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Perspective from the Mountains

Perspective from the Mountains

(Clicking any of the underlined text in blue will take you to a reference on it.)

Mountains and deserts offer useful perspectives for we city people. I have walked in the sandstone fairyland of Bryce Canyon National Park and learned about the whole cycle of rocks’ bring eroded to sand, the sand drifting and piling up thousands of feet deep, then sinking and becoming sandstone which the Earth crust’s restless movements pushed up so the new rock could be eroded into fantasy-land rock castles. The whole process of erosion of ancient rocks into sand, the compression of sand grains into new rock, and the erosion of the new rocks to create Bryce Canyon took less than 60 million years. The Earth’s biosphere, the zone of life on Earth, has been evolving for at least 3.5 billion years, so there has been time for the Bryce Canyon cycle to repeat itself 60 times since life first appeared.

Much of is about the utter disconnect between what scientists tell us are the dangers of human-caused climate change and what the public and politicians hear, or rather fail to hear, from climate scientists. The mountains and their testaments to many eons of changes that have produced our present beautiful world gives me great comfort and peace that everything’s going to be ok, long term.

My mother once told me that “The human race was a mistake.” She was wrong; we are another of nature’s life-form experiments in Earth’s amazing, changing, very durable biosphere, and we can be confident that those experiments will continue for many millions of years. The climate-change deniers may have it right after all; we’re all short-term tenants, and we should just do what comes naturally while we’re here, knowing that Earth will take care of itself.

Image by user:AngMoKio (selfmade photo) [CC-BY-SA-2.5 (], via Wikimedia Commons


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