Branding the Halo
Save the planet? Save the halo. The third rock orbiting the sun is going to be just fine. It's the biosphere, our thin wisp life, water and air clinging to that rock that we need to worry about.
This is an advertising issue, pure and simple. Use terms like "planet", "earth" and "world" and people visualize some huge indestructible ball that can absorb abuse like a Ford truck.
We need to stop talking about the blue marble, and start emphasizing the thin shell of human life between The Dead Sea (elevation -1360 feet) and Llasa, Tibet (elevation 12,002). If we can do that, then the advice about not dumping where you breathe might start to make sense.
Let's sell a little thought experiment. The diameter of the earth is nearly eight thousand miles. Let's be very generous and say that the oxygen rich shell around the earth is about 4 miles above sea level, the height at which a mountain climber typically requires oxygen on Everest.
That means that for a representational planet 1 meter thick, the space that air breathers occupy, is about a 0.5 millimeter halo. Paint the earth a dark solid color, and bring up that halo as a light blue.
We need to show people that this thin blue line is where we live, under the thinning atmosphere that extends about another centimeter.
Once we move people's vision from the big ball of matter beneath our feet to the very delicate place where we actually live, then it will be easier to intuitively convince them that millions and millions of cars and smokestacks and powerplants chugging away for a century could produce enough CO2 to act like plastic wrap on our breathable space.
So talk about the halo, talk about the biosphere, talk about our breathing space, but stop talking about the planet. It's going to hurtle around the sun just fine, with or without us.
Personally, I would prefer that we call the biosphere, "the halo", because the visual and spiritual imagery are better, and the word and syllables are graceful and simple, whereas "biosphere" seems somewhat more technical and clunky, but to each their own.
Just stop talking about the rock: eliminate the planet, the world and the earth from the list of things needing to be saved.
By the way, if someone can direct me to the first person to call the biosphere, "halo", I will be happy to credit them. I am not the first to use this term, but I was unable to discover if this author, or someone else was the originator.
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