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This Earth Day, Make a Commitment

Posted on April 19, 2017 by Jeanne Roberts There have been 0 comments

The date is April 22; the occasion is Earth Day, an homage to Earth from its fans, the humans who occupy it.

The festival is a fairly recent one, established in 1970 by environmentalists and others concerned about Earth’s survival in the face of creeping climate change and ever greater levels of pollution and waste.

In 1970, Americans were filling the tanks of their V8 automobiles with unleaded gas by the bucketful, factories were belching out fumes and foulness, and homes were gobbling coal-fired electricity as though there were no tomorrow.

Tomorrow is here, and the Earth is in trouble.

Scientists warn that unless we, the people, manage to keep global warming to less than 2 degrees of change from pre-industrial levels, we are likely to face a climate future so radically different from the past that even the shores of oceans may become unrecognizable – and unlivable.

Earth Day has a single purpose; to make all of us aware that the carbon dioxide and other pollutants from burning fossil fuels will change not only the footprint of oceans, but the ecospheres we live in and have grown accustomed to. In other words, people living in areas where rain is commonplace may find themselves praying for rain that never comes. And those living in temperate zones might wake up some day to find the climate less than hospitable.

The National Space and Aeronautics Administration, or NASA, wants those of us who care about Earth to get in touch with the planet in a novel way. The program is called “Adopt the Planet” and consists of 64,000 individual “pieces” of Earth, each about 55 miles wide, which humans will explore – virtually of course.

Those who participate will be randomly assigned a parcel – without legal or property rights, of course – so, no, you can’t drill for oil or gas, or put up a sharecropper’s shack and grow corn. You will, however, receive an individual profile highlighting your adopted parcel’s topography, climate, and other scientific data.

Oh, and did I mention, you also get to assign your name to the parcel. That’s about as “personalized” as it can get. And all you have to do is go here and provide your name to prompt NASA to devote a parcel of land to you.

I got parcel number 49245. Sadly, I’m not web-savvy enough to take my information to the next level, but if I could I would be able to print and share my adoption certificate, then explore other locations with NASA’s interactive map via its Worldview website. Adopters can also check out the terrain, how much snow cover the adopted parcel gets, its brightness, temperature, corrected reflectance (in case you actually get to buy some of it and want to put up solar panels), and some nighttime imagery.

NASA also plans to implement a high-resolution live stream of Earth from space, joining hands with Amazon Web Services to deliver real-time 4k Ultra HD – a cutting-edge video technology in high-definition that is as good as (though not better than) a movie screen.

Want to see it for yourself? Just visit this page and mark your calendar for the April 26.

The best part of adopting your own little slice of Earth? It doesn’t cost a single penny! Moreover, you won’t have to add on another bedroom, or bathroom, or even set another place at the table. And no one will be asking to borrow your clothes or golf clubs!


This post was posted in Blog and Green Library, Holidays, Politically Green and was tagged with 2 degrees, Adopt the Planet, April 22, climate change, Earth Day, environmentalists, fossil fuels, global warming, NASA, Worldview website

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