will bring unimaginable wealth for the corporate benefactors of both sides (mostly oil and defense industries) and make the rest of the world fear for their very existence. Hey the Cold War was good for business: at least those businesses related to defense and security. One thing will be for sure: citizens of this planet will have to do what Russia and the United States want or face the dire consequences. Let’s face it folks, planet Earth is screwed.
With the forthcoming Trump-Putin new world order, the denizens of planet Earth appear to be royally screwed.
NASA released a fantastic photo this past week depicting the Earth as a pale blue dot through the rings of Saturn. The photo was taken by the Cassini space probe that is in orbit studying the giant gas planet and it’s moons. This picture brings to mind other humbling NASA shots like the photos of the Earth and the moon together taken by numerous spacecraft(here, here and here) and the ‘family portrait’ of the Earth and the other planets in our solar system from Voyager as it left our solar system in 1990. Everything that we know and all the history of humanity and life as we know it has originated from that tiny grouping of pixels. Clone stamp it in Photoshop and suddenly, no Earth exists. However, the rest of the Universe keeps going even if we humans and our mythologies and religions disappear. Just think of how advanced our civilization would be if all children started learning about astronomy instead of religion in grade school.
The Cassini spacecraft orbiting Saturn sends a reality check to all religious people on the pale blue dot called Earth.
To commemorate Earth Day, here’s a photo-toon from our July 25, 2006 issue. One can substitute the perpetual conflict in the Middle East with environmental pollution, species annihilation, excessive consumerism and human overpopulation but the conclusion is the same: humans are systematically destroying the only planet we know of that supports life, spaceship Earth. Take care of the planet.
The space station astronauts took this rare photo of the Earth commenting on the latest violent conflict to erupt in the Middle East.