Environmental Commentary: Sun Energy

There are two fundamental phenomena that have enabled life to emerge and thrive on planet Earth. One is the continual flow of solar energy from the sun, and the other is the cycling of a finite amount of material on earth.

The book page reproduced below is from my handmade book One Earth.

Sunlight is a perpetual energy source-- at least in time frames meaningful to humans.  I am always amazed that today's environmentalists and energy experts persist in calling solar energy a "renewable" energy source.  It is not renewable; it is inexhaustible.  Maybe solar energy would gain more traction as our wisest choice if more people realized we will never run out of it.

"Sun Energy" from  One Earth . © Fred Montague

"Sun Energy" from One Earth. © Fred Montague

Environmental Science Classroom: Sun-Earth-Moon Perspective

Once in a while it is fun (and necessary) just to stand back and say, "Wow!"

This happens sometimes when we consider simple facts in a narrative that, when transposed into a graphic representation, alters our sense of perspective.

Consider the following.

The sun's diameter is about 870,000 miles.

The Earth's diameter is about 8,000 miles.

Therefore, the sun's diameter is about 109 Earth diameters.

The radius of the moon's orbit around the Earth is about 240,000 miles.

Here's the amazing (to me, at least) conclusion.  If the Earth were placed at the center of the sun, the moon would be orbiting a little more than half way out to the sun's surface. Consider the sun's size this the next time you see the moon in the night sky. And the sun is just a medium-sized star.

Sun-Earth-Moon Perspective. © 2013 Fred Montague

Sun-Earth-Moon Perspective. © 2013 Fred Montague