Can chemists shift discussions from "global" to "biosphere?"

Discussion created by klmoran on Jun 5, 2018
Latest reply on Feb 25, 2019 by Arlene Garrison

Greetings fellow Senior Chemists,

     It's no wonder that earth's biosphere has been likened to the skin of an apple.  The biosphere, where all known life exists on earth, is limited to the lithosphere and hydrosphere, which comprise earth's crust, and the atmosphere.  According to NASA, the radius of planet earth is over 6300 km and the crust is less than 100 km thick.  We truly live on the skin of this big blue marble. 

     Most humans experience life on a very localized scale and know that each of us has the merest effect. We're just a tiny drop in a huge ocean. We all agree that earth is huge!  Sure, we clamor for environmental protection on Earth Day every year. Some of us recycle our bottles, cans and newspapers, without contemplating that everything we make, consume and are will be recycled eventually.  Did you know that you can "Save Our Planet" if you just reuse your hotel towels another day?  It's easy to dismiss "global warming" and even "global climate change."  Don't be silly: the earth is huge!

     Can we shift the discussions to "biosphere" instead of global, earth or planet?  But--biosphere conjures images of surly scientists attempting to co-habitate in plastic bubbles. Perhaps a more fitting analogy is Petri dish.  Our biosphere is essentially a closed system and it's finite, which is the opposite of infinite. What each of us does matters.  What our governments do, matters. 

     Your thoughts, please?