Reviewing an article about what happened during the 2010’s made me realize that the view of planet Earth from our exoplanet neighbors might be a bit disturbing: “What is all that colorful stuff whirling around in Earth’s oceans? Garbage? We’ve been watching it grow for some orbits now. Is it shrinking?”
We hope so. Articles listing what happened in 2019 note that New Zealand and one European union banned single use plastic bags. Also, 82 dams were removed from U.S. rivers. NASA’s Voyager 2 has finally left Earth’s
solar system. The hole in Earth’s ozone layer is probably healing. In 2019 the Chinese landed on the dark side of Earth’s moon. “Should we wonder what their plans are?”
We could answer that we humans on Earth are trying to preserve our precious watery home, now that we realize that we might be quite alone among the many dry exoplanets in our area of the Milky Way Galaxy.
Good news reports tell us that in 2019 renewable energy grew above 11% here on Earth and is now the cheapest energy available in more than 100 cities. Attempts to block environmental regulation were blocked.
Congress has approved a drought plan for the Colorado River. Brazil tree planting started but is now in trouble. Shell Oil committed $300 million on reforestation in 2019 and Canada banned industry along its coast. Some of this is surely a good sign to those watching planet Earth from afar.
They probably couldn’t see that Zambia reduced its elephant pouching. But they might have noted that 546 coal-fired power plants have been shut down. Also, green plants are starting to provide more protein in our diets, so we can begin to shut down some huge cattle pens (probably visible from nearby exoplanets). Our Kepler telescope has found more than 2700 exoplanets. TESS is busy finding more.
We humans haven’t found any evidence that anyone out there is watching our blue planet fluctuate, but we hope that when we find you, we’ll be proud to show you evidence that we have learned to exist without using
up our beloved–and all too rare–blue planet
Some of you may be 110 light-years away. We’ve detected water vapor in your atmosphere. We call you K2 186. You have clouds and rain like we do. TESS will soon find out for sure. We hope you’re as habitable as we are, but we doubt it since you are 2.5 times Earth’s radius and eight times its mass. Sorry you’re so far (110 light-years) away. Or maybe we’re lucky you’re so far away.
We’ have detected that there is hydrogen and helium in your atmosphere and water vapor. Your climate suggests liquid water could condense but may just evaporate and cycle back up. We can’t tell if you are a rocky super-Earth, a gassy Neptune or a water world. Some say you are the “most common type of planet in our galaxy.” (Science News October 12, and 29, 2019: “Distant exoplanet may host rain clouds” by Lisa Grossman.)
We’ve only been on this Earth some 50,000 Earth years or so. We called our early selves hominids and later types humans, but we’ve only been capable of finding other exoplanets in the Milky Way for a very short time–less than thirty of our
Author of The Archives of Varok
The View Beyond Earth (Book 1.)
The Webs of Varok (Book 2.)
Nautilus Silver Award 2013 YA
ForeWord IBPA finalist 2012 adult SF
The Alien Effect (Book 3.)
An Alien’s Quest (Book 4. Released Nov.21, 2016)
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