The Earth – What is it and What Does it Mean to Us?
Science is telling us that we are living in an earth that is rapidly decaying. Is this true? Have we entered a new era of everlasting life on earth? What is man’s impact on earth? In the light of recent global warming stories, these questions and many more are now more than just idle questions but must be addressed.
The earth is moving, as evidenced by the rapid ice melting in the Arctic, the ocean’s rising and falling methane levels, the rainforest shrinking, the forests becoming endangered, the glaciers melting and so on. All life on earth is connected to each other and their relationship is complex and diverse. Man’s activities today have a profound effect on the earth, whether by creating pollution or merely modifying the environment we live in. The earth has been affected by all human activity since the dawn of mankind’s existence.
Man has become part of the earth’s ecosystem. This is in part due to the enclosure of land and nature in his favor with the domestication of plants and animals over the years. We are deeply embedded in the earth’s life. We are its life force. How we treat the planet today will determine how we live in tomorrow.
One of man’s major contributions to earth is the use of metals. Metals form the backbone of earth’s crust and are integral to its life. From the earth’s core, molten rock is transformed into iron and other minerals. The earth’s oceans and lakes contain large amounts of metal salts. The earth’s atmosphere contains significant amounts of metal and is largely responsible for the earth’s atmosphere’s temperature, clouds and rain, and the movement of air within the earth’s atmosphere.
We need metal for shelter, food, tools and cosmetics. When man began to carve large rocks, he created a structure that would hold both the earth and the rock together. This is why some consider volcanoes and geysers man’s only creations.
The earth holds many secrets, perhaps even more than we are willing to discover. There are many theories on how the earth formed. Some say the earth is flat, while others think it is round. There are even people who believe in Intelligent Design and the idea that our planet was created in just a short period of time through “something”, that has not been discovered yet.
One of the ways that scientists believe the earth works is through the use of energy. The earth obtains all of its energy from within itself. It absorbs solar energy during the day, and stores that energy in its cells for later use. During the night, or in deep space, the earth absorbs solar energy and puts that energy to use in turning wind and solar radiation into usable energy. Scientists believe the earth was created in only a very short period of time, and are in the process of learning more about the processes that occurred.
As scientists continue to study the earth, they are finding evidence of much more than was once thought. In fact, some believe that the earth is filled with an infinite amount of energy waiting to be tapped. If this is true, what do we do with it? How will we live on earth when it is no longer available for us to use on a day-to-day basis?