Skip to main content

Looking before clicking? "Planet" and "Earth" are bad frames for saving the biosphere, our fragile life space.

An earlier version of the post below can be found on earthfamilyalpha.

If anyone is aware of any research on this topic, please let me know.

Hope this diary finds everyone well.

If we want to save the planet we need to stop calling it that.

Humans live in a thin strip of breathable air about three miles in thickness.

Our deepest ocean is only seven miles deep and our highest mountain is only 5 and half miles high.

The width of life's home on this planet is about as thick as 10 minutes of interstate highway.

We see what we hear.

When we hear "planet" or "Earth" we picture our large, friendly and rugged rock orbiting the sun.

How could we possibly hurt something so big?

The truth is: We Can't.

The planet is going to continue orbiting the sun just fine.

It's the life space we need to worry about: thin, wispy and fragile.

More people would be able to see that our little sliver of air and water on this rock might be affected by what we dump into it, if we can stop calling that sliver "the planet" or "Earth".

We need to start talking about our three miles.


Do you think that there should be polling and/or focus groups to determine whether the visual framing of planet/Earth versus biosphere/ life space affects acceptance of climate change as reality?

76%10 votes
15%2 votes
7%1 votes

| 13 votes | Vote | Results

Your Email has been sent.
You must add at least one tag to this diary before publishing it.

Add keywords that describe this diary. Separate multiple keywords with commas.
Tagging tips - Search For Tags - Browse For Tags


More Tagging tips:

A tag is a way to search for this diary. If someone is searching for "Barack Obama," is this a diary they'd be trying to find?

Use a person's full name, without any title. Senator Obama may become President Obama, and Michelle Obama might run for office.

If your diary covers an election or elected official, use election tags, which are generally the state abbreviation followed by the office. CA-01 is the first district House seat. CA-Sen covers both senate races. NY-GOV covers the New York governor's race.

Tags do not compound: that is, "education reform" is a completely different tag from "education". A tag like "reform" alone is probably not meaningful.

Consider if one or more of these tags fits your diary: Civil Rights, Community, Congress, Culture, Economy, Education, Elections, Energy, Environment, Health Care, International, Labor, Law, Media, Meta, National Security, Science, Transportation, or White House. If your diary is specific to a state, consider adding the state (California, Texas, etc). Keep in mind, though, that there are many wonderful and important diaries that don't fit in any of these tags. Don't worry if yours doesn't.

You can add a private note to this diary when hotlisting it:
Are you sure you want to remove this diary from your hotlist?
Are you sure you want to remove your recommendation? You can only recommend a diary once, so you will not be able to re-recommend it afterwards.
Rescue this diary, and add a note:
Are you sure you want to remove this diary from Rescue?
Choose where to republish this diary. The diary will be added to the queue for that group. Publish it from the queue to make it appear.

You must be a member of a group to use this feature.

Add a quick update to your diary without changing the diary itself:
Are you sure you want to remove this diary?
(The diary will be removed from the site and returned to your drafts for further editing.)
(The diary will be removed.)
Are you sure you want to save these changes to the published diary?

Comment Preferences

  •  Tip Jar (7+ / 0-)

    "The only thing we have to fear is fear itself." Franklin Delano Roosevelt

    by respectisthehub on Sat Feb 23, 2013 at 07:14:07 AM PST

  •  Just trying to save Agriculture, and Civilization (4+ / 0-)

    Personally, my fear isn't about that 3 miles we live in, it's entirely focused on saving enough agriculture to feed about 6 billion people. Because once we get to a point that we can only feed about 1 billion people, the other 5 billion are likely to get rather angry. And frankly, 5 billion angry  and hungry people, many of them armed, is likely to cause all of civilization to collapse.

  •  I think you nake a valid point. (7+ / 0-)

    Saving the planet sounds like so huge a task that people shrug their shoulders and give up before they start.

    It's interesting how little time and energy our leaders devote to leading us away from the coming calamity through proactive means. They seem as dispirited and helpless as the rest of us. And wouldn't everyone like a nickel for each reference to "green energies" and industries of the future which never seem to materialize.

    Our life style is structured towards extravagant expensive consumption. Utilities and Natural resources should be owned and regulated by the public period, as should infrastructure and mass transit. No private company is willing or able to work for the common good of inexpensive, efficient consumption and preservation and protection of the environment.

    I said to a friend yesterday - we're like the Easter Islanders gathered around the last tree and we collectively STILL cut it down because we literally can't stop ourselves.

    Climate change and changing the way we live and introducing new concepts for living and consumption will take visionary and inspired leaders who simply have not arrived - our leaders work for the status quo Masters of the Universe who will continue their destructive ways until they eat the very last peeled grape served on the very last silver tray.

    “Human kindness has never weakened the stamina or softened the fiber of a free people. A nation does not have to be cruel to be tough.” FDR

    by Phoebe Loosinhouse on Sat Feb 23, 2013 at 07:40:37 AM PST

  •  Stop trying to save the Polar Bear (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    respectisthehub, NancyWH, chimene

    I've even written a diary on this idea: the Polar Bear is a horrible mascot for the damage coming from climate change. Almost nobody has ever seen one outside of a zoo, and almost nobody can even imagine how their life would be different if Polar Bears ceased to exist.

    The relevant mascot for climate change is the grain fed cow. That's going to be the first casualty that hits everyone in America. Most of the country can relate to a loss of beef, even vegetarians can probably sympathize with their meat-eating friends who can't get a major staple of their diet.

    People start to get really nervous when you tell them that climate change will get rid off coffee, or pasta, or beef, but are completely unconcerned about Polar Bears. We need a better mascot.

  •  Save the biosphere (4+ / 0-)

    I like it.  Much more fragile.  But then I'm a former biologist

    Hay hombres que luchan un dia, y son buenos Hay otros que luchan un año, y son mejores Hay quienes luchan muchos años, y son muy buenos. Pero hay los que luchan toda la vida. Esos son los imprescendibles.

    by Mindful Nature on Sat Feb 23, 2013 at 07:49:35 AM PST

  •  Very good point, I agree (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    respectisthehub, NancyWH

    from now on I will refer to biosphere. The planet will survive us.

  •  Or say, "Save life on this planet" (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    respectisthehub, NancyWH

    I see your point. What we want is to be able to survive and thrive here, not to so change conditions as to make that impossible or undesirable for billions of people, animals and plants.

    "No one can serve two masters. Either he will hate the one and love the other, or he will be devoted to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve both God and Money." -- JC, Matthew 6:24

    by Chi on Sat Feb 23, 2013 at 08:37:22 AM PST

  •  very good point! (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    respectisthehub, NancyWH, chimene

    Rec'd for that. I agree that we have to frame this in a better way for people...the huge masses of really understand how climate change will affect them.  Climate change deniers add confusion by telling ppl it's a global thing that we can't do anything about and give a false sense of security....oh, see it's not going to affect me anytime soon. I'm truly worried about the crisis my grandbaby will face in 20 yrs when she will be trying to start her own life.
    The poster who mentioned polar bears has a point too. While many people are concerned about their crisis of survival, me included, a good deal more could care less since it doesn't affect them at all. Give them mental images of starving farm animals and exorbitant food prices from extensive droughts and hit them where it hurts...their stomachs.

  •  I try to frame it (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    respectisthehub, Steve Canella

    so it's about clean air and clean water.  Many people don't want to think about climate change issues, but at least are reasonable enough to care about clean air and clean water.

    "The light which puts out our sight is darkness to us." Thoreau

    by NancyWH on Sat Feb 23, 2013 at 04:56:53 PM PST

  •  I'm not sure if that will make things any easier.. (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    ....necessarily. One major obstacle that many of our fellows seem to be unable to come to terms with is that there has been a significant messaging failure.

    How many people, exactly, are going to be willing to listen,, when we keep telling people that humanity is liable to go the way of the dinosaurs, or that civilization is surely going to collapse, or that the worst-case scenarios(or something even worse, whatever that is) are etched in stone, and that we can't mitigate anymore, etc.?

    That, ladies and gentlemen of the Kos, is a major part of the reason why we haven't been able to make as much progress as we could have.

    OTOH, I'm grateful for the likes of people like Peter Sinclair, Andrew Siegel, James Wells, Lennox Yearwood, and many others who have found the right way to do things, and are doing them well. We need MORE of that.

Subscribe or Donate to support Daily Kos.

Click here for the mobile view of the site