If you can keep your head when all about you are losing theirs…Rudyard Kipling, “If”
If you can wait and not be tired by waiting…
If you can think – and not make thoughts your aim…
If you can trust yourself when all men doubt you…
Yours is the Earth and everything that’s in it.
This is a timelapse of the Volcano Calbuco in Chile that erupted 3 times in 8 days between April 22–23, 2015.
One of the eruptions lasted 90 minutes, sending a plume of ash 6 miles into the sky.
While climate change deniers might point the finger at mother nature for these CO2 emissions, as one Facebooker notes in the comment section, “volcanic eruptions only make up about 1-2 % of the C02 emitted into the atmosphere. they also have a cooling effect on the climate from the Sulphur dioxide emitted.”
Whether you set the route or leave it open-ended, you can discover things along the way.
Constraints produce their own magic. They make you innovate based off what you have to play with. But so too do indefinite destinations.
Out of curiosity blooms everything.
The more we know, the more we want to know. We permit our heuristic temptations to guide the discovery process. The rush to fill ignorance with self-knowledge makes us feel alive.
The world is more like a playground than a camp. It begs us to take more information than we need. But in borrowing its widgets, we have to reciprocate to ensure what we put out or reinvent comes back to enrich nature itself.
Life as we know it can survive without sunlight and oxygen: witness the creatures that populate the sulfurous vicinity of submarine hydrothermal vents. Life as we know it cannot live without water, and where there is water, there is almost always life.“I discovered living creatures in rain, which had stood but a few days in a new tub,” Antonie van Leeuwenhoek observed in 1675 after peering through his invention, a new and better microscope. A grown man like Pablo Valencia can last three weeks without food; without water, at most several days.
“The battle to feed all of humanity is over,” he wrote, “hundreds of millions of people are going to starve to death.”
His trip to an overcrowded Delhi in 1966 seemed to convince him that there wasn’t enough food to go around to support humanity.
Thankfully, Dr. Ehrlich’s warnings never panned out. Instead, his book sparked a debate about “the potential consequences of overpopulation: famine, pollution, social and ecological collapse.” Out came some viable solutions.
While population has more than doubled since The Population Bomb came out, agricultural innovation has been able to sustain the boom. Today, one in ten people are starving as opposed to one in four.
However, Ehrlich and other researchers predict that the environmental damage from overproduction remains to be seen. Undermining the ecosystem could still wipe us all out. Other researchers are more optimistic, believing that human ingenuity will come to the rescue.
We shape the Earth, and it shapes us.
For all the pieces interact, transforming into a cohesive thought.
The trees grow in cities, the oceans meet at the cape.
All the pieces interact, enveloped by the space inside.
The weather is fickle, cyclical, everything too much for a remix, itching for evolution.
To get closer to the texture of stimuli, gentle in our convictions, cushioned from other things.
In nature's ludicrous rhythm, we trust.
Annie Dillard first published her essay ‘Total Eclipse' in 1982. It's since been republished The Abundance: Narrative Essays Old and New. Below are a couple of my favorite snippets. Read the entire essay on The Atlantic.
On seeing the total solar eclipse, also known as the path of totality:
If you think very fast, you may have time to think, “Soon it will hit my brain.” You can feel the deadness race up your arm; you can feel the appalling, inhuman speed of your own blood. We saw the wall of shadow coming, and screamed before it hit.
On seeing a partial eclipse:
I had seen a partial eclipse in 1970. A partial eclipse is very interesting. It bears almost no relation to a total eclipse. Seeing a partial eclipse bears the same relation to seeing a total eclipse as kissing a man does to marrying him, or as flying in an airplane does to falling out of an airplane.
Are you excited to see the moon lurch between the sun and the Earth?
Wells Baum is creating a daily blog that collects and remixes the most interesting pieces of art, beats, life, and technology from around the web. Your support goes a long way: for every contribution, I can keep the blog running and continue to provide you interesting links.
Humans rent Earth. It is for no lack of light we tend to do it harm, avoiding recycling and willingly spoiling the air with carbon emissions that heat up the seas.
Nature can only solve so many problems. The rest is self-inflicted.
Without a shock interruption, we'll become the destructive tenants of our surroundings.
“Post-truth” does not exist in the opening of tree buds.”
— David George Haskell, The Seasons Aren’t What They Used to Be