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Friday, June 22, 2012

Do you think man can destroy the planet?

Kumar Prafull
“You think man can destroy the planet? What intoxicating vanity. Let me tell you about our planet. Earth is four-and-a-half-billion-years-old. There's been life on it for nearly that long, 3.8 billion years. Bacteria first; later the first multicellular life, then the first complex creatures in the sea, on the land. Then finally the great sweeping ages of animals, the amphibians, the dinosaurs, at last the mammals, each one enduring millions on millions of years, great dynasties of creatures rising, flourishing, dying away -- all this against a background of continuous and violent upheaval. Mountain ranges thrust up, eroded away, cometary impacts, volcano eruptions, oceans rising and falling, whole continents moving, an endless, constant, violent change, colliding, buckling to make mountains over millions of years. Earth has survived everything in its time. It will certainly survive us. If all the nuclear weapons in the world went off at once and all the plants, all the animals died and the earth was sizzling hot for a hundred thousand years, life would survive, somewhere: under the soil, frozen in Arctic ice. Sooner or later, when the planet was no longer inhospitable, life would spread again. The evolutionary process would begin again. It might take a few billion years for life to regain its present variety. Of course, it would be very different from what it is now, but the earth would survive our folly, only we would not. If the ozone layer gets thinner, ultraviolet radiation sears the earth, so what? Ultraviolet radiation is good for life. It's powerful energy. It promotes mutation, change. Many forms of life will thrive with more UV radiation. Many others will die out. Do you think this is the first time that's happened? Think about oxygen. Necessary for life now, but oxygen is actually a metabolic poison, a corrosive glass, like fluorine. When oxygen was first produced as a waste product by certain plant cells some three billion years ago, it created a crisis for all other life on earth. Those plants were polluting the environment, exhaling a lethal gas. Earth eventually had an atmosphere incompatible with life. Nevertheless, life on earth took care of itself. In the thinking of the human being a hundred years is a long time. A hundred years ago we didn't have cars, airplanes, computers or vaccines. It was a whole different world, but to the earth, a hundred years is nothing. A million years is nothing. This planet lives and breathes on a much vaster scale. We can't imagine its slow and powerful rhythms, and we haven't got the humility to try. We've been residents here for the blink of an eye. If we're gone tomorrow, the earth will not miss us.” 

Sunday, June 10, 2012

Word 'human' also means 'kind' and 'compassionate'

Kumar Prafull
From the North Pole to the South Pole, and everywhere in between our planet pulsates with life. To study the extraordinary diversity of life that makes our planet a visual delight, biologists have classified all living things into five different biological groups called kingdoms, one of which is animal kingdom.
This biological kingdom contains about ten million species and encompasses creatures as diverse as sea cucumbers, jellyfish, insects and birds. Animals can range from being tiny creatures which are just a collection of few cells to giant whales that have tongues as heavy as an elephant! From thumb-sized bee hummingbirds to hundred feet long blue whales, the animal kingdom contains an array of fascinating species of varied shapes, sizes, and colours.
Life, which makes our planet unique in the universe, begin in the oceans millions of years ago and slowly journeyed to land, spreading to all the corners of our planet, including places barely touched by humanity. The first vertebrates to walk on land were amphibians. But they weren't the most successful animals to have walked the planet; this feat belongs to one intelligent species: Homo sapiens or human beings.
Emerging in the continent of Africa thousands of years ago early human beings set off on the road to civilization. And, over a long period of time this nomadic hunter-gatherers transformed into technologically advanced modern human beings who have conquered land, sea, air and have even left footprints on the surface of moon!
Though phenomenally successful, human beings are as much a part of the animal kingdom as doves or whales or other creatures on earth. The wonderful life forms that dwell in the oceans, birds that chirp in our gardens and all other creatures that make our planet so full of life are our wild friends. And we should love and them. But, not just because we belong to the same biological kingdom or share the same planet. Let gentle feeling of affection and care for animals spring in your hearts from one simple fact that we are humans. and the word human also means 'kind' and 'compassionate'.

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