April 22 is called Earth Day because it both commemorates and celebrates the anniversary of our discovery of Earth. At this time, by all accounts, there is general agreement that it is far superior to the place from which we came, as we shall see below.
Recently, however, there has been increased concern regarding our displacement of the original aboriginal inhabitants, as is often the case with more “enlightened” conquerors, as we like to think of ourselves.
The indigenous population, a kind of Eukaryota or more specifically Archaeplastida, is known in the vernacular as plants. You cannot have missed the increased coverage in the media on all things “green.” Of course, the Irish were the first to capitalize on this, but now everyone seems to have jumped on the bandwagon, with everything from green cars to green computing.
Increased recognition of this under represented earlier population of our planet, sometimes persecuted almost to the point of extinction — when was the last time you saw a chocolate bush — has brought greater attention to rampant plantocide: witness for example that in Kansas whole fields of wheat continue to be slaughtered.
Hence, this year there is special attention paid to underprivileged plants, with the motto “Take A Plant To Lunch…But Don’t Eat It .” Instead, responsible Earth people might consider an alternative. One could chose instead animals, which already have the good sense to be made of meat. And they are higher in protein, like chocolate, one of the other four food groups.
So, in celebration, let’s respect our plant brethren. They’re often at least as intelligent as some people you know: have you ever noticed how a sunflower tracks the movement of the sun? Think about it. They’re also quiet and, while generally not good conversationalists, are better behaved than many human children.
(Of course, this is with the exception of fungi, the so-called “trailer trash” of the plant kingdom, which have been disowned for phylogenic reasons, not to mention their being “photosynthetically challenged.” Some of these heterotrophs have, through remedial education, found a home in breweries)
Nevertheless, plants, as you’ll recall, are one of the reasons we came to Earth. Some of the other reasons include:
- Location: it’s right here. Look just below your feet.
- Memorable: it’s shaped like the new Cingular logo (A.K.A. the new AT&T)
- Almost entirely spherical: which makes it convenient for those “round the world” trips and has a much more pleasing shape than where we came from. Did you ever wonder why we called the previous generation “squares”?
- Great restaurants: and great atmosphere, unlike, for example the Moon which has great restaurants but no atmosphere.
- Oxygen-Nitrogen atmosphere: so crucial for those of us who breathe, and better than methane in so many ways.
- Gravity: which is set at a convenient one “g” is quite handy for keeping everything in its place.
- Neighbors: generally far enough away that they don’t bother us much, and those who do are generally more intelligent than average, needing to understand things like calculus, tachyons, and three-phase cyclotronic nuclear-fissionable uranium isotope molecular reconstructors for trans-dimensional physics.
I don’t know about you, but I’m planning on spending the rest of my life right here on Earth.
Bill Petro, your friendly neighborhood historian