Today is Earth Day, which is something of a conundrum for the modern world. Our phones, WiFi, office buildings and ice cream machines aren’t exactly made out of twigs and leaves, and the whole idea of a technologically advanced society is that we keep making things that would never occur naturally. Every year this day arrives, and aside from buying a t-shirt or bumper sticker with a picture of the globe on it, it’s difficult to know what to do. Conserve water? Plant a tree? Turn out the lights? Take a walk?
Yes. Any idea of how to take care of the earth is a good thing, even just having a conversation with someone today about the earth. There are scads of movies about how the most important thing in life is family, and how the first step to appreciating family is to not take it for granted. Taking the earth for granted is what we do every day when we walk on it, breathe its air, look past its sky, and drive right over its surface while wondering if we’re supposed to pick up 2% milk or skim.
Some people think that Earth Day occurred so recently because the space race allowed us to take photos of the earth from above. People were able to understand how small the earth is in a way we couldn’t before. People have always been able to look up and see the stars; only modern man has been able to see our planet from a star’s perspective.
Astronomers estimate that our galaxy, the Milky Way, has 400 billion stars in it. In non-science terms, it’s “lol-worthy.” Our star, the Sun, is therefore just a tiny piece of that. Astronomers further estimate that there are more than 100 billion galaxies that we know about, and probably many more that we don’t. If that isn’t enough to make your mind need a delicious gulp of our life-giving air, we don’t know what is. Many stars are so far away that when we look up at the sky, we’re only seeing where they used to be—the light took too long to reach our eyes.
The point of Earth Day, at the very least, should be to talk with someone about our planet. You never know how a conversation can spark greater changes down the road. We hope you’ll think some about the earth today, and have a wonderful time enjoying it.