Planet Earth Natural Park

Planet Earth Natural Park

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By Joel Sangronis Padrón

Life on Earth is not only an isolated and seemingly unique phenomenon in the universe, it is also grand and dazzling in its diversity and beauty. Life is a complex network of living and non-living elements that interact with each other to maintain the flow of energy and the cycles of chemical elements that in turn sustain it.

Life is the apparent transitory contradiction of the entropic becoming of the entire universe. While it inexorably tends to fade, to cool, Life with its incessant biochemical boiling reproduces itself, is ineluctably reborn. - Ramón Folch.

From what we know so far, it seems that our planet is the only place in the dark vastness of the universe where life exists. We are alone in space and the continuity of that Life is in our hands. - David Attemborough.

Until today, to human knowledge, the phenomenon of life is an exceptional anomaly in the universe. Life, as we know and understand it until now, seems to exist only on our small and fragile blue planet.

The solar system, where our planetary home orbits, is just a tiny point lost in the immensity (250 billion stars like our Sun) of the galaxy (Milky Way) to which we belong, and, until now, they are counted by millions of galaxies that we have been able to detect throughout the universe. To get an idea of ​​our smallness, the earth would be something like a grain of sand within the ten million square kilometers of sand of the Sahara desert, or a drop of water lost in the immensity of the oceans.

The Earth is just the right size to have an atmosphere that makes life possible. It is close enough to the Sun to receive from it the heat necessary for life, but not close enough to burn with it, apart from the fact that its rotation allows one side to heat up while the other side is successively cooled.

Water abounds on Earth (in fact, more than Earth, our planet should be called Sea or Ocean); more than three-quarters of the surface of our cosmic home is covered by water. Water is not only the great universal solvent for the chemical compounds that make life possible, but it also acts as a regulator and stabilizer of the planet's temperature, due to its extraordinary ability to absorb and preserve the Sun's heat.

For an interstellar traveler, reaching Earth would produce the same effect that a lush tropical island with trees, water and fauna would generate on a castaway, or an oasis filled with palm trees, dates and fresh water springs on a thirsty traveler lost in the desert .

The earth is precisely that oasis, unique and exceptional in the infinite solitude of the Cosmos. It must be remembered that traveling at the speed of light (something still impossible for human science) would take entire lives to reach the galaxies closest to our solar system, only to probably verify that in the planets of the solar systems of said galaxies exist only silence and emptiness, icy inanimate rocks or infernal balls of incandescent gas.

If we could do this exercise in imagination, if in our environmental education programs we included the wonderful, almost magical uniqueness of our cosmic house as the only island of life in the desolate vastness of the universe, we would go a long way in changing our way of relating to our wonderful, exceptional and unique spaceship, to use the lucky phrase of Walter Martínez.

Life on Earth is not only an isolated and seemingly unique phenomenon in the universe, it is also grand and dazzling in its diversity and beauty. Life is a complex network of living and non-living elements that interact with each other to maintain the flow of energy and the cycles of chemical elements that in turn sustain it.

When we visit a national park, a reserve area or a natural monument, we are asked to respect it, not to destroy it, to preserve it for ourselves and for future generations; here we would have to ask ourselves then.

Isn't the whole Earth a huge Natural Park?

Doesn't each of your ecosystems have the beauty and value of a natural monument?

Isn't the Earth the whole natural reserve of life? Why then not think about it and treat it that way?

Joel Sangronis Padrón - Professor UNERMB - Venezuela

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