Around the World in 80 Seconds
Google Earth is a free program that everyone should have on their phones and computers. The fantastic technology lets you fly anywhere on the planet and helicopter around to your heart’s content, then drop down to street level and drive with a carbon-neutral footprint through any country. It even lets you see under the oceans, revealing the contour of seabeds and how they all seamlessly fit together.
The experience is addictive, and there are two ways to explore it. With the legends (names of cities, roads, etc.) on, take the trip of a lifetime to Paris, Egypt, Hollywood—the sky’s the limit. There are even photo hubs to walk around inside many historical buildings. The funny thing is that after seeing the famous sites and points of interest, the rest begins to look the same. A freeway in Moscow looks just like one in Detroit or Switzerland. Could it be that in many ways we are all on the same page, but just don’t realize it?
Now turn off the legends. No names, no countries, no boundary lines; just one, big, green world. Wow, the oceans look so huge, and the forests go on and on, punctuated by dramatic mountain ranges. If you want to explore the Alps, just zoom in close enough and choose the “street” view on an obscure Alpine trail for a dramatic perspective. The evidence of all human habitation dwindles away as you zoom into the sky and gain the vantage of an astronaut.
The point of all this is more than a cheap vacation, it is a source of hope and inspiration. We hear too much about the doom and gloom of climate change and pollution; it makes people feel helpless and depressed. The truth is just the opposite. With increased awareness, we can recognize, organize, and prioritize solutions to problems the way we have done for millennia. The answer lies in the education and cooperation of everyone. Spread your wings!
Anil Singh, Publisher