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At a larger scale

March 31, 2008

(From The World’s Fair, based on Running The Numbers, An American Portrait.)
A musical masterpiece?  Probably not.  But next time someone tells you “our little movements couldn’t do anything to such a big planet”, consider this…

From Dan Pfiffer, Earth’s atmosphere and oceans if they were gathered into a sphere and compared to our planet.  Our tendency as small, short-lived beings is to look up into the atmosphere and think that it is high, or down into the oceans and think that they are deep. 

And so they are, but not so high or so deep that we cannot pollute them, change them, and put the other living beings therein at risk (and thus ourselves as well).  But take a tabletop globe and spray on a single coat of varnish.  When the solvent evaporates, leaving only the thin polymer coating, that’s about the proprtionate thickness of the atmosphere. 

Dump in eight thousand million tonnes of carbon dioxide each year and you’ll change its composition a little bit, and along with its composition, you change its heat transmissivity.  It’s probably OK though.  Let’s call up somebody on Venus and ask them what they think.

Categories: Uncategorized
  1. March 31, 2008 at 08:32 | #1

    Damn that picture does a great job of putting things in perspective.

  2. Lucas
    April 4, 2008 at 21:49 | #2

    According to that video, the average American uses approximately 2 plastic beverage bottles, and 1 aluminum can every day.  Interesting if true.

    I mean seriously, who drinks that many packaged beverages?

  3. April 4, 2008 at 22:08 | #3

    I don’t know where they get their numbers, but I know quite a few people who use far more cans or plastic beverage bottles than that every day.

  4. April 4, 2008 at 22:16 | #4

    George and I have a coworker that for awhile drank 4-6 bottles of water a day, all the while we have perfectly fine drinking water.

    My first thought was, damn that’s a lot too. But if you look around you can find signs of people wasting money. Which is why I thought it was awesome when Chicago introduced their plastic bottle tax. Damn good idea!!!

  5. Lucas
    April 4, 2008 at 22:45 | #5

    Yeah, I drink bottled water too.  I buy one diet coke about every other week, and reuse the bottle until it gets a little grimy.  Then I recycle it, and buy another one.  The wanton wastefulness of some people just boggles my mind…

  6. April 4, 2008 at 23:05 | #6

    That’s what I do too. I try to buy tea in a glass bottle though as I find it doesn’t get nasty as quick and it can be washed in a dishwasher or sink if necessary. Then if things get out of hand I recycle and move on.

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