Gaia and Terra Argue About Ice

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Quote of the Day

"Think about oxygen. Necessary for life now, but oxygen is actually a metabolic poison, a corrosive gas, like fluorine. When oxygen was first produced as a waste product by certain plant cells some three billion years ago, it created a crisis for all other life on earth. Those plants were polluting the environment, exhaling a lethal gas. Earth eventually had an atmosphere incompatible with life. Nevertheless, life on earth took care of itself. In the thinking of the human being a hundred years is a long time. A hundred years ago we didn't have cars, airplanes, computers or vaccines. It was a whole different world, but to the earth, a hundred years is nothing. A million years is nothing. This planet lives and breathes on a much vaster scale. We can't imagine its slow and powerful rhythms, and we haven't got the humility to try. We've been residents here for the blink of an eye. If we're gone tomorrow, the earth will not miss us.”

― Michael Crichton, Jurassic Park / Congo

Warm Sun! Open Water! Dry Land! Scented Breeze!
The sea teems with new lifeforms ...
As the ice melts, they emerge to tell their story!

-- SolSeed Sabbath Ritual for the Conflatorium season

Contemplation for the Day

Let us imagine

You are scuba diving with your elephant through a deep dark ocean. Ahead an orange glow catches your attention. Curiosity draws your elephant toward the glow and you follow without thinking. You see that the glow is coming from fresh pillow lavas cracking and revealing the red hot lava inside them. Nearby a giant black smoker towers above the ocean floor, black smoke flowing from multiple vents in its side and top.

Gaia and Terra are each sitting in crooks between the smoker's branches. Both appear barely in their teens, Gaia has only underwater lifeform tattoos, mostly bacteria and protozoans. Gaia is yelling at Terra. You can hear her even through the dense water, after all she is a goddess, "Make more carbon dioxide, I need it."

Terra yells back, "Your the one who pulled it all out of my atmosphere making this oxygen crap; you managed to oxidize all of my surface iron."

Gaia yells back, "Well I need more carbon dioxide. You are freezing me to death."

Terra scoffs, "So freeze to death. What do I care? I can be an ice world. Ice is as alive as anything that ever was a part of you."

Gaia is offended, "Not true, it doesn't grow."

Terra laughs derisively, "Ice crystals grow."

Gaia is confused, "It doesn't move around of its own accord, locomote."

Terra shrugs, "Neither do plants."

Gaia points a finger at Terra triumphantly, "It doesn't reproduce."

Terra is nonplussed, "If you chip a tiny bit of ice off a big crystal and drop it into a pool of super-cooled water the entire pool with freeze solid almost instantly. That is reproduction isn't it."

Gaia shakes her head, no, "Only under very special conditions. Life can reproduce under any conditions."

Terra points back at Gaia triumphantly, "Then why do you need more carbon dioxide? Earlier you were complaining there was too much. You have been fiddling with the salt concentrations in my oceans for eons because you say that they have to be just so for Life. And you say that super-cooled water is a special condition."

Gaia leaps from the black smoker cracking a branch which bleeds more black smoke, "Well if you won't help me then I am going to create a creature which can release the carbon dioxide I need."

Terra stands and calls after Gaia as she swims away into the dark water, "Watch you don't go too far."

You are drawn back to reality by a noise outside. You watch a logging truck climbing the slope of the highway outside your window trailing a long trail of black diesel smoke. "Watch you don't go too far," you think to yourself.

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