Happy Earth Day ➶

50 spins later should humans come together to keep Earth from becoming a planetary inferno, or get ready to join Max and Auntie?

Carl Sagan, in the Cosmos episode titled “Heaven and Hell”:

But Venus is an ominous reminder, that in a world rather like the Earth, things can go wrong. There is no guarantee that our planet will always be so hospitable. To maintain this clement world we must understand it and appreciate it. The Earth, to our eyes, is a place more beautiful than any other that we know, but this beauty has been sculpted by change, gentle, almost undetectable change, and sudden, violent change. In the Cosmos, there is no refuge from change.

The Sphynx. Human head. Lion’s body. Constructed more than 55 hundred years ago. That face was once crisp and cleanly rendered like this paw I’m standing on, the paw’s been buried in the sand until recently and protected from erosion. The face is now muddled and softened because of thousands of years of sandblasting in the desert, and a little rainfall.

In New York City there is an obelisk called Cleopatra’s Needle — it comes from Egypt. In only a little more than a century in New York’s Central Park, the inscriptions on that obelisk have been almost totally obliterated, not by sand and water, but by smog and industrial pollution — a little bit like the atmosphere of Venus.

✶ Wednesday, 22 April 2020

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