Earthlings

Couple of months ago, in the middle of December last year, just before "Mayan doomsday" on 21st, my favorite text editor asked me to approve its regular update. I clicked the link to see what's in new package and it immediately redirected me to the page describing new features and fixes. My fellow, software developer of great Notepad++, Don Ho*, conveniently named the update "New release (v6.2.3) - End of the World Edition". It brought series of chuckles to my face that simultaneously morphed into big smile when I read description below the title. Referring to Mayans prophecy, he wrote exactly this "Even though I don't believe this bullshit, I'm not against to reset our shitty world". Well, I don't know what exactly he meant with the word "reset", but certainly there are days when I can completely agree with him and describe our world exactly the same way.

Viktor and his 6th Earth Day

Anyway, today is another edition of the "Earth Day" and at least today we should try and put away all the pessimism (or realism if you will) and remember those other days capable of filling our lives with at least small amount of happiness and try to find all the optimistic thoughts we can pack into a message for the future world that will have no need of rebooting itself every now and again. Those who follow my blog probably know that my son was born on Earth Day, so I have another reason to celebrate today. He is turning 6 years old and recently his childhood is successfully extended with first year of school and lots of new friends and first new obligations. I can see he is exiting with all the changes and I truly envy him. Childhood is something special. Every day is bringing something new and empty bucket in his head is permanently filling slowly and inevitably. Also, child mind is pure and not burdened with adult stuff. I can't remember exactly in which episode but I think Yoda once said: "Truly wonderful the mind of a child is", when he was trying to explain how children perceive reality very differently and sometimes much better than adults. We simply tend to complicate the world around us without any possible need.

Just to prove my point let me add a small glimpse to the one of our annual things we do. My wife is a school teacher and with other teachers, every year she is taking her class to the nature resorts, usually mountains, for one week. Viktor and I every year hook along and spend wonderful time with hundred(s) of other children. Believe me or not these weeks recharge my batteries better than any vacations at seaside or any holiday days off. During these weeks, the adults are severely outnumbered and you can feel it. The air is always full of joy, optimism, happiness and pure enlightenment. This week is one of those weeks. I took days off and drove six hours to this distant mountain in western Serbia to join the class and the feeling is again there. Even at this very moment while I am writing this sitting alone in our hotel room, children are loudly singing in the discotheque situated floor above and I don't mind at all. Just the opposite. Silence would be disturbing.

Neil deGrasse Tyson**

Sometimes I truly wonder what goes wrong with people when they grow up. Why they change that much over time? I don't know. Is it in our genes written somewhere how to spoil all the magic happening in first decade or two of our lives, or the society we live in is the one to blame? I don't think anybody has valid answer so I will just quote my favorite astrophysicist, Neil deGrasse Tyson who once said: "Children do not read horoscopes. Children are perfectly happy counting through the number 13. Children aren't afraid to walk under ladders. They see a black cat cross their path and they say 'look! kitty, kitty' and want to pet it, not run in the other direction. Children are not the problem here. You say you’re worried about children? I’m not worried about children, I’m worried about 'grown-ups'. Kids are born curious. They are always exploring. We spend the first year of their life teaching them to walk and talk, and the rest of their life telling them to shut up and sit down." Keeping all that optimistic words like this one in mind and also all those pessimistic tales like the one from the beginning of this post I decided to use suitable wallpaper I found online and put it as background of the montaged image honoring this year Earth Day and of course Viktor's 6th birthday. The image represents two very distant parts of humanity or metaphorically speaking the dark and Jedi part of the world as we know it. Of course in the middle is one of the recent Viktor's most cheerful photos with clear message representing innocent childhood of all Earthlings out there.

This year Earth Day of 2013 is themed as "The Face of Climate Change". I am sure our planet, looking to her as a living organism, has her own cycles and climate changes that are sometimes simply unavoidable events, but humans over the years grown up to the point of being a big player, fully capable to selfishly contribute and produce climate changes of their own. Following the motto where one picture is worth a thousands words, please see official video:


"Climate change has many faces. A man in the Maldives worried about relocating his family as sea levels rise, a farmer in Kansas struggling to make ends meet as prolonged drought ravages the crops, a fisherman on the Niger River whose nets often come up empty, a child in New Jersey who lost her home to a super-storm, a woman in Bangladesh who can’t get fresh water due to more frequent flooding and cyclones…And they’re not only human faces. They’re the polar bear in the melting arctic, the tiger in India’s threatened mangrove forests, the right whale in plankton-poor parts of the warming North Atlantic, the orangutan in Indonesian forests segmented by more frequent bushfires and droughts"

I've already posted about this topic and if you are eager to learn more about Earth Day and Biodiversity, please follow the blue links. The problem is not only complex but also even though awareness is there, solution seems to be as far as the distance from here to the horizon itself.

Divčibare, Crni Vrh, 1098m

Are we too late to act and already stepped over the edge? I don't know, but like today when I am in company of hundred and thirty children visiting the highest peak of the mountain 'Maljen' near to the small ski settlement called 'Divčibare' and looking the world with children's eyes I have little faith.

*Don Ho
http://notepad-plus-plus.org/contributors/author.html

**Neil deGrasse Tyson
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vDFgLS3sdpU
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Neil_deGrasse_Tyson

Earth Day 2013: The Face of Climate Change
http://www.earthday.org/2013/about.html

Divčibare
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Divcibare