On Perpetual Human Ingratitude

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By Alina Nawab Kidwai, 11

If ever there stood a loner ‘neath them gangling falling stars to point at Pleiades pearly in the night so strewn with light like day in guise o’ deadly dark…

You know it won’t be you.

For there, this day is smitten with such filth as can’t be written for you know that poor kitten lives where it’s waste-ridden and whatnot. My impossible poetry now is exhausted on this subject.

Perhaps the issues of pollution and environmental devastation have become regulars on our news channels, but not our breakfast tables, have they? Gossip can never be dethroned from its dominion.

Anyway, let’s talk differently.

63 light years away, we have a planet called HD189733b. Its colour is a pretty azure with plenty of rainstorms of molten glass. According to CosmosUp, “pieces of glass move sideways at five times the speed of sound”.

On 51 Pegasi B, temperatures range from 1000 to 2000 ⁰C, and blissful showers there are basically molten iron.

When scientists speak of Carbon planets, they mean seas full of crude oil and tar, yellow skies and black, sooty clouds which rain gasoline and asphalt. Diamonds are a plus.

COROT-exo-3b is the densest and most massive exoplanet know to date, 20 times the mass of Jupiter and twice as dense as lead. If you ever land on this so hospitable place, your skeleton would be crushed instantly due to extreme pressure.

WASP-12b is half as hot as the sun, and there’s a lot more to learn from CosmosUp.

Sadly, we do not have such exotic weather on Earth. And that is why, to join the fashion line, we bring in acid rain, smog, Ozone layer holes (‘cause hey, which planet has patches?), toxic rivers, stinking landfills, shorn forests, desertified plains, drought, famine, etc., etc. Remember, you should not compare your weaknesses with the strengths of others. The artificial can never parallel the natural, even when it comes to the hellishness of a planet. The Earth may not rain gasoline or iron or diamonds or pandas, but it does rain water, which of course other planets don’t.

My poor sarcasm ends here.

The pale blue dot, as Carl Sagan called our Earth, is the only one of its kind. If it has siblings, they’re not so nice, because they don’t ever invite you home!

So let not the aforementioned negatives demotivate you. Did you know that for the first time in 35 years, the Ozone layer has actually grown, not deteriorated? We have solar spray paint, transparent solar concentrators, gel-based speakers, earthships, solar farms, ‘Fontus’ bottles, shoes for charging, bio-buses, SolaRoads, photocatalytic cement, EV charging stations, tidal arrays, rain-water harvesting soccer fields, solar mills, vertical gardens and every imaginable advancement in green tech. Perhaps you would emblazon your very own inventions on this list one day.

It depends on effort, after all.