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Planet Earth

From NASA'S  Flicker Page : Planet Earth 

NASA releases a huge high resolution 64MP image of our sublimely beautiful planet Earth. Come take a look at this image and learn something new about Earth. 
Earth Facts :)

1. Earth is the third planet from the sun. 

2. Earth formed about 4.5 billion years ago while life appeared 3.5 billion years later. 

3. Life on Earth is protected from harmful sun rays by our planets strong magnetic field and thin gaseous atmosphere. 

4. The radius of earth is about 3,960 miles 

5. The land area of earth is a little less than 37 billion acres. 

6. Earth has a mass of approximately 1.3 x 10 ^25 lbs. 

7. The average surface temperature of Earth is about 57 deg F. 

Info from 

I love planet Earth! Earth is our home. Earth is home to billions of living beings of millions of different species. Earth is mostly a closed system, although some gases escape into space and some solids from space hit the Earth. 

My love for Earth and all of its living being forms the axiomatic foundation on which all of my environmental and public health ideologies are based. As far as human knowledge is concerned, Earth is a unique world. If we pollute and destroy the earth with toxic emissions, then we are ruining the place that all living things in this world call home.

Pollution causes long term sickness, suffering and premature death that makes the human experience of the world worse. Many of the pollution problems we currently face are new problems with almost no historical context. The industrial revolution occurred very recently in terms of human history. 

Human population growth has exploded at a totally unreasonable, unsustainable and almost incomprehensible rate just in the last 100 years as a result of industrialization. It is the scale of human activity and pollution because of this now unreasonable population that forms the foundation of almost all major and minor environmental, energy, agricultural, and sustainability problems. The graph below predicted that we would reach 7 billion people in the early 2000's, now its 2012 and we already have more than 7 billion people. 

Are we incapable of self control? 
Lifestyle Choices

The problem with human population is not just about how many people are now alive, its also about how we each choose to live. If every person on earth tried to live like I did, we would need more than 4 earths worth of materials (wood, metal, oil, water, ect). I live like most Americans; I am a materialistic consumer. To this end I am actively changing my choices. Now, prior to purchasing anything, I ask myself some questions. What will this do for me? Do I really want this? Is this really worth what it actually costs in terms of its total impact to me and the rest of the world? Do I have an alternative? Where is this item made? What is it made of? 

Blinded of Consequence of Our Choices

When I go out and purchase something, like everyone else I do not see the total impacts of my purchase. The sweat shop workers that make the things I buy live in poor or developing nations thousands of miles over the ocean away from where I live. 

For example the Chinese Foxconn workers that made the Macbook I am publishing this post on, get paid $17USD per day for working 16hours in a high tech sweatshop in China. I purchased this macbook in October of 2008 and it continues to work perfectly. I use this as my primary computer rather than my desktop because this macbook uses approximately 800% less energy. I picked this laptop over others when I was shopping because it is epeat gold (eco friendly construction and energy efficient, 95% recyclable, mostly glass and aluminum, ect) I also knew when I was shopping for this that Apple builds really high quality hardware through their tightly controlled supply chain (foxconn, samsung, ect), and that this notebook computer would last for 5 years or longer of constant use. 

Back in 2008 I did not completely understand the economic consequences of buying "made in china" computer hardware. I knew that "Made in China" was bad, but it took me until 2010 to fully understand why "made in (not America) was a really big problem. Since 2010, my understanding of this "outsourced who sectors of the US economy" problem has expanded in scope and depth. I realize now that its not just blue-collar manufacturing jobs that were lost. Tens of thousands of middle class engineering, legal services and management jobs have been lost as the result of US consumer electronics companies outsourcing their manufacturing to asia. 

A Problem with Almost All Goods

This outsourced to asia situation is true with almost all durable goods that people in developed countries purchase. Almost no one see's the impacts (human rights or environmental) of their choices. We are feeling the economic impacts of these problems, but few people understand that "Made in (not America)" is at the core of our economic problems. Even where people in the America do see the impacts of their choices (near a coal power plant- soot that causes stinky air and sickness) they dont seem to do anything about it. Dirty coal power is still the primary source of electrical energy in our electrical grid because the majority of people want cheap power regardless of the "real costs". 

Short Sighted Corporate Thinking 

When a company only focuses on maximizing short term profit, the fail. Look at the history of the Dell computer corporation. Dell is the second largest computer manufacturer in the world. In the late 1990's, Dell was growing explosively. Dell slowly outsourced their computer manufacturing, customer support and other parts of their company to China and Taiwan. Eventually, almost all of the Dell corporation was outsources from Texas to Asia. Dell's managers did this because at the time it increased their short term profit increases. Eventually, the kept acting in a way that destroyed the Dell corporations fiscal performance and their stock price history is reflective of this failure to make intelligent choices that reflect long term planning. 

Short Sighted Personal Thinking 

When a person only focuses on pay check to pay check, they are on the edge of bankruptcy constantly. The high cost of low prices negatively impacts these people because they can't bulk buy something like laundry soap or toilet paper in order to pay less per oz or roll: they are restricted by their choices to paying more for less. These people buy the power wasting light bulb not realizing that the $2 they saved on buying the cheap bulb would cost them $30 more in electrical power. A lot of people purchased SUV's they could never afford when gas was $1/gal and now that gas is over $3/gal they had to change their life style choices to accommodate for the fuel price increases. A lot of these people eat toxic fast food trash and then go bankrupt because they dont have medical insurance and get sick from eating trash and living unhealthy, and then cant pay the doctor, medicine and hospital bills associated with the consequences of their choices. Pay day loans with %200 interest. Drugs with %20,000 markup. The poor with smartphones that fork over $150/month in debt to verizon or at&t so they can look cool with a slick handheld computer phone with a constant on data connection. I could ramble on and on with examples. Its not just the poor. Middle class people, upper class people, even wealthy people : people of all fiscal capability levels live outside of their means in a life where poor barely considered choices are the norm. Think of all of the people who have children who cannot support their children emotionally, socially, morally, spiritually or fiscally. 

A Higher Calling

Christianity, my faith, is all about love. Like most other "Christians" I struggle to express love in all of my thoughts, choices, actions and behaviors. Its important however to acknowledge what God is calling us to do as people because if we followed the word of God and translated love into our Thoughts, Choices, Actions and Behaviors, none of the problems I stated above would be burdening man kind. I will now recount in a list what I understand to be my higher calling as a Christian.

1. Love all people, especially your enemies.

2. Speak words of kindess and support as they heal other people.

3. Be generous with mercy and understanding.

4. Abandon pride and vanity for humility and love

5. Worship the lord our God not just in praise and prayer, but in all of your thoughts, actions, choices and behaviors. We are to act in a way that Honors our loving God.

6. Negative emotions like Fear, Anger and Hatred are wrong.

7. Love has the power to overlook any wrong done. Love does not keep score of rights and wrongs.

8. See other people through eyes of love and through these eyes see the difference between the sin and the sinner.

9. Focus on Faith, Family and Friendship, not on things, money and the world.

10. Change your life, do not waste you energy trying to change others. Inspire others by example and live according to the word of God. When you overflow with love by living in Love with God, other people will see this and be drawn to the Lord.

11. Others will call you lame, boring, looser or strange: but the inequity of their insults will never overpower love. You have to understand that hurting people say mean things: they are misguided and confused when they spew hatred at you or anyone else.

12. Protect the innocent from evil where its practical and possible. This has a lot of consumer implications regarding our purchase of goods made in sweatshops. This also has tremendous implications regarding our changing the emissions of toxic pollution into the environment where everyone eats, drinks and breaths the toxins.

13. Constantly study the word of God and allow the devine love of God to reprogram your mind. When you run the worlds broken sick backward ideas through your mind this results in sickness, suffering and premature death. When you run God's idea's (words) through your mind, you will life other people up, feeling healthy in a body, spirit and mind filled with love. 

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