Yesterday I watched a long special on the Earth and what all of the stuff underground is and how we use it and relate to it. It had various places to stop and stories to tell etc until we got into the absolute core (which, not surprisingly, does not yield much usable knowledge other than what it's made of and it's extremely fuckin' hot..).
Though what got to me was once part in particular -- the part where a guy explained how the chances of another planet existing anywhere like Earth (meaning... livable in our current conditions) was extremely slim to none. Everything that we have here is in a perfect balance -- there is the distance from the sun, enough 'crust' to save us the molten heat that is the majority of the inside of the Earth, a magnetic field and atmosphere to deflect solar radiation, the whole nine.
And honestly, what would we do without all that? Can you imagine having to live on a planet that regularly touched 5000 degrees F? That would be rather absurd. Although, a book called "The Wump World" comes to mind when I think about that. It's no secret that we are depleting the Earth's natural resources faster than it can replenish them. Oil, coal, precious metals, they are being dug up. These are things that were formed over thousands of years, across eras, and throughout drastic temperature changes. Once they're gone, what happens?
If there comes a time when we have exhausted our Earth of all it's enriching qualities, the atmosphere has been chemically deteriorated, and the pollution keeps the sky eternally cloudy, this is not a place where I would want to be. It's scary to think that that's even possible. Now I'm not generally the tree-hugger type, but I do think to some extent the environment is really important. There's a lot of amazing things that somehow work in a cohesive balance on this planet. And if that balance is permanently perturbed who knows what could happen. Sporadic errant thoughts lead me toward the recollection of The Day After Tomorrow. Super temperature changes, and a permanent effect on everyday life could be in our futures.
And if not our generation, then almost definitely in a few generations beyond ours. Not that any single one person could do anything about it, but I think there's a lot to be thankful for. Despite all the natural disasters and everything, Earth just does what it does best -- provides for us and allows for life to exist and coexist. Tectonic plate movement, volcanic activity, sinkholes and water erosion, it's all just part of what has been going on since the beginning of time.
Perhaps sometimes it is hard to remember sometimes that the Earth is not enslaved by us. In fact, it is quite the opposite -- everything we do must come from of in some way utilize the Earth, whether it is as simple as using land space, or as complex as deep sea drilling for oil to fuel our world. It's all in a delicate balance -- and I've got my fingers crossed hoping we don't tip the scale too far.