This Earth Day, You Should Rethink How You View Our Planet
Originally published with Unwritten.com
The natural default for human thinking is to be self-centered. We are a very selfish species by design. We have gotten better about it as we have evolved and we had opportunities to tone down our survival instincts but that default setting is still there. This is part of the reason why we thought the sun revolved around the earth and why social media is such a hit. We typically see things from only one perspective: our own.
Of course we can empathize with others and see things differently if we work at it but it’s not what our minds on autopilot want us to do. We had to learn to do that. Babies cry when they are hungry no matter what their parents are doing because they haven’t learned to look at a situation from any other perspective then their own. They haven’t had the chance to be taught to think hey maybe i shouldn’t scream right now because mom looks kind of busy. So they scream until they learn not to.
We assumed the sun revolved around us until we learnt that it didn’t.
We have to either be taught or teach ourselves to look at things differently when the situation calls for it. And today, April 22, 2019 the situation calls for it. It’s Earth Day. Which hopefully means your office is celebrating in some fashion that involves food but also that it’s the perfect day to start looking at our planet differently.
Yes, I mean looking at it as our home instead of our trash can, seeing it as the thing that gives us life instead of an entity to exploit, and viewing the system for what it is as a whole instead of just how it can benefit us right now. But we also need to view it as a planet. As our planet, yes but think about it like you weren’t currently standing on it. Think about what it would look like if you were on the surface of the moon instead. Did a famous image pop up in your mind? Maybe from an Apollo mission?
Have no idea what I’m talking about? I’ll explain. About 50 years ago when we landed on the moon, we took a picture of the Earth. This photo is now called Earthrise, (because it looked like the earth was rising similar to how we view the sun from our perspective) and it’s kind of a big deal. Why? because this photo was the first time we didn’t have to just imagine what our planet looked like from the outside. It changed our perspective. It reoriented the way we think about the rock that is hanging in space and sustains life. Our life.
So today we need to do this again. We need to shift how we think about our changing planet. We need to zoom out.
The good news is you don’t have to just zoom out mentally. Satellite imagery is helping us change how we look at climate change from outside our planet. It allows us to really see how big of an impact we are having. We can watch the glacier melt and see a timelapse of an island flooding. We can watch as land gets developed and natural disasters demolish towns. By having the ability to take snapshots from orbit, we can teach people to view this planet from a different perspective.
And maybe, the more people who can see climate change from a global perspective, the closer we will be to actually doing something about it.
Ready to change how you see your home planet? Check out this site.
Featured Image via melourra