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Andrew Alden

Accretionary Wedge #8: Earth Day the Geologists' Way

By April 22, 2008

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Welcome to The Accretionary Wedge, a blog carnival with a geological theme, hosted each month by a different geo-blogger. During the course of Earth Day, I'll be adding links as the participants submit them, so come back often, and tomorrow too.

I'll start. I used to kvetch about Earth Day, calling it "safe as Kleenex." I said, "Business, environmentalists, and politicians today use science as a shield to avoid consensus, not a tool to explore possibilities." But fortunately I think that old complaint is getting dated, or maybe my inner softheaded optimist has matured and is bursting through my chest wall. Now my message, and my entry for The Accretionary Wedge, is "Earth Day? How About Earth Life?"

Two industrial geologists speak up—first GeologyJoe posts on SlingShot Thought to ask, through a cartoon, whether all the Earth Day hoopla will change anything by 2070, Earth Day 100.

Kenneth Clark, whose blog is The Office of Redundancy Office, has a daughter whose lifetime needs he is contemplating, and his message for Earth Day is simple enough for a child to understand: "clean up after yourself." Industry can be clean; I've seen it myself.

Kim Hannula, of All My Faults Are Stress-Related, takes her cue from her kid too: How to save the planet? "Be a Power Ranger." But she also wonders, if geologists are newly popular today, "why am I finding it so hard to figure out how to pitch the science to people?"

Chris Town over at GoodSchist makes a plea for sustainability starting at the root of the problem. We have met the enemy and he is us, after all.

Julian, of the Harmonic Tremors blog, puts things as simply as a musician-turning-geologist would: Remember the brown part of the Earth, not just the blue and green.

Tuff Cookie, the force behind the Magma Cum Laude blog, prefers to burst into song ("cover your ears!") with "I Am the Very Model of a Young Environmentalist."

And just to show that we have our mystical sides, some guy at the Oakland Geology blog submits a meditation on the chthonic vision of Our Lady of Lourdes.

Not to be outdone, Silver Fox posts on Looking for Detachment about looking skyward instead, complete with the best photos in this Wedge (and a plug for Earth Science Week, six months from now).

And Green Gabbro's Maria Brumm brings us back to Earth again with a practical question that nevertheless calls for some visionary thinking: What green habit of yours would be easier with some help from society?

Garry "Geotripper" Hayes ties the bow on the Wedge by echoing the call for Earth Life, the sustainable future. It all relies on education, he says, because there is a price to pay, and no shortcuts to make, for sustainability.

For previous Wedges, visit its home page.

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