Wednesday, November 07, 2007

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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Anonymous Anonymous said...

Halo is a better term. And
The video could not be plainer.


5:28 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

God imagery, Oz, I have always liked Bucky Fuller's example of scale:If you want to appreciate the fragility of the water planet, visualize a chrome sphere the size of a basketball.

Now breathe on it. See the condensation? That's the ocean.

12:30 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Good morning Sir or Madame,
my name is A. Daniela Zini and I am Italian.
I use words such as Gente (People), Terra (Earth), Mondo (World), and Pianeta (Planet).
Behind these words there is sadness, anger, anxiety for me.
Behind these words, there is still an Idea.
Do you use a pseudonym because you're afraid to stand behind your opinions?


Abu 'Abdallah Mosharref-od-Din b. Mosleh SA'DI

Bani adam a'za-ye yek peikarand,
Ke dar afarinesh ze yek gouharand.
Chu 'ozvi be dard avard ruzgar,
Degar 'ozvha ra namanad qarar.
To kaz mehnat-e digaran bi ghammi,
Nashayad ke namat nehand adami.

Abu 'Abdallah Mosharref-od-Din b. Mosleh SA'DI

These are well-known "abyat" of Shirazi poet, Sa'di, wich grace the entrance the United Nations headquarters in New York.

I will sleep, sleep and dream.
I will dream of a life without suffering and without fear.
I will dream of people able to love beyond border, beyond reality, beyond everything, beyond life.
Beginning in ancient times through the present day, women writers have dreamed of a new era of world peace.
We have not learnt to control Nature and ourselves.
We are the inheritors of the legacy of our ancestors who, by their experiences, arrived at great values.
We must struggle to retain them.
This contract is our great duty.
ow many wars occurred?
How many wars are the results of this misunderstanding of the Other?

"The fruits of war were food for more war."
Marguerite YOURCENAR, Memoirs of Hadrian

The Second World War is a sad example.
An unprecedented example of intolerance wich brought about the exclusion of an entire race.
The Men's stupidity resides in the fact he is willing to remain ignorants, and according to Einstein:

"Two things are infinite: the Univers and human stupidity; but as far as the Universe is concerned, I have not yet acquired absolute certainty."

This stupidity and this ignorance are found as well in the example of colonizers who, wanting to impose their culture, ended up bringing about the detriment and impoverishment of the colonized's culture. It is by this detriment that, once again, false prophets and dictators were able to exploit the situation. Tolerance is the foundation of a Society worthy of this name.
It is obtained by respect for Others and understanding of Others.
Even more, it is up to us, inheritors of a heavy past, to learn and to communicate so that we can accept our neighbours' differences.
But we must prove ourselves worthy of our heritage.

A. Daniela Zini

11:26 AM  

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