Happy Human Diaspora Day

I think the first time I became aware of Earth day must have been right at the beginning of it.

I don’t remember precisely, you see.  It’s not just that as you get older the days before about fifteen get really fuzzy, it’s that they were fuzzy at the time.  These were revolutionary days in Portugal and the essence of a revolution — as I tried to capture in Through Fire, which in its very final form and fully proofread (mostly I added a word here and there to shore up the romantic element, as I was sort of out of it when I wrote it and that’s a very subtle element that got lost.  I also — think — I removed the impression of a double ending.  I was surprised my betas didn’t get that it was intended, so I tried to make that clearer.  Paul, aka Drak will be excerpting the book in my conference on Facebook as well as in Baen’s bar and also other conferences at Baen’s bar until its release date in July) has gone to Baen.  You don’t control a revolution.  Not even if you started it.  In A Few Good Men, I have them sort of in control of the very early phases, but even then there are contretemps as other people take the bit between their teeth.  And in the end it’s clear that they’re no in control, just trying to keep what’s important to them.

So revolutionary times have this quality of a whirlwind, where things happen, you deal with them, and sometimes you’re not even sure why or who caused it, and the TV reports are more often than not erroneous or useless.

All this to say that in retrospect, I have absolutely no clue what school year this was, nor what was going on.  I THINK I was 11 or 12, and that it was somewhere around fifth or sixth grade.  And I don’t know if this was the teachers’ idea or if some revolutionary junta of older students took over the school and did this stuff.

What I know is that periodically we got to the school and were told we had no classes that day and that we were going to: run a marathon (that was fun.  I was in pumps); paint a mural; demonstrate against whatever.

Earth day was relatively innocuous as they had us paint a mural on the outside wall of the school.  Crappy art, of course — the idea that untutored children do the best art is one of those noble savage things I just don’t get.  It’s demonstrably not true — but we were out in the open, and once I ascertained I wasn’t being graded, I just kind of stood where the supervisors (a lot of long haired guys and unwashed girls) couldn’t see me and used the day very profitably to daydream.

After that Earth day got more militant, and the Gospel of the Wronged Earth started taking over everything.  It was sometime in the late seventies that I realized the people who used to talk of going to the stars were now saying we couldn’t leave until we had found out how to “take care” of the Earth.

And it was several years before I realized the sheer unabashed delusion and hubris in that sentiment.

Fortunately in between there was Heinlein who not only encouraged humans, heartily, to go out beyond the last spinning planet, and gave the reasons why (having all our eggs in one basket was dangerous) but gave me the single most liberating concept of all: that I shouldn’t feel guilty for being human or think humans were wrecking the planet.  Beavers change their environment to suit them, too, and we don’t say “let’s kill all beavers” because of that.  So why should we want humans to go extinct?  I’m a human and I’m loyal to humans.  If humans change their environment to suit them, it will suit me.  Yay team human.

I don’t remember the exact quote, but I remember it was so heretical it rocked my world, and started me into reexamining all the near-shamanistic devotion to “fixing” or “healing” the Earth, which somehow always amounts to “let’s eliminate humans.”

I knew the concept of fixing a place by staying in it was loopy, anyway, even at a young age, because I’d studied the discoveries.  Europe, and its petty quarrels and its old feuds wouldn’t have been fixed — ever — by staying there.  Sometimes you have to leave to get a better perspective.

Some of this idea of “we have to fix the Earth” came with the idea that aliens out there were more “evolved” than us and would judge us when we got there.  This idea has no basis in reality and makes no sense whatsoever, since aliens are by definition alien (talk about your true multi-culti.)  If they exist, their values are by definition NOT our values.  Evolved in what direction?  Do they eat their babies with self-guided forks or what?

Again there was Heinlein.  And I started noticing cracks in the narrative and things that were just completely insane.  Mostly how this “eco” movement seemed to gravitate to human hatred and voluntary self- extinction.

Then I started learning more about biology, partly as research for Darkship Thieves.  Boy.  Did you know that every species is a colonist species.  Every species that has arisen on Earth seeks not only to colonize new territory, but to change it to its preference, all the way from the simplest lichen to us.  So that whole thing about us being uniquely bad?  Yeah, the only species that neither colonize nor conform their environment to themselves are… extinct.

And the more I learned the more this Earth Day thing seemed not just like a cult, but like a reversal to paleolithic anthropomorphication and worship of the world and the environment.

Like, at the Natural History Museum, of all things, they were playing — in the lobby — a cartoon telling kids that the Earth is their mother (a DAMN abusive one, if you ask me) and that before they go to other planets they must appease Mommy Earth and not “hurt” her.  At the zoo, they had a mirror and “Take a look at the only animal capable of driving others to extinction” (this is so far from true it’s laughable, and only religion could cause a biologist to suspend thought long enough to believe this unremitting cr*p.)

Look, religion is religion, and one man’s religion is another man’s belly laugh.  (And my own religion is often my own belly laugh.)  Another thing Heinlein taught me.  And I don’t run down other people’s religion, unless they try to force me to live by it.

All this Earth Worship crap was started by a man named Einhorn who was so devoted he composted the girlfriend he killed, but again, just because a crazy man starts a religion, it doesn’t mean it won’t bring comfort and improvement to other humans.

They want to worship the Earth, go for it.  They want to think they’re the children of rock and dirt?  Go for it.

Just don’t try to impose it on us, and don’t try to drive us to extinction to appease your murderous goddess.

You might be a child of the Earth.  I’m better than that.

I will not feel guilty.  I will not go extinct.  I will not turn my lights off for an hour, but I’ll celebrate human achievement hour by turning on EVERY light in the house including the ones in the closet.  Because bringing light out of darkness is something we humans did and it’s pretty awesome.  I will NOT go quietly into that good night.

I will work every day to make sure my grandchildren or my great grandchildren go to the stars.  Because we shouldn’t have all our eggs in one basket.

You stay on the Earth and beat your chest about changing anything.  Have a happy Earth day.

WE, the children of Heinlein, are going to the stars.  And we’re taking cats with us.

Happy Human Diaspora Day, and don’t forget to celebrate Human Achievement Hour.

 

309 responses to “Happy Human Diaspora Day

  1. … once I ascertained I wasn’t being graded, I just kind of stood where the supervisors (a lot of long haired guys and unwashed girls) couldn’t see me and used the day very profitably to daydream.

    I believe I need to reread Comrade Don Camillo

    512NTY6GaEL._SY344_BO1,204,203,200_.jpg (241×346)

  2. Paul (Drak Bibliophile) Howard

    As I said on Sarah’s Face Book page, they want a theocracy with them as the Priesthood who tells everybody else how to live.

    Of course, there was that idiotic remake of “The Day The Earth Stood Still” where the alien is willing to destroy human civilization to “protect Earth”. 😦

    At least the original movie involved the alien saying “don’t come to the stars and get us involved in your fights”.

    • Larry Patterson

      I imagine God would not be very impressed.

    • The original was a true classic. Didn’t see, or want to see the remake.

      • As far as i can tell the stupid remake ends with the alien nanocloud erasing all of our technology., including vehicles actually in motion. So basically, exterminating 99% of the human race through starvation. Hopefully, the next civilization that rises remembers the stories and is ready when the aliens decide to try again…

        • “Why did they nuke our ship as it tried to land?”
          “Sir, the Pontifobots landed last time. It took nearly a century for them to rebuild, and the deaths… it was catastrophic, even not counting the dams that vanished.”
          “Stars and garters, man, why didn’t you say so? We’ll have to radio ahead that we’re friendly. Or maybe meet on the moon.”

        • Paul (Drak Bibliophile) Howard

          The “Real Story” is that those aliens were afraid that humans would surpass them so they used the stupid “Human Caused Global Warming” thing as an excuse to destroy our civilization.

          Of course, they didn’t wipe out all of our records so when we visit them, they won’t have to worry about us surpassing them.

          They’ll have to worry about us killing them. 👿 👿 👿 👿

          • exactly.

          • Don’t piss off the Space Orcs.

            • BobtheRegisterredFool

              Humans are made in order to fight and to win.

              • Paul (Drak Bibliophile) Howard

                I had in one of my never-written SF universes, a twist on the Star Trek “Prime Directive”.

                This peace-keeping Star Empire forbid any contact, especially attempted conquests, with non-space traveling cultures.

                Why?

                They had to deal with too many would-be conquerors that started out that way because they had to deal with other nasty species who visited them before they left their home worlds. 👿

        • It’s been noted that the aliens are a bunch of hypocrites in the remake. They’ve evidently got technology that’s more than capable of living “in harmony” with the planet, and presumably had to advance through our stage of technological development at some point (i.e. they polluted their own world). But they’re not willing to share any of their planet-friendly technology with us.

    • It’s religions like Ecologyism and Scientism that give religion a bad name. How many Ecologyists have fed a poor person, how many true-believers in Scientism have opened a hospital?

      I’m staying with the religion of fides et ratio whose members invented the idea of the hospital and modern empirical science and equality before the law and more or less everything noble about Western Civilization.

  3. sanfordbegley

    Dogs too DAMMIT

    • Yes, dogs too. Someone who stand guard by the scout’s campfire, serve as beast of burden and be companion to man.

    • I’ve got to remember to read the comments first.

    • Definitely dogs too. Cats can become insufferable without a dog explaining where their place is, and who’s really in charge.

      • Dogs and beer, as the basis for he two major step functions in human civilization, both deserve a place. Cats go because we’re their pets, so they will follow us to the stars from the front.

      • I once had a cat who would have Gibbs-slapped any dog that tried to put him in his place. Then he would have chased the uppity canine out of his yard. Usually, he did not have to lay a paw on the dog. All the neighborhood dogs called him “sir” — including the rottweiler that lived down the street.

        • Stepdad got a Malamute puppy, which found out very quickly that kitties make your nose hurt. Years later, Kumik, now outweighing cat by @ 7:1, was still thoroughly cowed by Paiwacket.

          • “Years later, Kumik, now outweighing cat by @ 7:1, was still thoroughly cowed by Paiwacket.”

            Works for small(ish) dogs too. Our pomeranian so thoroughly intimidated my heeler and aussie when they were puppies, that later when there was a 5:1 and 8:1 size/mass disparity, they still deferred to her as Top Dog on the property. But woe to any coyote who came onto the property thinking the pom was a snack… they were real protective of the pack leader.

            Even now, years and years later, my 80lb male Aussie will back off from aggressive smaller dogs who get uppity with him without growling or getting aggressive back. It takes a dog his size or thereabouts getting aggressive for him to show tooth.

    • Well, I’m thinking we ought to take a few Missouri alarm clocks. (Mules)

      • Definitely. First, because they’re a lot easier to replicate when technology breaks down, and second, so we know that human teenagers aren’t the most stubborn things on the planet.

        • Mules replicate?

          • Well, we already know we’re not getting offplanet without horses, cats, and dogs (per other Hun insistence). So if we want to have the Missouri alarm clocks, than only takes adding donkeys in to keep replicating ’em. Okay, and the farmers that understand dealing with and breeding the above.

            Otherwise, I feel sincerely sorry for the first generation that tries to train a mule from a text file.

            • I know a fictional character who would laughing so hard at that that she’d end up sitting in the dirt, dignity be d-mned, her wig askew. Snowy would be off to the side, leaning into the corral and giving the young mules tips.

              • There’s a passage in the autobiography of U.S. Grant where he (as a young officer) was put in charge of the mule teams. There were two problems:

                1) Most of the “trained” mules that had been foisted off on the government were anything but.
                2) Most of the men who claimed to be “expert teamsters” were also anything but. Why would they do that? Because teamsters got to ride on the wagons rather than humping a heavy pack on foot.

                Hilarity ensued.

                As I recall, most of the mules eventually resigned themselves to their fate, but there was one Spawn-of-Satan/Cool Hand Luke mule that simply would not cooperate.

                Grant discovered that the regs didn’t allow him to just exchange the mule for another, but that he could get a new one if the mule got “lost”. It is not-so-subtly implied that the mule was encouraged to lose himself on numerous occasions. Finally it stuck.

            • Riiight. Okay, I was just questioning the idea of mules qua mules replicating. As an old farm boy, I was scratching my head, but if you bring donkeys along, well then . . .

      • Nope. Bring the horses and the donkeys. One needs the factory, not the product.

    • We won’t be taking the dogs, they’ll be coming along willingly.

  4. Look in the mirror at…..
    …not the only species capable of driving other species into extinction (far from it!), but…
    …the only species willing to let itself be bullied into feeling guilty about it.

  5. And the more I learned the more this Earth Day thing seemed not just like a cult, but like a reversal to paleolithic anthropomorphication and worship of the world and the environment.

    The Daughter, who is disinclined to suffer gladly those who she believes to be fools, will point out that whatever we do, so long as we did not blow the planet itself completely apart, there would still be an environment. Possibly one that was not at all a hospitable one for life as we know it, but this would not be an entirely new state of things. Theory states that the earth was once before an inhospitable place with nothing living upon it.

    • One of my favorite parts of Jurassic Park was when Ian Malcolm explained to the rest of the crew that “Saving the Planet” is an exercise in futility: the planet is a giant hunk of rock that was hanging around for billions of years before we appeared and will be here for billions of years after we’ve all evolved into space whales or something.

      Malcolm’s little speech may have been why I couldn’t stop rolling my eyes while playing Final Fantasy VII.

      • Earth’s a tough old biddie who is far more likely to destroy us than the other way around. A point the ‘Save the earthers’ don’t get.

      • MadRocketSci

        Bahahaha! I vaguely remember Final Fantasy VII. I remember that by disc 2, I was rooting for the nominal evil corporate badguys.

        Okay, they were some sort of military junta at this point – but they were the only people trying to do *anything constructive* about the various crises the world was facing in that entire bizzaro setting! Maniac psycopath supersoldier on the loose? Better hunt him down before he mass murders any other towns full of your employees. Giant freaking asteroid is about to impact (whatever the world was called)? Hey, the obvious thing to do is to dust off that proton knockoff from your defunct space program, put a nuke on it, and blow up the asteroid! (Nooo! That’s too straightforward for our protagonists. They have to stop that plan before the day is saved so they can angst about the inevitability of mankinds well deserved fate.) Giant “wrath of Gaia” Kaiju rampaging straight for your town to kill everyone? That is what we have SCIENCE for! And big freaking cannons! And in the end, the ‘evil corporate badguys’ go down guns-blazing trying to defend their city against unreasoning cosmic horror. The ‘protagonists’ (by that point?): Kaiju roadkill (yesss, poke the 400 ft tall nuclear monster with your sword. That’ll do it.) and generally useless.

        • madrocketsci

          I dunno. I remember Final Fantasy VI has a much more interesting and coherent plot. I get the impression that the Final Fantasy series just gets weirder the less final it gets. (Never followed it much beyond VII or VIII)

          Still has an awesome soundtrack though.

          • Final Fantasy X was amazing, Final Fantasy IX was pretty good too, but X was the best in the series in my opinion. Graphically it was awesome and the story was tight.

            • That is… an opinion regarding X.

              I’ve found that VIII and X tend to be the most polarizing when it comes to deciding whether people liked the games or not. XII did alright, from what I understand. And from what I can tell, no one liked XIII (but the decision had apparently already been made to release sequels, so…).

              XI and XIV are the MMORPGs. And XV, which was originally supposed to be sort of connected to XIII in some fashion, is due out soon.

            • MadRocketSci

              Okay, I remember IX. IX was good too.

              I suppose I’ve stopped playing video games in general since undergrad. The time investment to story ratio wasn’t high enough to continue.

              I dunno … I wonder at the extent to which Japanese video games influenced the cultural tropes/fantasy expectations that I grew up with. Japan seems to have a pretty high cultural output relative to a lot of other places. (They have wild and unrestrained imaginations, apparently … I wonder to what extent that was Japan specifically, or the time-period I’m thinking of. Now that I think about it the 80s and 90s had a massive cultural output here in the US too, in terms of movies.)

              • madrocketsci

                Some of their anime sci-fi is pure irreverent fun too.

                I wonder what makes a culture/time pair unusually creative like that?

                70s/80s American movies (Alien, anything Schwarzenegger, the Star Wars movies, etc)
                80s/90s anime.
                There were apparently eras like that when it comes to web-fiction, or comics. We might be in one now in terms of web-comics.

                In comparison, I can’t think of a single movie from Europe, other than maybe “Lola runs”, which I only know about because of German class in highschool.

                I did sort of tune out/half watch an Indian sci-fi movie that one of my college roommates was playing, but it was off any western scale of despair/bleakness/cynicism, so it wasn’t my cup of tea.

                • The only European movie I can think of at all (not just sci-fi) is La Femme Nikita. Which is beyond strange, and yes, bleak, but I still liked it.

                  Of course there are probably plenty of movies that I don’t know where they are made.

              • Many machines in Ix…

      • Patrick Chester

        I keep wondering why, if it’s a Final Fantasy, there are II, III, IV, V, VI, VII, VIII, IX, X, XI, XII, XIII, and so on. 😉

        • Free-range Oyster

          I actually happened across the answer to that recently. When the first one came out, the development company was about to go under. They expected it to be their last game, and named it accordingly. Then game was a success, the company was saved, and they had an awkwardly named hit on their hands.

      • Terry Sanders

        Rush Limbaugh had a recording of Charlton Heston reading that speech. Awesome. ..

    • Not just inhospitable when nothing alive was here: Humans would have had not a chance of surviving without very high tech (i.e. spacesuits) at various points in the past when Earth simply teemed with life, either due to solar radiation, or baseline atmospheric composition, or even just oxygen concentration in an Nitrogen-oxygen atmosphere that was very roughly in proportion to Earths today. There’s a reason that those 6-ft wingspan humongous dragonflies found in the fossil record were a viable life form in that period, but no matter how hot and humid an equatorial jungle area is today, you won’t see anything with that respiratory plan to that scale.

  6. “At the zoo, they had a mirror and “Take a look at the only animal capable of driving others to extinction” (this is so far from true it’s laughable, and only religion could cause a biologist to suspend thought long enough to believe this unremitting cr*p.)”

    My favorite Earth day story was how the greatest mass extinction on Earth was caused by a selfish species that discovered a new potential energy source for itself. This energy source, however, resulted in a toxic gas being dumped into the atmosphere. Something like 99% of all species died off as a result of this gas, but those creatures kept using their energy source and polluting the world.

    The toxic gas was oxygen, the energy source was photosynthesis, and those horrible things that drove everything else to extinction were the first plant-like organisms.

    • So you mean, the song goes “The earth is a mass of toxic oxygen gas, a post-apocalyptic wasteland. Where oxygen runs riot over unfossilized remains and multicellular organizims. You know we’ve got to breathe this lot of oxygen to survive. But here on earth we’re gonna evolve and colonize to live.”

      (With apologize to Tom Lehrer, The sun is a mass of incandescent gas)

    • Laura Montgomery

      I want to use this, but need one more detail. What did the plants drive to extinction? Something anaerobic?

      • Probably all bacteria and algae. I don’t think pre-oxygen Earth had much in the way of higher life forms.

        • Laura Montgomery

          Thank you kindly.

        • #AnaerobicBacterialLivesMatter

        • I’d be willing to believe that grass caused a lot of other plant species to go extinct. It tends to choke out its competition.

          • To efficiently eat grasses you need different stomach setup, so one of the “not all due to Chicxlub and the Deccan Rift” Dinosaur extinction theories is that the plant eating Sauroids could not survive eating these newfangled grasses, so they were being slowly knocked off by the time the Planetary Renewal Object came calling.

      • Vegans.the first batch died out billions of years ago, but solar radiation has had time to reestablish the mutation so the plants have it all to do again.

      • Invasive species drive out other organisms (including plants) that also occupy their niche. They generally have no controls on their growth, because what was keeping them in check in other places ain’t here. May or may not be extinction level events, but we’ve got a fossil record of plants that aren’t around today. They didn’t bow out quietly, they were out-competed for scarce resources.

        • The latest theory is that rats ruined Rapa Nui (Easter Island). First they ate all the bird eggs. Bye Bye Birdies. Then they ate most of the plant seeds. People had a paradise until the pests they accidentally introduced ran wild.

          • So the fatal flaw in the Polynesian long range colonization program was… (wait for it…) their Lack of Cats.

            • My late dachshund was far more efficient than any cat at eliminating rodents.

              Many people think dachshunds are cute and funny. At least until they see one yawn, and realize they’re mutant crocodiles.

              • Paul (Drak Bibliophile) Howard

                Dachshunds were created as hunting dogs.

                It’s good to know that some of them remember that. 😀

                Beagles like my Lilly were also created as hunting dogs and while Lilly has never needed to hunt she has shown that she still thinks of herself as a hunter. 😀

              • Oh, yeah, for rat control around settlements I’d definitely pick one of the more obsessive small dog breeds. There’s a reason the preferred rat-control animal in Europe was the rat-terrier, and Dachshunds were bred to their form to dig down into occupied Badger holes and deal with the occupants.

                But if I were trying to let critters loose at a colony to prevent an imbalance like apparently happened on Rapa Nui, I would think cats – for rats vice mice maybe one of the larger cat breeds.

              • Feather Blade

                IIRC “Dachshund” does translate to “Badger Hound”….

                Friends of mine had Cairn Terriers when we were young. Naturally my parents always called the “Carrion Terrors”. You can tell what they were bred for by watching how they treat small plush toys.

          • Feather Blade

            I’m surprised the people didn’t start eating the rats themselves.

      • Laura, see if you can find the Draco Tavern anthology by Larry Niven. There’s a neat story in it about the wise, creative species on primordial Earth that got done in by the development of an O2-rich atmosphere.

  7. I will NOT go quietly into that good night.

    What is this about good night? Darkness cloaks unseen dangers. Light a candle against the darkness. Let our light shine!

  8. What’s amazing is how hysterical they all were, back when this all started.
    https://theartsmechanical.wordpress.com/2016/04/22/the-stuff-greens-keep-getting-wrong/
    Greenism is a cult and a pathology.

    • I can’t believe that!” said Alice.

      Can’t you?” the Queen said in a pitying tone. “Try again: draw a long breath, and shut your eyes.”

      Alice laughed. “There’s no use trying,” she said: “one can’t believe impossible things.”

      “I daresay you haven’t had much practice,” said the Queen. “When I was your age, I always did it for half-an-hour a day. Why, sometimes I’ve believed as may as six impossible things before breakfast. …”

      I have no problem with the idea of being neat and tidy, of picking up after yourselves. Somewhere along the line we moved beyond basic cleanliness of not littering and better waste management and morphed into something else altogether.

      There is a certain perverseness in the socialists embrace of the green movement. I know, it is one more way to get people to surrender independence. Anyone remember the environmental conditions that the Soviet Bloc nations were left in when the Empire collapsed?

      Absurdity seems to be a constant human trait.

      • $HOUSEMATE keeps accusing me of being silly.
        I keep telling $HOUSEMATE that,
        “It’s the Universe that’s silly; I just notice.”

      • There is a certain perverseness in the socialists embrace of the green movement.

        The watermelon effect is basically a result of The Plan – stymied by the fall of the Soviet Union and looking around for a way back to influence under cover of something else, the socialists had to look for an appropriate Trojan Horse. If they were to take over, say, the anime fandom movement, there would be little resulting Power To Tell People What To Do (excepting absolute control at various Anime Cons), so they picked something to subvert and assume control of with A) the most gullible and naive followers already in place, and B) the greatest Potential for Power. The fact that the roots of the environmental “movement” were solidly embedded in Soviet Agitprop efforts during the Cold War just gave them a cleaner entry point.

        With the environmental movement’s extensive cultural penetration via all the enviropropaganda in schools and the media such, plus it’s underlying far left leanings due to those founding ties, the assumption of control was actually pretty straightforward. In many places this merging yielded the Green Parties gaining seats in Parliaments and such – actual government power, with actual ministerial positions in charge of actual government bureaucracies – and thus hiring control and the start of colonization of said bureaucracies.

        In a non-externally influenced system, one might expect to see a green movement split into left-green and right-green parties, both with a concern for pollution control, nature preservation and resource stewardship, but with different underlying political perspectives.

        Note how this did not happen. Asking why – what forced people concerned with clean air to embrace all the lefty whackadoodle positions? – basically uncovers the arrow-of-history types and illustrates how the takeover ruthlessly culled deviant green-beliefs out of the party, as per standard left doctrine.

        The watermelon effect, and the absence of any right-green component, both really the result of the natural flow of pre-extant power and influence along one path of least resistance to regain public standing.

        • The Left’s pushing of Climatism (global warming, climate change, climate disruption, EXTREME WEATHER) has even further perverted environmentalism. The climatists state in a totally SERIOUS MANNER that we must change the world’s financial system because capitalism is ruining the planet. Only World Government can save us.

          The insane climate propaganda taught to our children in schools makes me agree with Glenn. Sending your children to American public schools is child abuse.

  9. I’m reminded of yet another passage from Starship Troopers… the description of Sanctuary.

    Its typical and most highly developed plant life is a very primitive giant fern; its top animal life is a proto-insect which hasn’t even developed colonies. I am not speaking of transplanted Terran flora and fauna—our stuff moves in and brushes the native stuff aside.

    I guess that’s just another reason to root for the Bugs, right?

    Starship Troopers… is there anything to which it doesn’t apply? 🙂

    • Christopher M. Chupik

      “Starship Troopers… is there anything to which it doesn’t apply?”

      The movie adaptation?

      • There was a movie adaptation?

        I know Doogie Howser, S.S., used some of the names, but I’ve never heard of an adaptation of the book.

        • The movie adaptation was awful.

          • I choose to believe, that just like the second Highlander movie, it’s merely a mass delusion that doesn’t actually exist.

          • Paul (Drak Bibliophile) Howard

            There was no movie based on RAH’s Starship Troopers.

            • Yeah, Verhoven was given a setting, broad outline and a cast of characters then wrote and directed a movie from his own warped perspective.

              • Paul (Drak Bibliophile) Howard

                IIRC he had a “Bugs vs Humans movie” in the works and somebody pointed out RAH’s book.

                After getting permission to use the book’s title, he just added “pieces” from the book that were “cut to fit” his idea of what the book was about.

                Note, while I saw that film, I should have known better when I heard an interview with him saying “Can you imagine bugs with guns?”.

                Yes I could and Heinlein wrote about them. 😦

                • I was digging through a box of books in the ship’s library and found two Heinlein books that I hadn’t read. Well, actually three, but I’m pretty sure I already have a copy of “Time Enough for Love”, I just haven’t read it yet. The two new ones that have been added to my collection are “Red Planet” and “Waldo and Magic, Inc”.

                  Incidentlaly, did you guys kn0w that the Heinlein Society has an H4H, Heinlein For Heroes system that donates books? I totally did not. I grabbed a couple five of those books with that sticket on the back. There was also another one, donated by the Heinlein Prize trust, entitled Requiem, which had a couple speeches given by him at conventions , as well as tributes written by various people like Larry Niven and Poul Anderson and Tom Clancy.

                  The room might have gotten a little bit dusty while I was reading them.

                • IIRC he had a “Bugs vs Humans movie” in the works and somebody pointed out RAH’s book.

                  After getting permission to use the book’s title, he just added “pieces” from the book that were “cut to fit” his idea of what the book was about.
                  ———————–

                  I’ve heard the same.

                  So far as I can tell, Verhoven has exactly one good movie to his name – Robocop. And that was an accident.

                  • Verhoven had been trying to shop a “Nice Young Teenagers Who Grow Up To Be Nazis during WWII” movie with no takers for years. When he was hired to do Starship Troopers he canned the actual story without reading it and copy-pasted his script in, and had his hired gun writing staff add back in all that icky bugs and spaceships stuff.

                    He still brags about never having read the actual book.

                    Moron.

                    • Verhoeven had the bugs in from the start. As Drak notes (and as I’ve had confirmed from another source), people who read the script noted that the bug war in space angle was similar to Starship Troopers, so Verhoeven acquired the rights.

                      But you are correct in stating that he’s never read the actual book.

                    • There were bugs in “Bug Hunt at Outpost Nine” from the start, but as I understand it there’s another, older, Verhoeven story he had been trying to pitch for years (i.e. well before RoboCop) which was drawn in part from what he saw as a kid in and after the Nazi occupation of The Netherlands, where various teens he knew were pulled into the Nazi glitz and ended up fighting for them in the SS divisions raised from the occupied countries. That older “teens becoming Nazis” story is where all the “see, this is what happens” elements that Verhoeven pasted into the movie originated.

                • Patrick Chester

                  So Verhoven needs to check his primate privilege?

            • Right. That was purely a coincidence in title. That’s been my story ever since it came out, and I’m sticking to it.

              I knew that thing was going to suck before it was even released, when I heard that Verhoeven had made the M.I. draftees.

              Yeah, talk about missing the point…

            • “There was no movie based on RAH’s Starship Troopers.”

              Sure there was. It was episodic CGi and it was titled: “Roughnecks.” 🙂

            • I like one description of the origins of the movie I encountered (on TV Tropes, if I remember correctly):

              “Based on the blurb of a book by RAH”.

        • it was recently ran on cable (this last week) SST one, two, and three. and each one was worse than the one before.

          • SST one, two, and three

            lalalalalalalalalala

            I can’t HEAR you! There never was a SST movie, so how can there have been three?

            (disclaimer… I actually have Doogie Howser, S.S. on DVD, and watch it occasionally. It’s a fun little space monster flick as long as I don’t try to link it to Heinlein)

        • More of an abortion of the book. Or dissection with an axe.

      • Christopher M. Chupik

        By amazing coincidence, in my ongoing battle on FB with a clueless Trekkie fanatic, my opponent just opined that Starship Troopers showed that Heinlein was an evil racist fascist so-and-so.

  10. Laura Montgomery

    ” bringing light out of darkness is something we humans did and it’s pretty awesome”
    Hear, hear!

  11. “WE, the children of Heinlein, are going to the stars. And we’re taking cats with us.”

    Of course we take the cats, something has to hunt and kill the rats that always follow where humans go. (and there by reduce the fleas the rats carry – which can lead to such things as the black death.)

    • And occupy otherwise empty laps…….

      • That’s a “occupy” movement that I can accept – happily. 😀

        • The Other Sean

          I support the Occupy Space movement. 🙂

          • Occupy with cats and dogs in tow.

          • “I support the Occupy Space movement.”

            That requires a T-shirt.

            • That would be a good one.

            • Indeed! I know there are Occupy Mars T-shirts; I saw one in the crowd at a SpaceX launch.

              • Laura Montgomery

                My favorite T-shirt verbiage is Space is the New Black.

                • That’s reminiscent of a t-shirt I saw that is popular among fusion enthusiasts: “A day without fusion is like a day without sunshine.”

                  Speaking of which, that reminds me: I still need to make my own fusion reactor. (They are mind-boggling easy to make! I just need a glass jug, a vacuum pump, some wire, a high-voltage source of electricity, some deuterium, and a neutron detector to prove I succeeded. Fusion is easy — getting more energy out than you put in is ridiculously hard!)

            • Bibliotheca Servare

              I would wear the *heck* out of that shirt! Also “only *you* can prevent extinctions…actually no, you can’t. Oops.” Or something similar, lol.
              We must bring dogs with us, cats will graciously deign to allow us to accompany them (but certain cats…like mine…will need to be *brought* because they’re really cat-shaped dogs…hey, he’s as sweet as he is simple! …but he *is* *very* sweet…*shakes head, smiling*), turtles will help remind us to be patient and thorough (so will the prospect of an awful death, but damn it, I *like* turtles!), frogs will eat all the bugs we inevitably bring on board (hopefully they’ll also eat the spiders…little bastiges…), crap, I’m not talking about space travel anymore, am I? Nope…I’ve managed to go from “colonize space!” to “launch Noah’s ark into space!” …I blame my mother, that heathen escapee from a Disney animated feature… *chortle* (the ones Disney himself was involved in making, not the new “the villains are the real good guys/just misunderstood!” claptrap) Seriously, the (wonderful) woman was *sad* (but still laughing) when watching the scene in “Shrek” where Fiona (the gal Shrek and Donkey retrieve from her tower) sings with a little blue bird and the bird goes “POOF!” during the high note. She (okay, I do it too…) fed the squirrels in our old neighborhood so well…well, let’s just say “fat and happy” wasn’t a figure of speech for those squirrels… *giggling* I’ll shut up now, lol. (and resume my delighted, laughing perusal of these awesome comments!)
              God bless! 😀

              • I have two trans species cats myself who self-identify as canines. I think Havey is a poodle. Greebo, OTOH is something efficient and dangerous and ABSOLUTELY loyal.

              • You know, there’s a reason a lot of authors call their Generation Ships “Arks”.

                • And when things don’t go as they like they go on a diet; with an ark-light strike.

                • “And in other news, the terraforming down below continues on track. the algae that washed up on the shore turn bright yellow when they die, making it easier to identify the edges of the seasonal water bodies. We expect that’ll fade shortly, but it’s helped the hydrologists. There’s been another volcano erupting in the southern continent….” Roger continued on through the brief.

                  When he looked up after signing off, Marty was wringing his hands again. Repressing the urge to duct tape the man’s hands together, Roger settled for raising an eyebrow. Marty blurted, “Think they’ll buy it?”

                  “Look, they’re not expecting any results for a thousand years. We’re fine. They’ll look at the high orbital scan, all nice and fuzzy, nod sagely, and in four years we’ll get a request for a cell sample. Or not.”

                  “But they’re spreading so fast!”

                  “We can blame a flood.” Roger waved a hand. “As long as they don’t have to take responsibility for a problem, they’ll buy it.”

                  “But…”

                  “Look, nobody’s testing for multicellular life, so we don’t have to put it on the report. If it’s not documented, then the great dandelion escape doesn’t exist. And by the time anyone realizes it, it won’t be our problem anymore. Do the biologists look worried?”

                  “They’re cloning butterflies!”

  12. Considering the far more important (on MY planet) annual occasion that begins tonight, allow me to object to the term “Human Diaspora.” A Diaspora is an EXPULSION, a forced exile against one’s will. Let us instead call it the Human Exodus, an escape from limits towards a glorious destiny!

    A healthy, happy, and kosher Passover to everyone, whether you observe it or not!

    • If you capitalize it to refer to just the historic Jewish Diaspora, perhaps. But in general, “diaspora” doesn’t require force:

      “Diaspora–the movement, migration, or scattering of a people away from an established or ancestral homeland.”

      • Laura Montgomery

        Some people speak of a diaspora from Cleveland during a decline in the steel industry. (Just to be clear, I really like Cleveland, but I gather there was a big population drain.) Economic factors led to the exodus.

  13. Larry Patterson

    As a senior in high school I was very impressed with the first Earth Day. There was a lot of pollution then…
    The thing is, the worst pollution was cleaned up long ago and yet, Mr. Nixon’s solution to pollution, the EPA just grows and grows and gets ever more obnoxious. And what really is ruining the earth is ignored: Violence, bloodshed and the biggest cause behind this is probably government.
    As Reagan said, government is not the solution to your problems, it is the problem. The Portuguese say ‘Governo é o maior ladrão.’

    • Free-range Oyster

      Pois é.

    • “just grows & grows…” – Of course; because the first obvious corollary to the Iron Law of Bureaucracies is that a Bureaucracy, or any subdivision of it, never reaches a natural end-of-life and disappears; it simply metastaticizes without end. It must be killed by something more powerful. If it was still performing any useful function at the time of death, that must be assigned to a new organism.

      • I dunno, the US managed to kill the Strategic Helium Reserve (in case the military needs it for dirigibles, hydrogen being so dangerous) in 2013 due to a law passed in 1996. Of course in 2013 the government established the Federal Helium Reserve in the same place as the old Strategic Helium Reserve with the same bureaucracy but the Federal Helium Reserve was set up to prevent government funded research from having to pay market price for helium and has nothing to do with blimps-o’-war, a completely different bureaucracy than the one that died a natural death.

      • Larry Patterson

        This is why Texas has sunset law.

    • Yeah, things have gotten better. My Dad used to have a picture in his study. It was taken from his office in a high-rise, and showed yellow clouds of smog floating between the buildings in Downtown LA. You haven’t been able to see that for decades, now.

      Except maybe in China, of course.

      I saw a blog post (and link) somewhere not all that long ago that pointed out that the EPA was originally created to help clean up a bunch of Superfund sites. And quite a few of those sites are still on the “to do” list.

    • I remember when LA county outlawed backyard incinerators. I had liked helping dad burn the trash. What I didn’t like was having lungs that hurt when I breathed after playing outside in the summer. Dad called me a wimp if I complained. Sunsets were nice though.

  14. scott2harrison

    Of course we take the cats. We would not be so cruel to those loving bundles of fur as to leave them to be killed by the greens aka PETA types. Once we leave all the domestic species will be dead in a year. Then the so-called humans left behind starve.

  15. I’m always (morbidly) amused by all the contradictions inside the modern environmental movement. A few: 1) Humans are unique in causing extinctions. Pre-human mass extinctions are a necessary part of evolution. 2) Deities are not necessary for life. Humans designed a lab experiment that proves it. (Ex nihilo lab experiment? Pardon my giggles. No matter what you think about the origins of life and the mechanism(s) for development, there’s a teeny, tiny flaw in the logic in #2.) 3) Humans are no better or worse or more valuable than any other animal (or living organism.) Humans are unique and have a special duty to stop acting like other animals and to put themselves out of the planet’s misery.

    And those are just ones I can pull out of my hat on no notice.

  16. Oh, it’s Earth Day? Now that ~2 hour round shopping trip (can’t get the good sloe gin here, you see) is even better.

    • The watermelons needed a stealth mechanism to celebrate Lenin’s B’day.

      “Hey! I know. We’ll call it Earth Day and the whole world will celebrate!”

      • When is Mercury Day? Venus Day? (No, not 14 April) Mars Day? Jupiter Day? Saturn Day? (no, not every Saturday.. well, maybe kinda), Uranus Day? Neptune Day? Pluto Day? Ceres Day? Pallas Day? Vesta Day? No, I won’t ask about a Day for Voice-operated-transmitter circuits.

  17. I concur with Ian Malcolm: The planet was spinning long before we arrived on the scene, and will continue to do so regardless of what happens to us. Barring the arrival of a Cicxulub-sized asteroid or the blowout of the Yellowstone caldera causing an ELE, even life, or even mankind, will be OK as well.

    Given that ‘we’ last long enough to reach the stars it may well be an expulsion, and thus a true diaspora. Those who end up running the planet may just find sending its malcontents off to thrive or die somewhere out of sight preferable to murdering them wholesale. Because they’re ‘good’ people. Think Dr. Pournelle’s Co-Dominium a la the early American colonies / Australia to Britain. And if the hellhole planet the misfits are sent to manages to kill them anyway, well the Leaders’ hands are ‘clean’.

    On one of my first Earth Days, literature professor Borgerding asked the class the (presumably rhetorical) question, “Which uses more energy, depilating with a razor or with an electric shaver?”, expecting the answer, of course, ‘the shaver’. Nerdy Bob raises his hand and says, “It depends. How much water do you use while applying the blade? How hot do you make your water, and how is it heated?”

    And on Earth Hour, I go around and turn on every method of illumination in the house. In answer to those who say, in order to ‘save the planet’ we must turn off all our lamps, I say, in order to celebrate the technological progress of humanity, “let there be light!”

    • You also have to make sure ALL lights have incandescent bulbs too…..

    • I miss IowaHawk’s annual virtual EarthDay BBQ and Drive-In, when people posted pictures of their enormous, big-engined vehicles and talked about lighting tire fires, burning trash, cutting down trees, roasting pigs (different fire) and generally making Greens cry.

        • Pretty much. I drove my pick-up (in 4WD because it needs 10 miles a month in high 4, per the owner’s book) a little less than a mile to the drugstore and a little less than a mile back. Probably got 5 MPG. 🙂 Just doin’ my part to combat the current solar minimum.

          • *sigh* Sometimes I miss the old job. Occasionally, some of our custom work was applied to some truly unique vehicles. I’ve gotten to drive (and do some heavy modding) on diesels that burn gallons to the mile, not the other way around. Also, a few cars that retail for a phone number. And laugh at the EPA recommended fuel mileage for two-doors.

            Much as I like non-petro power (solar towers ftw!), there’s something visceral and satisfying about burnin’ rubber and octane at near-equal rates…

            • We once computed fuel consumption on an AOR at all ahead flank. If I remember correctly, we got 3 ft/gal. We guesstimated a CVA got 6 in/gal at flank.

              • 6″/g makes me think, why not just add heavy plate and use an ORION drive? *chuckle* I know, I know Nuclear regulatory issues not least among those, but I’ve still got a soft spot for the big booms.

            • Feather Blade

              Solar towers? Those are the ones that flash-fry incoming avians, yeah? They should really diversify into restauranting.

        • Now, if’n you want FIRE:
          (and SMOKE, mucho smoke)

      • Anonymous Coward

        Sadly, the last Earth Week Cruise-in was in 2014 :
        http://iowahawk.typepad.com/iowahawk/2014/04/the-2014-iowahawk-earth-week-cruise-in.html

        Fortunately, Iowahawk managed to escape from the Chicago area and is now living in Texas (and on Twitter).

    • Those who end up running the planet may just find sending its malcontents off to thrive or die somewhere out of sight preferable to murdering them wholesale. Because they’re ‘good’ people. Think Dr. Pournelle’s Co-Dominium a la the early American colonies / Australia to Britain. And if the hellhole planet the misfits are sent to manages to kill them anyway, well the Leaders’ hands are ‘clean’.”

      Yeah or the more modern usage of that one. Tom Kratman’s Carrera series

    • I have more sympathy for the Amateur astronomers, who want to look at the stars with their shiny (or not so shiny) telescopes.

  18. Can we take the dogs with us to the stars as well? I’d miss them if we left them behind.

    • You don’t understand the true cause of mankind’s impetus to reach the stars. Cats have been looking up at the lights in the sky for millennia and trying to figure out how to swat them while putting on an air of complete indifference. That’s why cats invented toxoplasma gondii, so they could have their servants build spacecraft and take catkind with them to teach those stars that just because they are far away it will not protect them from being swatted.

      • My cat just wants me to kneel in obeisance (and rub her stomach and chest and chin and head and stomach and chest and . . .)

    • Reality Observer

      Of course. My SIL would refuse to get on the ship if the horses didn’t come, though. (I do keep trying to get her into genre by pushing Hunting Party on her. She used to be an eventer herself…)

    • Mine just keeps looking for that door into summer.

  19. They got Gaia wrong.

    She wants other planets. She wants other solar systems, other stars, ultimately maybe other galaxies. She does not want to be imprisoned on one planet with a limited life time, she wants to last long, and to expand, to conquer. That is Her most defining characteristic.

    And that is why she created us.

    Worship Gaia, and DO WHAT SHE WANTS!

    • The Other Sean

      That was truly awesome. I can see the promo material for the movie now: Gaia Needs Planets!

      • ‘Woman needs Mars!’

      • Heh.

        But when you look at life in general, that is pretty much the only logical alternative if you try to guess what our hypothetical Earth Goddess would actually want.

        See what life has been doing so far.

        Expand and conquer, everything and everywhere it can possibly get to.

    • Free-range Oyster

      Hmmm… *strokes beard* I could see a group of Gaia worshipers who pursue colonization and terraforming of other worlds, so that they might have more worlds for her children, made in her image. Story idea, free to a good home, just let me know when I can buy a copy.

      Tangent thought: are any of Sol’s planets reasonable candidates for terraforming? What about the ice/gas giants’ moons, are any of them massive enough to even maintain an atmosphere? IIRC, the panel I went to on terraforming a year or two ago mentioned that seismic/volcanic activity is a necessary component of Earth’s hospitability, and that Mars has none, which seemed to rule out the frontrunner.

      • I guess it would pretty much depend on whether you want something that needs to be constantly maintained, or something which can, after the initial construction, take care of itself. From what I have looked at this, I think Mars could be terraformed, but it would also need constant maintaining after that, if it was just left it would pretty soon become devoid of life again (at least soon on geological time scale, might last for a while when thinking only of human lifetimes).

        • Mars is quite habitable… if you don’t insist on living on the surface.

          Dig down a bit and it should be quite warm and comfy. And enough atmosphere to inhibit vacuum cementing on your surface installations, but not enough to seriously hinder solar arrays.

      • Oh, that Gaia worshippers terraforming other planets is pretty much the premise in one of my story universes (mostly under construction), the stories will mostly happen at a time when humanity is living on the terraformed planets and has been for a while, but the reason why there are a lot of those planets, most still unoccupied by humans, would be a period in their history when there was something of a religious craze which took over large parts of Earth’s humans, and the end result was a large fleet of terraforming ships send everywhere. Perhaps there had been a barely missed planet wide catastrophe which might have wiped out a lot of Earth, if not terminated everything, or something similar, and the end result was that urge to, well, get as many eggs as possible into other baskets.

      • I used to focus on Mars, but had someone point out that Venus is even easier. You just don’t live on the surface! Those floating cities–not that hard when you realize Oxygen will act like Helium in that thick of an atmosphere. Just warn the kids not to fall off the edge :).

        • There’s also free power in such a climate- loop a long pipe down to the hot part, run your liquid of choice through it and into a turbine, cool it down through a radiator- bingo, free electricity.

      • Once you have the technology to terraform, the maintenance is rather easy. IIRC, Mars would only need a decent sized chunk of ice – say from one of the gas giant rings – crashed into it every hundred or so years to maintain a livable atmosphere.

        • There was an article in Analog Magazine called “Air Pollution on the Moon”. It made the point that if industry on the moon pumped out too much waste gas, it could overwhelm the ability of the solar wind to blow it away. The build-up would pollute the high-grade vacuum on the surface.
          However, if we really went to town, we could build up a breathable atmosphere on the surface of the moon.

          It would leak away, of course, but it would do so with a half-time of about 1000 years. A back-of-the-envelope calculation gave me the estimate that in order to maintain 1 atmosphere of pressure at the lunar surface, you would need to replace the gas that leaked away at the rate of six tons per second.

          As units go, the emission of six tons of hot gas per second really deserves to be named after someone, don’t you think?

    • Assuming one isn’t in a hurry, that would probably be do-able. Create some sort of small bootstrapping system that builds what it needs when it arrives at its destination. Spray them out in all directions. Wouldn’t want them to go too fast or they would explode on impact with their destinations – so the journey alone will last a very, very long time.

      Upon arrival (hitting anything and stopping would count as “arrival”), our little probes start bootstrapping; most will probably not get far due to lack of resources, but some will get lucky.

      What would happen to the horde of Von Neumann robots that would be required, though? Just fly into the sun after dropping ice chunks from the Oort cloud onto all the rocky inner planets? Should they be smart enough to figure out if this is necessary? Why bother? If you’re going to rebuild the ecosystem in Earth’s image, just drop the rocks, regardless, to wipe out whatever is there. <looks at sky nervously>

      If your timescale is long enough, there would be no evidence of “terra forming” because it would appear life started there and just turned out like ours – for very vague values of “like” since only templates would be in the original probe and evolution does weird things – I’m looking at you, platypus.

      I think someone has written this story; it sounds very familiar.

    • SheSellsSeashells

      Wasn’t that pretty much the point of Gerrold (the Mighty Asterisk)’s Chtorr books?

      (I am almost glad that “A Method for Madness” seems to be vaporware. I dread the moral dilemma of “give Gerrold money” versus “BUT I WANNA KNOW WHAT HAPPENS NEXT!!!”)

      Sigh. I mostly liked Gerrold before the Hugos.

      • It’s been so long since I read the first that I have no idea. Only one I did read too, he writes too slowly.

        Yep, I remember liking him too once upon a time. Not anymore.

    • I would totally read that story.

  20. I remember the first Earth Day. It fell on a Wednesday in 1970, and if our parents knew about it, they weren’t telling. It had come up in some science newsletter we all received in elementary school so we knew about. We “celebrated” the day with the teacher writing a paragraph on Earth Day on the blackboard, which we had to dutifully copy. Think it was a penmanship lesson or something of that nature. And, perhaps coming from a farm out in the boonies, I distinctly remember thinking it was a bunch of long haired hippie nonsense. No one was impressed, not even the teacher, who I think put it on the board more as current events than anything else.

    That first time was also the last time Earth Day was mentioned in the schools I attended, from elementary on up through college. And I suspect mine would have the same opinion of it now as I did back then.

    • When I first got out of library school I used to do weekly book displays on Topics of Current interest including various Interesting Holidays like “Talk Like a Pirate Day.” To my shame as a run-and-find-outer, I didn’t often look up what the hol was about beyond, well, the name.

      Sooo… I used to celebrate Earth Day in the early ’90s as a day to celebrate… the planet. You know. Rocks. Ecosystem. Planetary mechanics.

      Heh.

      • As a sophomore in high school, I helped bury an EVIL Cadillac straight 8 engine behind the auto shop.

    • My cousin’s favorite work shirt used to be one that said “Every day is Earth day”. Considering the fact that he fell timber for a living, he got some strange looks wearing that while covered in bar oil and sawdust.

  21. Sometimes you have to leave to get a better perspective.

    True. I love the bit in Bujold’s The Sharing Knife: Passage where Dag tells Remo that running away won’t solve his problems, and then Fawn snickers, because… what was Dag doing? Traveling the world, after running away from home, specifically to solve the problems he perceived – both his personal ones and the larger one of growing “farmer” populations in malice country.

    …the Earth is their mother (a DAMN abusive one, if you ask me)…

    LOL! Good one, Sarah!

  22. As I recycle all the cardboard from my Amazon boxes, I frequently rhetorically ask whether the planet appreciates what I do for it. But of course it doesn’t.

    What has Nature ever done for me aside from trying to kill me every day of my life? I try to point out to the pinheads that I recycle for the same reason I don’t poop in the stream I drink from, and it has nothing to do with Gaia, and as Yossarian might say, they’d be fools to do any different.

  23. Don’t forget tonight to turn on all of your lights, and fire up the fossil burning device of your choice and use all the energy you can in celebration of the marvelous supply of energy provided to us by the Earth. 😀

    • in celebration of the marvelous supply of energy provided to us by the Earth.

      I thought that ultimately, all the energy we use comes from the Sun? The Earth just stores some for us to use later.

  24. Just remember that you’re standing on a planet that’s revolving,
    revolving at 900 miles an hour – it’s orbiting at 19 miles a second,
    so it’s reckoned, the sun that is the source of all our power.
    The sun and you and me, all the stars that we can see
    are moving at a million miles a day in an outer spiral arm
    at 40,000 miles an hour in a galaxy we call the Milky Way.

  25. madrocketsci

    The greens don’t want us leaving Earth, period. The excuse that we’re somehow ‘immature’ and destructive and would ruin the solar system completely misses the point that the solar system is more inhospitable than we are even capable of making the Earth. We couldn’t make Earth less hospitable than Mars – it’s beyond our energy budget. There is literally no way to be less hospitable than “instant death outside an engineered environment”, no matter what bizarre things you are doing to that outside environment for whatever reason.

    I dunno: I think that mankind isn’t going to expand into space for survival reasons. That’s not in and of itself a motive for settling space. The survival of the species in the event of a disaster would be a happy side effect of space colonization, not the driving motivation for it. It’s a stick, not a carrot. Mankind has been beaten with sticks it’s entire existence (usually by other men). Men put forward effort when they can see a carrot.

    That means that going into space to make something of a field of barren rock has to look like an opportunity. I wonder to what extent the whole enterprise hinges on advanced chemistry allowing the colony to eat rock and make colony.

    • madrocketsci

      Solar system colonization, IMO, will have to be an enterprise with the focus around the sort of worlds we can build, not necessarily the sort of worlds out there as they exist naturally (though the backdrop will be impressive).

    • Patrick Chester

      Men put forward effort when they can see a carrot.

      Go to Space, get away from the Greens?

  26. The funny thing is, all of the predictions from the original earth day have failed….

  27. The gravitational binding energy of the Earth is around 200,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000 J. That’s about as much energy as the entire sun puts out in a week. We cannot destroy the Earth.

    Life is found from the very edge of space to deep within the Earth’s crust. We cannot wipe out all life on the planet.

    Using stone-age technology humanity was able to survive, if not flourish, in every environment between arctic tundra and empty desert. With modern technology we have not only made the deserts bloom, we have people living hundreds of feet under the ocean and miles above the atmosphere. We cannot wipe out humanity.

    All religions seem ridiculous to non-believers, but the environmentalists make those guys who dance around with snakes look downright sane.

    • I recall a ‘trick question’ from a time during the Cold War with higher (known/admitted) nuclear stockpiles: Which would you rather have A) The energy of the entire nuclear arsenal(s) of Earth …or… B) The energy of about half an hour of sunlight falling on Mars? The trick to it? The amounts were about the same.

  28. In honor of Eartha day, I think the Evil League of Evil should issue a temporary one-day posthumous membership to someone who is well known for her love of cats.

  29. Cats are good. I’m bringing goats, too.

    • Paul (Drak Bibliophile) Howard

      Wouldn’t goats try to eat the spaceship? [Very Big Evil Grin While Flying Away Very Very Fast]

  30. I am a trained biologist (fwiw), and have always been perplexed by the “logic” of the greenies. We are either part of nature, or apart from it. If the former, we have as much right to try to dominate the biosphere as any other creature. If the latter, then it implies we are special in some way, and therefore have special rights and responsibilities. That suggests controlling nature, i.e. stewardship. Greenies are repulsed by either option. They don’t like the idea that we are on a level playing field with the rest of nature, but they also hate the idea that we somehow have the right to control nature. So what the heck do they want? My best guess is, they just want humanity to disappear.
    .

  31. OK, semi-tangential. Brought to mind when Sara posted the link about generation ships.

    We’re not going to leave the solar system directly from Earth. Or even Mars. First we’ll build habitats, starting in Earth orbit, then, with experience, further out. And they won’t be International Space Station writ big, they’ll be something like O’Neal et al worked out back in the 1960s. Big. Containing their own biosphere’s, selected slices of Terra’s ecology. Humanity won’t colonize space and other worlds alone, not even just taking dogs and cats along. We’ll be transplanting whole chunks of Terra’s ecology, carrying farms, with crops and livestock, earthworms, and soil microbes. And, if the destination world has a native ecology, it’ll resist. Of course.

  32. ” Beavers change their environment to suit them, too, and we don’t say “let’s kill all beavers” because of that.”

    Actually I’ve been ordered to do just that. Of course that was because what suited the beavers was flooding the family’s house who was giving me the orders.

  33. “And the more I learned the more this Earth Day thing seemed not just like a cult, but like a reversal to paleolithic anthropomorphication and worship of the world and the environment.”

    Not paleolithic, a fair portion of the cultists are vegetarians, and the majority will only eat meat that comes from the grocery store, they would never eat any that came from animals.

  34. “Earth is the cradle of humanity, but one cannot live in a cradle forever.”
    — Antonin Tsiolkovsky

  35. Doctor Weasel

    Cats? You’re taking cats?

    • DUH. Would RAH forgive us otherwise?

    • Hey, we need multicultural food sources.

      • I don’t remember if it was a fiction story or a true story where I read that cats learn more easily to deal with weightlessness than dogs, but it seems likely.

        • Paul (Drak Bibliophile) Howard

          Likely fiction because I don’t know of any tests with dogs in weightlessness but I’ve seen videos from Britain showing cats going crazy (not in a good way) in weightlessness. 😀

          • Jerry Pournelle has described the video he saw of what happened when a cat was in free fall. It seems in free fall, cats develop their own innate gravitational attraction to the most tender parts of the nearest human, and once in contact, fasten hold with all four sets of claws until gravity (at a strength greater than the cat’s innate gravity) returns.

            • Heinlein seems to have assumed dogs could be trained to function in gravity after having been raised in free-fall (and presumably vice-versa), but birds would have to be raised in free-fall or they would never learn to stop fighting against the gravity that was no longer a significant force. (“Waldo”)

  36. They don’t want people escaping their control.www

    • Patrick Chester

      “People don’t like to be meddled with. We tell them what to do, what to think, don’t run, don’t walk. We’re in their homes and in their heads and we haven’t the right. We’re meddlesome.”