Planet Earth/8d. How to Think Critically About Earth's Future.

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The Earth is an isolated planet that contains all that you love and know. As change comes in the form of events in the near and distant future, the Earth will undoubtedly transform to accommodate these changes. To adapt, you will need to study the scientific methods to bring about a better place for this unknowable future. Science is not a doctrine to believe blindly, but a process to investigate and propose solutions to problems as they arise. Throughout this course, you have been introduced to the wonderous planet that you call your home, its gas atmosphere, liquid oceans, rough terrestrial terrain and deep interior of rock and heat. You’ve learned a little about the lifeforms, an oddity that makes the planet so unique in our solar system, as well as the rise of intelligent creatures such as yourself, a species that has come to dominate the planet. The Earth’s story is mixed with the individual hopes and dreams of various people who have investigate the wonderous planet they live upon, to understand the reality of existence through observation and ardent collection of data. Theories and ideas supported by experimentation and testing. What you take from this course will guide you in further explorations of these topics, beyond what a simple online class is able to convey. This final chapter, this final module, will leave you with a sense of direction of where to go and how to conducted your life to more critically think about the world around you.

Don’t Believe Everything that is Told to You[edit | edit source]

In the modern world, the goal of any propogandist or advertiser is to gain your attention. The rise of conspiracy theories, misconceptions, fallacies of thought rise out of your consumption of the media that is feed to you. Images of outrage, violence, hatred, death and despair carry a heavy emotional impact that can be a powerful motivating force, used to elicit reaction and attention from you.

In the modern world, it can be difficult to determine what reality is, and what is propaganda or false ideas or mistaken concepts. Every idea cannot be tested by an individual investigator. You may not have access to the equipment, materials, animals, test subjects or data necessary to conduct the study yourself. You instead must rely on the experiments of others, on the data collection provided by those scientists who have done the experiments. Sometimes these are wrong, and hence re-testing and the verification of those experiments are necessary by other scientists. Science changes with each re-examination, and often requires multiple labs and institutions on an international scale of research. A single entity cannot dictate the reality of an experimental outcome, but only through re-testing and verification from many sources and unique institutions can you come to a better understanding of the world around you. This requires a global and international pursuit of knowledge, and with the free exchange of ideas.

The future will bring new technological breakthroughs in preserving the natural world, and human dominance of the Earth. Some of these technologies will bring forth new responsibilities, while others might solve the great crises that we face today. Replacing antiqued modes of transportation, air polluting sources of energy, and more sustainable solutions for a more cost effective and less destructive resource utilization of Earth’s materials, both organic and inorganic is needed. The old ways of living on Earth are unsustainable, requiring new ways to drive economic pursuits that safely protect the environment and human health. This will require better governance, and increased participation of science within policy decisions.

What can you do?[edit | edit source]

Increasing personal knowledge and educating yourself about science is the most important aspect to living a good life. Knowledge allows you to comprehend the interestingly complex world around you, and to be weary of those who purport to be all knowing or authoritarian. Division and resentment are bred from ignorance. Research topics that interest you. Learn to read scientific reports and primary scientific literature that you can access, including books and other literature. Pursue multiple perspectives and personal experiences from others. Be empathic in your learning, and remain open to new ideas and new concepts. Learn to read charts and graphs and what they mean, and how to be critical of ideas. Be cautious of journalistic sensationalism, which uses shocking news stories at the expense of accuracy to provoke interest and further readership to sell advertising. Be observant about the world around you through exploration of your corner of the Earth, and the changes that you can witness and document near your home. Participate in changes that you would like to see in your own future, and those of future generations. Vote and participate in the politic processes to change the world, and write and contribute your own perspective to others, and share your own ideas. Read as much as you can, travel and experience new cultures and places, and share your own experiences living on Earth. Set goals, either personal ways to change your own consumption of materials, but also influence others to make similar changes. Review important scientific reports, and keep informed on the topics that are important to you. Don’t rely on social media for knowledge or as an assessment of the world around you. Ignore stranger’s comments and anger that can make you to lose hope, and realize that the right path toward a brighter future is often filled with thorns of personal scorn and ridicule. Stay the course to your goals and your own pursuit of happiness.

What will your future Earth look like?[edit | edit source]

You share the same planet with every other human on the planet. You breathe the same air as everyone else. You require the same basic necessitates of life including good food, clean freshwater and sound well-built shelters. You were born here, and will die here, like every other living human on the planet. Your view of Earth is a tiny fraction of the planet’s vast existence. As one of the multitudes of people and fellow humans, your view of the future will be different and unique. It is up to you to make it better, but only if you work hard at it. Life on Earth is not set to last for an eternity, it takes a lot of care, a lot of knowledge and understand, and a lot of love to ensure you and everyone on the planet is happy and healthy, enjoying that tiny moment of their own time on Earth. Focus on the little things you can do to make the Earth better. Pick up some litter while hiking, help someone that is in trouble, show kindness and understanding even to people with multiple views and opinions, and work toward solutions to problems. Dispel hatred with kindness. An enormous weight of responsibility comes from knowledge, because you carry the knowledge in knowing that the atmosphere, oceans and water, life and the physical resources of Earth are rapidly changing, and being altered at an alarming rate. You understand now that there is a colossal responsibility in the educating others. This course will stay with you for the rest of your life, this knowledge will keep you pressing forward to learn more, and with that comes the responsibility to educate others with this gainful knowledge about your and everyone else’s planet— Earth.