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Tony Grist

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So? [Oct. 17th, 2008|10:57 am]
Tony Grist
Tokyo drops through the floor. New York is on the up. As I've remarked before, no-one knows anything.

Shouldn't we be glad we're being forced to stop consuming so much? Isn't recession good for the planet? Won't we be putting less crap into the environment?

Of course when I say "good for the planet", what I really mean is "good for our future on the planet." The planet isn't bothered whether our civilization survives or not. It's all about us. 

It takes a hell of a lot to kill a planet. I read somewhere that we couldn't do it if we tried. We could let off all our nuclear weaponry at once and the planet would sail on, largely unfazed.

There was a show on TV a month or two back which showed what would happen if the human race disappeared tomorrow. Basically the green stuff would take over. In something like 500 years (time doesn't matter when there's no-one watching the clock) New York would be a wood with a river running through it. Every other city would be much the same.

You'd have to look hard for evidence we were ever here. The human construction that would last the longest is the Mount Rushmore memorial- because, after all, it is a mountain.

But even mountains go down eventually. Once upon a time there were mountains across the South of England higher than the Alps. All that's left of them are the rolling Downs. 
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Comments:
[User Picture]From: idahoswede
2008-10-17 10:59 am (UTC)
Mountains go down, but they also go up. There would be that to look forward to (provided someone was left to look).
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[User Picture]From: poliphilo
2008-10-17 12:31 pm (UTC)
I believe the Himalaya are still in the process of going up- as India slowly- very slowly- crashes into the belly of Eurasia.
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[User Picture]From: margaretarts
2008-10-17 02:49 pm (UTC)
So, your mountains are rolling downs?
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[User Picture]From: poliphilo
2008-10-17 03:35 pm (UTC)
That's down in the South of England. Further north, in Cumbria, North Wales and the Scottish Highlands, we have mountains which deserve the name.
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[User Picture]From: margaretarts
2008-10-17 03:47 pm (UTC)
Sorry, it was a weak pun, agreeing with your entry that the mountains are indeed rolling down.
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[User Picture]From: poliphilo
2008-10-17 05:10 pm (UTC)
Sorry. I'm just slow :)
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From: sculptruth
2008-10-17 03:01 pm (UTC)
That show was based on a book by Alan Weisman called The World Without Us. It came about around the same time as people were working on The Mannahatta Project. I can't remember if Weisman worked with the people on the project or who inspired whom but they became related no matter how inadvertently.

I would like to believe more than anything that the planet will move forward unfazed by our presence, but I'm afraid it isn't entirely true. At least not quite in that sense.

And I would like to believe that our rapacious consumerism in this culture of excess will go down with the mountains, but I'm afraid that isn't entirely true, either. That makes me sad.
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[User Picture]From: poliphilo
2008-10-17 05:17 pm (UTC)
It's been a while since the programme aired, but I think it may have given the Mannahatta project a name-check.

It's human nature to be greedy, so- no- we'll almost certainly go back to consuming rampantly as soon as we possibly can.
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[User Picture]From: sovay
2008-10-17 04:29 pm (UTC)
But even mountains go down eventually. Once upon a time there were mountains across the South of England higher than the Alps. All that's left of them are the rolling Downs.

I find this sort of thing comforting, somehow. Plate tectonics do not care about your finances.
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[User Picture]From: poliphilo
2008-10-17 05:19 pm (UTC)
Me too.

Thinking about deep time puts everything human in its proper perspective.
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[User Picture]From: daisytells
2008-10-17 05:20 pm (UTC)
In the White Mountains of New Hampshire there was a natural structure called "The Old Man of the Mountains". immortalized by Nathaniel Hawthorne in his story "The Great Stone Face." It had been a spot to visit for at least as long as white men and women inhabited New England, and the natives also knew of it before that. Less than ten years ago, the craggy old face finished its long term wind beaten crumbling and fell without ceremony toward the lake below which was appropriately named "Profile Lake".
Yes, it is true: "...even mountains go down eventually."
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[User Picture]From: poliphilo
2008-10-17 05:40 pm (UTC)
That's sad. But it happens to us all.:)

I've just been to look at pictures on online. It was mighty impressive while it lasted.

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[User Picture]From: daisytells
2008-10-18 02:12 am (UTC)
Yes, it was....We used to go up to Franconia Notch on some of our climbing and camping expeditions, and often stopped by Profile Lake for a swim and a glance at the Old Man....
Yep, even Mount Rushmore will one day lose its man-made "great stone faces".
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