Do you think inhabitants of other planets pick one day a year to celebrate and revere the place they call home?
Kepler 438b is the most earth-like planet discovered to date. It could be a home for alien life. Kepler 438b is a bit bigger than Earth and orbits a dwarf star that provides 40% more heat than what our sun provides. Scientists believe Kepler 438b’s size makes it likely to be a rocky place. The planet’s nearness to its star helps create an environment where the temperature could create is ideal setting for water. A rocky surface and water flow are two key ingredients for making a place where life can thrive.
Scientists also believe that there are seven more planets that have similar life-welcoming characteristics like Kepler 438b.
Let’s say we pay a visit to Kepler 438b (hey, it’s only 420 light years away). Do you think you'll see a Kepler 438b Day on their calendar similar to our Earth Day? On that day, will they be celebrating the wonder and magnificence of Kepler 438b or will the day cause them to come to grips with the fact that they need to do whatever it takes to improve the health of an ill planet? Will they realize Kepler 438b is experiencing climate change? Did they just experience the hottest year on record? If they have seas, are the levels rising? Are their oceans warming? Is the acidity of ocean water increasing at an alarming rate? Are the ice sheets shrinking and sea ice declining? Are glaciers retreating everywhere on the planet? Are extreme events increasing, events like record high temperatures and intense rainfalls? Has the population of Kepler 438b increased 185% during the last 40 years while terrestrial wildlife populations have declined 40% and freshwater wildlife has declined almost 80%? Have the CO2 concentrations reached record highs? Are inhabitants dumping 19.4 billion pounds of plastic in their oceans every year? Are an estimated 18 million acres of forests lost each year? Are they facing a 40% shortfall in water supply in the next 15 years? Are the climate change-related events going to increase hunger by 20% in the next 35 years? And is massive income inequality contributing to climate change?
Fortunately, right now, we don’t have a shuttle that will take us Kepler 438b. Because if we did, we would find ourselves on a planet in desperate need of behavior change by the inhabitants. But, we don’t need to go to Kepler 438b to realize an urgent need to change. You’ve probably already realized the projected situation described on Kepler 438b is the actual situation here on planet Earth. We thought this would be a good exercise in a change in perspective igniting a change in behavior, beliefs, attitudes and actions.
Chances are, we aren’t the only planet facing the issues we face here on Earth Day. Perhaps extending our vision beyond us and, yes, beyond our solar system, will trigger the realization that we (you and me) are not the center of the universe. This realization is one of the first steps we need to take to ensure a healthy Earth every day.
Special thanks to The Guardian, Matt Petronzio/Mashable and Awashpost for data and graphic support.