Triumph of the Weeds

Who Is Terraphany?
September 19, 2008, 8:35 pm
Filed under: general

My handle was inspired by Kim Stanley Robinson’s Red Mars Trilogy. The trilogy depicts in depth the fictitious future colonization and terraforming of Mars. In the novels, the characters often evoke the concept of aerophany, the appearance or manifestation of Mars, a Mars that they create. All the mistakes made throughout the entire human existence on Earth serves as lessons that will help create a new enlightened society, whose people are in tune with their environment and each other. Of course, the reality turns out not to be so simple and the colonists prove not to be as enlightened as they’d like to be. Nevertheless, they still struggle to realize their vision of what Mars can be.

Similarly, terraphany is the appearance or manifestation of Earth, an Earth that can be, if we humans learn the lessons from our mistakes, that have resulted in the Earth today teetering on the brink of uninhabitability, and face the reality of the Earth as it is today. The problems facing humanity seem insurmountable, and it is tempting to spend all our time talking and fretting about what them. Recently, I’ve come to realize instead of just fretting, I must also act, to change the way I live my life as best I can, adopting a more sustainable lifestyle that recognizes that as a human being I am constrained by the environment in which I live.  Maybe, if I make that commitment, I can inspire others to do the same, and with that commitment, we can bring forth terraphany, the manifestation of the Earth as it can be. In the end, it’s all we can do.

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