Info About the Earth You Never KnewbySuperHeroRalph©
This is a Earth Day contest story. Please vote.
Here are some informative facts about our planet Earth and about Earth Day.
Ah, Earth, one of four terrestrial planets is composed of rock and metal, and for those of you who think that the planet was named after the popular TV show, the Third Rock From the Sun, the Earth, the third planet from the Sun, was actually here first. In its annual journey around the Sun, the planet will rotate about its axis once and it's been doing that approximately 4.6 billion times. With the advent of December 21st, 2012, a date that coincidentally coincides with the end of the Mayan calendar, doomsday to some, when our planet falls in alignment with the universe, something that only happens every 26,000 years, let's all hope that it continues.
About the size of Akron, Ohio, the world population will grow by 211,000 every day and the human population of the world is expected to triple by the year 2,100. It you think you had gridlock before, if you think the Christmas shopping crowds were huge at Macy's, give it another 90 years. Fortunately for all of us reading this story, we'll all be dead. Yet, according to Shirley MacLaine, our souls survive; our souls never die.
"Hmm, I wonder what my soul wants for Christmas. A new Ferrari? A Bentley? Nah, perhaps something that's even better than that for the soul. I know, Ben and Jerry's Cherry Garcia ice cream. Now, that's the ticket, that's real soul food. The good thing about being dead and just being a soul is that I can eat as much ice cream as I want and not gain any weight, I think. I just hope that my soul has a mouth and a hand to hold the ice cream spoon."
Forget about humans for a minute, let's start with some animals facts. Did you know that Penguins live only in the Southern Hemisphere and not in the Northern Hemisphere. Weird. I wonder why that is.
"Maybe they're Rebel penguins. Get it? The south? Oh, never mind."
Because porcupines love tree bark, a single porcupine can kill 100 trees in the winter. Gees and I thought beaver's were bad for the environment. Except for the zoo and on TV, I've never seen a porcupine.
"They're the ones will the quills, right?"
The tip of an elephant's trunk is so flexibly sensitive that it can pick up a pin. Wow. Just as there are a lot of things that I don't know, I didn't know that either. Yet, now that I do know that, I wonder if it was Jumbo who started that big circus fire from smoking, when he dropped his lit match or cigarette butt.
"Bad Jumbo. Bad."
Actually, truth be told, Jumbo died when he was hit by a steam locomotive. Here's something interesting though. Even though Jumbo's hide was stuffed, "eww gross," his ashes are kept in a 14-ounce Peter Pan Crunchy Peanut Butter jar on display in the office of the Athletic Director of Tufts University in Medford, Massachusetts.
"Don't ask. You really don't want to know."
Some giant land turtles are able to bellow. Interesting. That information kind of explains the terrible noise my mother-in-law makes when she yawns.
"Honey, what the Hell was that noise, a giant land turtle?"
"No, dear, that was just my mother yawning."
If a mole doesn't find food, ants and worms, within 12 hours, it will die. Gees, let's hope that Hollywood doesn't get a hold of this information. Some smart marketing person will come up with, what else, the mole diet for models and celebrities. Eat worms and lose weight...or die.
Unlike the hard shell of its body, an armadillo has teeth so soft, it can only eat soft foods, such as bugs. Now, I know a little something about armadillos. Texans love armadillos. They even named a city after armadillos. Speaking of Shirley MacLaine, the armadillo was even featured in one of her movies, when they made an armadillo cake, "eww, gross." I just don't recall if it was Terms of Endearment or Steel Magnolias.
The migrating arctic tern is able to fly 22,000 miles in a year. This gives you just some idea how importantly precious animals are to the Earth and how far a frigging bird will fly just to get laid. And here you are sitting home alone on a Saturday night eating Cheese Doodles, instead of going to the local bar to pick up a woman, while hoping to get lucky. You ought to be ashamed. At least join a dating site.
Twenty-two thousand miles? Are you kidding me? The circumference of the Earth is 24,000 miles. I can just see hear his little birdie girlfriend asking him, "What took you so long and why are you glowing green?"
"Frigging airplanes kept getting in my way and I had to make evasive maneuvers not to be sucked in their engine. Then, just as I got over Japan, there was an explosion and I had to fly through a nuclear cloud."
"Are you okay?"
"Yeah, but I have two penises now."
"Wow. Cool. Lucky me."
Earth Day is all about conservationism, helping to protect the environment, and doing our fair share to preserve the ecology. The Earth Day observance is a reminder that none of us should ever underestimate the importance of recycling, the very least that we can do to help preserve and cleanup our planet.
"Bob, what are you doing with that case of beer?"
"I'm recycling it."
"Recycling it? They're all full."
"I know. I have to drink them first."
Let's discuss Tropical Rainforests and their importance, just in case the next time you're vacationing in Bali, you can show the other dumb American tourists just how smart you are. In Malaysia, in just 125 acres, more tree species are found in their Tropical Forest than in all of North America. For extra credit, learn and memorize the Latin names of each species. Take your time. I'm just gonna relax and recycle some beer.
In Peru, a single Peruvian bush may contain more species of ants than all the ants in British Isles. It sounds like a trick question to me. I betcha there's no ants in the British Isles. Yeah, well, let's hope they leave that bush in Peru and some pothead doesn't try to smuggle it in this country to smoke it.
"Hey, Dude, what's with all the ants?"
Scientists and researchers believe there are more than 30 million species of insects dwelling in the tree canopies of Tropical Rainforests.
"Okay, just so you know now, a tropical rainforest is one place that I'd never go camping. I hate bugs."
With more than half of the world's Tropical Rainforests lost, 63,000 square miles of rainforests are destroyed each year.
"That's sad. Can you say urban sprawl, planned communities, and shopping malls?"
So, why are Tropical Rainforests so important? One in every four purchases from your local pharmacy will have come from a Tropical Rainforest.
"Holy shit! I had no idea my Viagra came from the rainforest. Did you? I learn something every day. I had no idea there was a Viagra bush."
We have yet to account for all the plant, animal, and insect species in a Tropical Rainforest. Don't forget that everything we need has already been given to us, but if we allow species to go extinct before we even realize their purpose, we may be eventually killing ourselves.
"No matter, I still hate bugs. Gees, get that away from me with that. What the Hell is that thing? It's huge?"
With only 27% of all American newspapers being recycled, if we recycled every newspaper, 250,000 trees could be saved each year. For every ton of recycled paper, we save 7,000 gallons of chemical free water and that's enough to save 17 trees.
"Answer me this. Why can't they just make one giant newspaper and post it up at Times Square, so that everyone can read it?"
"Hey, buddy, are you done with the sports section?"
Recycled paper requires 65% less energy than it takes to make paper from virgin wood pulp. Every ton of recycled office paper saves 380 gallons of oil. Further, recycling paper saves even more trees. The amount of wood and paper we throw away in one year is enough to heat 50 million homes for 20 years.
"Virgin pulp wood? Okay, being that this is Literotica the home of the erotic story and the land of the pervert, I know what you're thinking. Get the thought out of your mind about having sex with virgin pulp wood. That's just so wrong on so many different levels."
Recycling one aluminum can is equivalent to using half a gallon of gasoline and saves enough energy to watch three hours of television. With 5 billion aluminum cans used each year, it takes 90% less energy to recycle aluminum cans than it does to make new ones.
"Look at all these guys puffing out their chest, while burping and thinking they're doing their fair share recycling by drinking way too much beer."
For you chocolate lovers out there, more than 20,000,000 Hershey's Kisses are wrapped each day in 133 square miles of tinfoil. Fortunately, all of that tinfoil is recyclable, that is, if we take the time to recycle it. Only, we don't. We never do.
"Yeah, so? You'd think that with all those frigging candy kisses that Hershey would figure out how to make dark chocolate without milk to accommodate all of us who are lactose intolerant."
Why must we recycle? More than 85% of household waste can be recycled. The energy we save when recycling one glass bottle is enough energy to burn a light bulb for 4 hours. With more than one third of all energy used is used by people at home, the average person has much to do with wasting or with conserving energy.
"Honey, the light just blew in the living room. Can you put a light bulb in the lamp?"
"Wait, what are you doing with that Coke bottle?"
"I read that one glass bottle is enough to burn as a light bulb for 4 hours."
"When you read that, were you licking your finger and sticking it in the wall outlet again?"
We throw away 24 million tons of leaves and grass each year. Leaves alone account for 75% of our solid wasted in the Fall. That's such a huge number falling from trees.
"Yeah, but just think of all those spiders, along with dog pee and dog poop that we got rid of by dumping all those leaves."
Plastic bags take a lot of much needed space in a landfill. It takes 500 years for plastics and aluminum cans to break down. It only takes six months for organic materials and cotton, rags, and paper to break down. If only 25% of U. S. families used 10 fewer plastic bags a month, that's just 10 plastic bags, we'd save from making and dumping more than 2.5 billion bags a year.
"It kills me that they blame all of us for plastic bags, when big corporations, such as Glad Bag and Hefty, got rich making them and selling them to all of us. Why not force them to clean up their own mess, instead of putting that responsibility on all of us? Attica!"
With each person throwing out about 4 pounds of garbage a day and with more than 200 of the world's landfills already filled to capacity by 1995, the garbage in a landfill lasts about 30 years. About 1% of U. S. landfills are filled with disposable diapers and it takes 500 years to decompose them. Most families throw out about 88 pounds of plastics a year. Fourteen billion pounds of trash is dumped in the ocean each year.
"Holy shit, pun intended. With all those dirty diapers, can you just imagine the aroma coming from that landfill on a hot summer day? I wouldn't want to live down wind of that."
Don't you feel bad for the fish in the ocean? No? You should, as well as we should be more concerned for our health, when eating fish. We are what we eat and with the fish eating our trash and we eating them, maybe that would make us think twice what we dump in the ocean, only it doesn't.
To be honest, as I'm not sure how safe it is for any of us to eat fish, it may be even more harmful for children, the elderly, pregnant woman, and the sick, especially those with compromised immunity systems to consume tainted fish. Now with the nuclear meltdown in Japan, God only knows what's inside the fish in the Pacific Ocean that we'll be eating over the next few years. A good rule of thumb, if it glows green, don't eat it.
"Honey, why is my fish glowing green?"
"Just eat it. Don't worry. I doubled your life insurance policy."
"Oh, okay, I think."
Because of much of the dangerous and deadly materials that makes up computers, they pose an environmental threat, a real toxic nightmare, actually. A typical monitor contains 4-5 pounds of poisonous lead and India and China uses its most valued, albeit plenty resource, children, to pick out what's valuable from computers, by hand. With billions of used batteries thrown away in the United States alone, batteries are responsible for 90% of the mercury and 55% of the cadmium deposited in our landfills. So many of our landfills are so polluted that only 10% can be cleaned.
"Again, why not get Dell to clean up their own mess. Imagine the profit they make on a monitor and then when we're done with it and dump it, we're the villains."
There will come a time when water is as scarce here, as it is in some countries. Shortfall water supplies are already happening in Las Vegas Nevada with Lake Mead drying up and when that happens, what will happen to the Hoover Dam? We are even more wasteful with water every day than we are with some of the other wasteful things that we do in the course of a day, such as fossil fuels.
"As if anyone vacationing in Vegas cares about the water. So long as there's gambling, showgirls, and free booze, it's all good."
Just to give you some earthly facts to put things in perspective, the average person uses 3-7 gallons of water for the toilet and 25-30 gallons for the bathtub. If they take a 10 minute shower, they use 50-70 gallons of water. The average washing machine load uses 25-40 gallons of water and one dishwasher load uses 9-12 gallons of water.
We each use about 12,000 gallons of water a year with 4,000 gallons of that used just to flush the toilet. Even though Earth is two thirds water, fresh water streams represent only one hundredth of one percent, an infinitesimal amount of the water on Earth. Think about that the next time you don't turn off the faucet and leave the water running.
"Yeah, what about those people who waste water to water their lawns and fill their swimming pools, especially when most of us live in a concrete city that doesn't even have a tree? Maybe if we just took less showers and flushed the toilet less, we'd be okay."
For those of you who must take your cars to work, on average 140 million cars are estimated to travel nearly 4 billion miles every day and they use more than 200 million gallons of gasoline. For those of you who are tired and aggravated being gridlocked in traffic, one bus holds enough people to replace 40 cars on the expressway. With each gallon of gasoline burned releasing 20 pounds of carbon dioxide into the air, the 500 million automobiles on Earth are responsible for using 2 gallons of fossil fuel per day, which translates to 1 billion gallons of fossil fuels per day, and that translates to a staggering 20 billion pounds of carbon dioxide daily. Now multiple that number by the week, the month, and the year.
"Oh, my God. Is it any wonder why we can't breathe? Actually, that gives me another excuse to work from home."
"And what are you doing today, honey?"
"Ah, I'm taking the day off, dear. I think I'll work from home."
"Why can't you just admit that you're unemployed?"
In addition to driving our cars, we must heat our homes. We Earthlings consume more than 3 billion gallons of oil per day, with the United States using more than its fair share and more than it really needs to use. Think about that the next time you take an unnecessary trip in your car or crank up the thermostat, instead of reaching for a sweater. The oil and the other fossil fuels we burn is the main reason for global warming and the big reason why the price of a gallon of oil and gasoline increases every month. The carbon dioxide, 70 million tons of it, slowly nudges the planet's temperature upward.
"You know, now that I think about it, I may have the answer to the oil problem. Yeah, I think I do. I say we bomb Saudi Arabia. Thinking that we're their friends, those Arabs will never see us coming. We'll sneak up on them and after we bomb them, we'll bring over a bunch of our boys from Texas to run the oil wells. Oh, yeah, once we take over Saudi Arabia, we'd never run out of oil, again, at least not for a very long time."
We'd not only save money but also we'd help to save the Earth by using solar power panels to heat out houses. The amount of solar energy available to use each year is more than 25 times larger than the Earth's total coal reserves. Solar energy is clean energy, whereas energy from coal makes for dirty air. Coal power produces enough waste to fill 1 million railcars each year. With more than 21 million people living within 5 miles of a coal-fired power plant, and 6 million of that total are children, coal power cause 1 in 10 women to have unsafe mercury levels for having children.
"You know, if the government was serious about saving energy, they'd give us all free solar panels. Only, I'm not sure what good solar panels are going to do in places that don't get much sun and a lot of snow."
"Hey, Paul, what did you do with the solar panels the government sent you?"
"I reground them and made a telescope lens to spy on my neighbors in that new apartment complex a mile away," said Simon.
Unfortunately, 5 million tons of oil each year finds its way to the ocean. Amazingly, just one gallon of motor oil can contaminate up to 2 million gallons of water. That's a number that I find hard to believe, especially after BP claims that the water they polluted in the Gulf is clean now. Bullshit! The proper disposal of oil is extremely important to protect not only the environment but also our food supply.
Meanwhile, twenty years later, Exxon is still fighting after losing a class action lawsuit of 32,000 people for loss of income and the permanent damage to a community where the spill happened. After waiting more than 20 years for a settlement, the plaintiffs are demanding that Exxon pay interest on their court ordered more than 500 million dollar settlement. And now British Petroleum are claiming that all the oil that they spilled is gone and all the marshes they ruined are cleaned. I don't believe it.
"So what does that tell you? It tells me that someone in my government got paid off not to fully prosecute Exxon and BP to force them to pay what it really should cost them to make things right. If that was one of us, who polluted as much as they did, we'd be paying the bill the rest of our lives and we'd be in jail. Maybe if they put some of these fat cats in jail, they'd think twice about using inferior materials and taking shortcuts for the sake of saving money when building an oil rig."
This information taken from the United Nations food program, each year, 18,000 children die from chronic hunger, malnutrition, and related diseases. During the course of a year, 800 million people will go to bed so hungry that, when they awaken, they will be unproductive the next day. With only 11% of the Earth's surface used to grow food, it's important that we not waste food. Too many people go to bed hungry at night. We all need to appreciate the blessings we have been given.
"Just with all the food that America throws away and waste, no one in the world should ever die of hunger."
Yellowstone National Park in the United States, established in 1872, was the world's first national Park. Established on Pelican Island, Florida, the first wildlife refuge was created in 1903. Sponsored by the United Nations, Sweden held the first major international conference on environmental issues in 1972. Made from coins given by school children to further peace on our planet, the ringing of the Peace Bell, given to the United Nations by Japan, is the highlight of the annual Earth Day ceremony.