An interstellar perspective on climate change

Taking the time to contemplate the interstellar perspective of humanity’s place within the cosmos, reflecting on the unimaginable positioning of our earth within the universe, serves as an inspiration and a reminder of why we have to do our greatest to not f*** it up.

I had by no means been to a local weather summit earlier than COP26 and my expertise in Glasgow has confirmed to be a miserable actuality examine of the doomed state of our planet. I’m but to fulfill somebody who has responded to Cop26 with even a slight point out of positivity.

Michael Burton, from Armagh Observatory and Planetarium, and director of the quick movie titled, Our Place within the Cosmos, lead a dialogue and presentation of his new movie within the Inexperienced Zone at Glasgow Science Centre throughout the convention.


His movie was displayed 360 levels throughout the 15-metre hemispherical dome of the newly reopened planetarium, giving a really immersive expertise.

My expertise within the planetarium was refreshing amongst the doom and gloom of the earlier week on the local weather summit. Michael Burton’s movie explains the earth’s fragile place within the photo voltaic system in relation to the solar, the Milky Method and the universe – making it the one identified life sustaining planet.

Attendees within the planetarium had been sat on reclining chairs under a dome watching the movie hover above earth and zoom out and in of the photo voltaic system exhibiting the completely different features of the universe.

Our planet is positioned within the galaxy principally protected from violent exercise similar to supernovae. And our magnetic fields coming from the axis of the earth are vital in defending the planet.

A member of the viewers requested concerning the potential of terraforming Mars and Michael Burton responded by placing emphasis on the necessity to management carbon emissions on this planet earlier than understanding methods to put life on one other.


The earth is so magnificently positioned that it has been in a position to maintain life for billions of years, and to look at international leaders not solely shorten the lifetime of the planet for egocentric momentary economically useful offers, however to fail to rise to the problem of decreasing carbon emissions, is solely coronary heart breaking.

The story of our place within the cosmos explains the pressing want to regulate international heating. The quick movie reveals how Venus, earth and Mars all shared related properties throughout the first 600 million years of their lives throughout the Hadeon Eon.

Their subsequent evolution adopted very completely different paths and is a reminder of why earth is so distinctive to the photo voltaic system.

Venus as soon as possessed a big physique of ocean which over time evaporated to kind the thick ambiance which exists at present and makes the planet so heat. Mars too possessed water and the place that went has been debated by scientists for many years.

Research recommend as a result of skinny ambiance photo voltaic winds had been in a position to breakdown some water molecules into hydrogen and oxygen atoms. Newer research recommend a lot of the water stays deep in Mars’ rocks inside minerals and salts.


Venus and Mars are the 2 planets closest to earth and initially all three planets had been molten and volcanic which means they had been unable to maintain life.

Temperatures on Venus now common 461 levels Celsius throughout the floor and Mars averages minus 46 levels Celsius. This makes earth an extremely distinctive temperature to have the ability to maintain many lifeforms for a number of eons.

The various evolution of the planets is a reminder of earth’s wondrous existence.

The expertise of watching the movie contrasted with the remainder of the COP26 convention. One of many different occasions I attended was a panel of activists from Fridays For Future Scotland. The 5 youngsters informed how they felt that they had no alternative however to prioritise calling out the federal government’s inaction on local weather breakdown over specializing in their very own training.

World leaders should be reminded that it’ll quickly be too late to resolve the local weather disaster. Motion should be taken, regardless that there might be price. Is a blip within the ever growing monetary good points of the world’s richest too excessive a value to pay within the grand scheme of human existence?

This Writer

Ruby Harbour is the editorial assistant at The Ecologist.

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