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‘Oh, my aching Earth’

I’m always amazed by those who worry about passing the nation’s debt on to their offspring but don’t think twice about ensuring those offspring have an earth to live on in the first place. Not until a major catastrophe occurs will those people acknowledge the damage humans have done and are doing to our planet. Species lost, forests felled, waters dying—even if climate change weren’t a concern, we could still spend the rest of mankind’s existence trying to rectify the damage already done.

Culled from 16 images originally published on Salon.com, the photos here show some of the gross assaults we humans have waged on our planet. They are enough to make you cry out in pain.

Now, just imagine how Mother Earth feels.

Aerial view of the tar sands region in Alberta, Canada, where mining operations and tailing ponds are so vast they can be seen from outer space. (Photo by Garth Lentz)
Beneath the world’s largest intact ecosystem, the Boreal forests of Alberta, Canada, lies tar sands oil. Although this photo shows an aerial view, the tar sands mining operations and tailing ponds are so vast they can be seen from outer space. (Photo by Garth Lentz)
In both the Arctic and Antarctic regions, ice is retreating. Here—in North East Land, Svalbard, Norway—melting water on an icecap flows like a waterfall. (Photo by Cotton Coulson/Keepress)
In both the Arctic and Antarctic regions, ice is retreating. Here—in North East Land, Svalbard, Norway—melting water on an icecap forms a cascading waterfall. (Photo by Cotton Coulson/Keepress)
This aerial view shows an oil fire that occurred after the 2010 Deepwater Horizon oil disaster in the Gulf of Mexico. (Photo by Daniel Beltra)
This oil fire was caused by the 2010 British Petroleum oil disaster in the Gulf of Mexico. With an estimated total discharge of 4.9 million barrels of oil, the disaster is considered the largest accidental marine oil spill in the history of the petroleum industry, (Photo by Daniel Beltra)
Globalized transportation networks, especially commercial aviation, are a major contributor to air pollution and greenhouse gas emissions. This photo shows airplane contrails in the west London sky over the River Thames in London, England. (Photo by Ian Wylie)
Globalized transportation networks, especially commercial aviation, are a major contributor to air pollution and greenhouse gas emissions. This photo shows airplane contrails in the west London sky over the River Thames in London, England. (Photo by Ian Wylie)
Natures-Unraveling-Big-Hole-1280x960
This gaping hole—the Mir Mine in Russia—is the world’s largest diamond mine. (Google Earth/2014 Digital Globe)

LindaK View All

A lifelong communicator, I'm pretty sure I came out of the womb talking. But with no siblings to chat and play with, I learned to express myself in writing. My subsequent birth as a politics junkie came while I watched my father, a career Marine, sob uncontrollably over Kennedy's assassination. Intuitively, I knew the world would never be the same, and I should pay attention. So I did.

Now, some 50 years later, I find myself dumbfounded by the trajectory of American politics and the prevalence of ignorance, bigotry, hate, and violence. I started Two Cents of Sense, hoping to help change that trajectory and to promote progressives' conversation, knowledge sharing, and actions.

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