Letter: Cold hard facts show Earth is not well

Ridgefielders' letters to the editor should be emailed to: news@theridgefieldpress.com
Ridgefielders' letters to the editor should be emailed to: news@theridgefieldpress.comHearst Connecticut Media

To the Editor:

I recently watched Mr. Bezos welcomed back from his exhilarating flight to weightlessness, being embraced by his wealthy cowgirl and cowboy friends. Fun stuff. But I was reminded that underlaying these joyful notions of discovering brand-new livable planets with these flashy rockets, were the cold hard facts that remain, seldom addressed. For instance:

Our tiny Earth is 4 billion years old. It resides quite remotely on the very outer edge of our galaxy, our “Milky Way.” It would take us about 26,000 light years, traveling at the speed of light, to reach our galaxy’s center.

Earth, a living organism, is not well. Fossil fuels, power plants, automobiles, issue greenhouse gases into our atmosphere. This captures and holds our star’s heat, raises the planet’s temperature, warms our seas, melts glaciers, releases fresh water into the salt, kills off undersea species while raising the oceans enough to swallow island nations and swamp our coastal cities .

Polar ice refracts the sunlight and sends the energy safely into space. But when ice reverts to water, the energy is absorbed and accelerates the ice melt, further raising the sea level.

What will happen: Polar bears drown as they struggle to reach retreating ice packs. Salmon die off as the melting permafrost pours mud into the rivers. Drier land masses cause droughts which destroy harvests, cause fires which destroy trees, and trees are needed to convert carbon dioxide into oxygen.

We are approaching “the tipping point” when habitats crash. If our planet had an actual voice, it would scream in protest. In an absence of this voice, it will express itself with hurricanes, tornados, floods and fires, in greater size and numbers. Remember this: in past ages there were far fewer inhabitants on Earth, fewer great land cities to burn, and fewer coastals to drown.

Within our universe we are completely, remotely, alone. We must help ourselves.

Martin J. Ryan

New Milford