Wednesday, April 06, 2011

The Earth And Us

Recently i've been watching How The Earth Made Us on ABC. It's a general science documentary - both amazing and educational. But there was a surprise twist in the final episode. After several episodes of how the earth has shaped our history, now the tables are turned...

We're at the beginning of a dramatic period of change. At the heart of it is the greenhouse effect - a global warming caused by the gases we release. The question is "How will the planet and our civilisation respond to this change?"
Prof Iain Stewart, concludes that "The lesson from the earth's past is that the world we know today can change out of all recognition simply by raising the level of greenhouses gases in the atmosphere."

Now it's up to us to determine whether human civilisation can continue to flourish.
We are now a geological force to rival the earth's natural forces. The ultimate test will be how well we use that power. As a species we like to think that we are special. Well this is our chance to prove it.

ps. as a side note, the documentary also contained this amazing stat: "Every year we burn about 31 billion barrels of it. That's 1000 barrels per second. The problem is it won't last. The amount of oil we're burning each year takes the planet 3 million years to make."

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