Sunday, June 04, 2017

Goldilock Zone

I guess climate is a big issue for me. I have always enjoyed breathing safe air and drinking non-contaminated water. In fact, of all the things I would give up, breathing and drinking would be the last to go.  I also enjoy living in a place that is not too hot and not too cold, not too wet and not too dry.. but for me, just right.
In Astrophysisist- speak,  Goldilock Zone is the distance from any given sun or star that is temperate enough for liquid water. The Goldilocks reference implies this zone is neither too hot nor too cold for water to flow. Of course our Earth is uniquely positioned in one of those perfect Goldilock zones in orbit around our Sun. It doesn't matter if you try to calculate the odds or give homage to divinity; our Earth experience is a uniquely fragile existence compared to the eternity of  the vast universe.  
As we understand our unique position of delicate balance in space,  the Earth becomes extremely important for our existence. In fact it is the only planet so far that would support our existence. And Mother Ship Earth has no life boats.  If she hits an iceberg even first class, like the rest, goes down with the ship.  But if the Earth is like the Titanic I am less afraid of hitting an iceberg than I am about a coal boiler explosion. 
Some people think  humans have had no effect on the world's climate.  Is it ignorance, arrogance or disregard that supports this opinion? Does anyone remember the Dust Bowl days?  It was a man made climate disaster that affected the lives of millions. We acknowledged it was human error and corrected our mistake, but forgot the lesson learned.  The American Bison was almost hunted out of existence.  We realized it almost too late to save a species of animal.  Don't we understand how humans and each individual affects the rest of the world?  Obviously not. 
Local case in point: 
 All over the park, where I sometimes walk my dog, are signs that say do not feed the wildlife specifically the birds.  This "Did You Know" sign which is also well displayed explains why.  It is not because they don't want the park critters to be happy, they want things to be normal. One of the more disgusting reasons that affects my enjoyment  of the park is because:  if you feed a duck human baked food like say, "bread" they do not process that food well. It is twice the mess when the ducks decide to give the favor back.  It is like taking a walk in a mine field. 
Here is the cycle when humans interfere with the natural pecking order of the Balboa Park of Encino. Feeding the ducks keeps them from migrating which causes over population, which causes disease, which increases rodents, which bring the coyotes which eat the children who come to the park to FEED the ducks.  Because no one really understands how they are affecting the coyote population, yet another sign has to be posted. 
But in spite of the warning of posted signs here is the reality of the world.  
 I snapped this picture only days ago.  Directly beneath the sign that says "don't feed the birds" a young mother is teaching her daughter that signs don't matter. It appears that her child's interaction with the ducks is much more important than the opinion of  naturalists who went to the trouble and the expense of posting a sign.  And note that she is feeding a flock of ducks  not just the scrap of a hot dog bun uneaten from a picnic; this is a new loaf of white bread crumbled for this very purpose.  
If we disregard the posted signs of scientists trying to keep the experience of wild life pure for future generations in our own back yard, why would we care about our contribution to the melting of the polar ice cap? And there is the conundrum. 
For me, protecting the environment is not a political issue. Is is not a national issue. It's a global responsibility.  We only have one Earth and one atmosphere.  Climate knows no national borders.  We are all on this Earth together and moving to a cleaner planet is not an option. Ultimately it is an issue that each one of us can affect regardless of national or even a global policy.  
The Paris Accord was just that, an accord. Not a law, not a decree but an acknowledgment that we all must participate in the health of the planet... all of us.  It circumvents politics, economy, or even belief.  It is the truth about mans stewardship of the Earth.  The tipping point is here, there is no more time to wonder, the time for action is now.  
As you were,


Lloyd Lebow said...

Great work, Jay. Maybe the use of concrete examples will help the message sink in to concrete thinkers.

P. Grecian said...

And yet again. Perfectly thought out and nicely developed and written.