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Don’t worry about Earth - she’ll be OK

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To the editor:

I recently announced to a roomful of local folks that I had given up worrying about the Earth, reason being that I had realized in the preceding year that the Earth really can take care of itself.

Sure, we’re well on our way to wiping out legions of plants and animals, including bugs smaller than a pinhead, which it took millions of years for Earth to design and develop. But, like truth, Earth works slowly. And, in the long run, she’ll put it all back together. May I call her she, since she is the source of all life-sustaining benefits we enjoy; the plants and the animals that we eat that eat the plants?

A few million years ago, she began forming a vaporous blanket around herself, which proved to be just what life needed to flourish. The blanket-like atmosphere captured reflected sunlight and warmed Earth more than mere sunshine could do. The grains that humans needed to settle down and build cities flourished in the Goldilocks climate that provided just the right mix of temperature, water and sunshine.

But work was tiresome and the ever inventive humans found a way to hitch fossil fuels to machines that could do the work of hundreds of men. And that was when the beneficial atmosphere that Earth had built over thousands of years began to grow heavy with the excess carbon dioxide that’s formed when you burn coal and oil.

And no amount of moral finger pointing will shake our determination to deny our culpability. We’ll no doubt continue down this road until enough of us die, thus improving the remaining cultural stock.

But, as I said, I don’t worry about Earth. She’ll be OK. She’s got all the time in the world. Human time is limited. That’s what disturbs my sleep.

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