What I Really Want to do is Shock You.
I Want You To Really Understand That All Life
On Earth is in a 14 Mile Thick Layer. And that
Underneath That Layer is 8,000 More Miles Of Earth,
Before You Come to The Biosphere Layer . . . Again.

The thinness of the biome contrasted to the unimaginable sheer mass of the planet explains why volcanoes and solar flares and meteorites could disrupt life on Earth, scraping or burning that thin film of life. But nothing short of another planetary body crashing into the Earth could damage the deeper planet Earth.

Source: Public Domain

There’s a reason that I’m talking the numbers and mentioning the science. In my target audience, which is rather by definition the people who read Medium, people are deeply concerned and alarmed about environmental threats like global warming.

I have thoughts and some suggestions, but I have found it very hard to explain what and why certain things need to be done — hard to explain to an audience who is largely functionally illiterate in sciences and maths. That especially applies to Americans (United States), but also to several other of the white countries where Medium actually pays writers. Medium does support certain Asian countries like Japan, whose people are much more literate in languages and numbers.

For this moment I won’t be suggesting solutions. Not exactly. There can be no effective solutions until the problems are clearly laid out. We are far from that point at the moment. Until we can calmly lay out our problems we won’t really exactly know or understand what they are.

Americans are painfully dumb and inappropriately loud as they get more and more upset by their own doomscrolling — oops, please note that I’m referring to the readers of the following stories, not the authors:

Screen Grab by Fred Ermlich

Well, anyway, that’s all sociological and psychological. It matters, and I have opinions and fixes, but I’d rather fix the livable parts of Earth than the confused people living on it.

— — — — — — —

So . . . a few miles up and down centered around sea level is where we need to reverse global warming and various other problems, like land and water use and misuse, pollution, species diversity, etc. It’s still large-scale, but it should be within human scale. We managed to screw it up, but still, we had to build up to almost 8 billion humans here to finally smother other lifeforms. Plus Earth is mostly covered by oceans, so we don’t have land that we have to fix there. We just have to stop fishing and polluting.

Most of the pressing problems I read about can be solved. Not globally, not quite yet, but if the right country were chosen for a start . . .

I can’t do anything about nuclear war or nano-robot viruses or a bunch of those and some other kinds of threats, but in terms of manipulation of the environment we humans have had a lot of practice.

As far as overpopulation goes I know that people won’t talk about it or use birth control, so I’ll opt out on that too. (Population overshoot is self-correcting, and people will be regretfully, retrospectively saying “I should have taken the pill.”)

And see, I’ve gotten old and after 30 intense years of really trying hard and learning more and more — I just won’t and can’t jump into the fray. I will share what I know, which is a lot, and I’ll analyze and report on varied subjects, because I’m good at that, but I can’t be a one-man heroic movement, not anymore.

And also — you see — I haven’t given you any answers in this article. You need to tear down some of your own walls and ask me a question or set of questions.




Living in rural Panamá — non-extractive, non-capitalistic. Expat USA. Scientist, writer, researcher, teacher. STEM mentor +languages.

Love podcasts or audiobooks? Learn on the go with our new app.

Recommended from Medium

Conservancy advocacy results in new evidence for fight against seismic exploration in Big Cypress…

Alternative sustainable development in Southeast Asia: The people and land story

If You Make Some Big Assumptions (Correctly) . . .

Oregon Coast Salmon Seasons Set For 2017

Wildlings among wildfires — Part I

Getting to Net-Zero: A policy agenda for the new government

Reflections on Biomass Energy and Progression Affordable Sustainable Energy

Cruise Becomes First Self-Driving Company to Power Vehicles With 100% Renewable Energy

Cruise all-electric, self-driving vehicle charging at an EV charging station.

Get the Medium app

A button that says 'Download on the App Store', and if clicked it will lead you to the iOS App store
A button that says 'Get it on, Google Play', and if clicked it will lead you to the Google Play store
Fred Ermlich

Fred Ermlich

Living in rural Panamá — non-extractive, non-capitalistic. Expat USA. Scientist, writer, researcher, teacher. STEM mentor +languages.

More from Medium

SMEs Can Drive Recovery From the Crisis in Lebanon

Thousands of Giant Sequoia Burn

Demonization of Wealth