Monday, April 21, 2008

Earth Day 08

Earth Day is celebrated tomorrow. Tjaša wrote about it and my dear friend Cris is one of the many volunteers around the globe involved in a fascinating project dedicated to this: a 24 hour earthcast. It starts 22 April at midnight GMT (i.e. 2 am our time), bringing together voices from around the globe to speak live about the health of our planet (students, teachers, researchers, scientist, engineers,… anybody). You can give it a listen here and are most welcome to join in.
Here's my humble contribution to Earth Day (used Bee's idea, quotes and Flickr CC photos). What do you think?

Anyway, while uploading to slideshare I also came across this really awesome slides by Sunita Williams… Beautiful, aren't they?

Now… concerning the health of our planet… there are many little things we can do… recycle, reuse, support the organic, the local… think positive, be respectful of others… After all we are just part of the system here, aren't we? Life on Earth does not depend on us really, does it?
I recently listened to a cool TED talk by M. Pollan. A really lovely talk, radiating hope and good vibes… It's funny, he notes, that Darwin's On the origin of species was published more than 150 years ago yet we still mostly stick to the cartesian view of man, consciousness, and culture on the one hand, and nature on the other… We are really just one of the many species around, we act and are acted upon… Just like a bee, seduced by a flower's color and fragrance, pollinates and spreads its genes around, so are perhaps we seduced by a certain sort of potato so we choose to plant that one and not some other, or by grass so we mow it like crazy and thus help it outcompete the bushes and trees, its natural competition, or by corn so we keep planting it and spreading its habitat…
Ever thought of that? Interesting, isn't it?
We seem to be pretty much oblivious of the world around us… but if we choose a different species point of view, we suddenly see our role in a very different light. 'The cure for the disease of human self importance' believes Pollan. I like the idea a lot.
I remember Bolte, the TEDster from my previous post, talking about the role of our brain concerning our view and perception of the world; while the right hemisphere connects us to it, blending our body with the environment, the left one separates us from it, making us individuals, persons of our own… Our skin is not the boundary of our being…. there is more to it. A whole lot more!
Let's not fail to see the forest for the trees. Let's respect Mother Nature’s treasures and be thankful to be part of them. Happy Earth Day everybody!