Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Honor Thy Planet

Your home, as seen from Apollo 17While we are discussing (previous post, a little bit) things you can do to help “the environment,” here’s one really simple one we can all tackle. Won’t cost anything, not more than a fraction of a second of your time, and will begin to remind us that a little respect is in order.

(Image from NASA, courtesy Wikipedia.)

Just this: Capitalize the name of your home planet. It’s Earth, sometimes Terra (Sol III if you prefer), and that’s its proper name. We all learned in grade school that proper names should be capitalized, so why don’t we all just practice it? I think it would remind us on a regular basis that we aren’t just dealing with an “it” here, we’re dealing with our home planet, that collection of astronomy and geology and biology—everything that makes up the ecosphere we all depend upon but seem to forget we need while we bounce around from the shopping mall to the grocery store in air-conditioned cars.

You’d probably like a more authoritative source than your local neighborhood blogger. Don’t take my word for it, please:

Not to get all sermon-y on you, but Lovelock (?, just read this, now have to find the source again) has a point when he says it’s hard to work up some fight against invisible gases that are destroying faraway ice caps most of us will never get to see. Hawken hits the mark too (albeit in lowercase*), when he remarks:


We have an economy that tells us that it is cheaper to destroy earth in real time rather than renew, restore, and sustain it. You can print money to bail out a bank but you can't print life to bail out a planet.

So get personal with your planet. Know its proper name, use it, and learn a little bit about it. The Nature Blog Network is a great place to start exploring all the beings that make this such a miraculous place to live.

* Shouldn't really blame Hawken for this, it could have been the transcriber, or some editor.

1 comment:

greentangle said...

Yes, a little respect is a good thing. In my writing, I always capitalize the Lake (Superior).