Cumberland Times-News


February 8, 2014

‘Guide’ helps us to relate to our planet

Some regard humanity as the most intelligent species and therefore the masters of the world.

We are entitled to harvest the Earth’s resources to meet our wants or desires. A larger number see humans as stewards of the Earth. We are to use the Earth resources carefully, particularly with regards to the needs of future generations.

A recent book on the Earth and humanity is “Earth: A Tenant’s Guide,” written by Frank H.T. Rhodes, a President Emeritus of Cornell. Rhodes is a geologist whose previous books include “The Evolution of Life.” “The Language of the Earth” and “The Creation of the Future: The Role of the American University.”

“Earth: A Tenant’s Guide” has ISBN of 978-0-8014-78239-9 (paperback, 377 pages and about $24).

Rhodes quotes a native American proverb, “We don’t inherit the Earth from our parents; we borrow it from our children.” This idea gives an insight into the different perspective that “Tenant’s Guide” is based on.

“Tenant’s Guide” is divided into three segments: 1. The Present Earth, 2. Earth in Past, 3. Future Earth – the Sustainable Planet. Each segment is largely self contained and can be read on its own.

Dr. Rhodes opens “The Present Earth” with series of chapters on How Can One View the Earth: The Third Planet, Our Home Planet, The Rocky Planet, the Blue Planet, The Veiled Planet, The Hazardous Planet, The Ancient Planet, the Bountiful Planet and The Finite Planet.

The “Earth in Past” includes The Uninhabitable Planet, The Living Planet (History of Life’s Development), The Warming Planet (Inconstancy of Climate), The Polluted Planet and The Crowded Planet.

“Future Earth: Sustainable Planet” includes the chapters: The Sustainable Planet, Water as Sustenance, Air as Sustenance, Soil as Sustenance, Food as Sustenance, Energy as Sustenance (Reviews fossil fuels and renewable energies), Materials as Sustenance, Prospects for Sustenance, and Policies for Sustenance.

“Earth: A Tenant’s Guide” gives an objective view of the key aspects of Earth and the impact of humanity. It’s illustrations are drawn from a number of recent key texts in geology, paleontology and biology.

“Tenant’s Guide” avoids taking one sided positions (environmental doomsday or ignoring the consequences of human activities). The issues discussed show how the Earth’s diverse systems interact, not always smoothly.

The Earth is our only home; moving elsewhere (like Mars) is not an option.

This columnist will be using “Earth: A Tenant’s Guide” as a text in a junior interdisciplinary course at Frostburg State.

SKY SIGHTS AHEAD: The evening moon will appear near the bright planet Jupiter tomorrow evening . On Wednesday, the planet Venus will be at her brightest in the eastern dawn. The evening moon grows to full on Feb. 14, appearing near the sickle of Leo.

Bob Doyle invites any readers comments and questions. E-mail him at . He is available as a speaker on his column topics.

Text Only
  • Library week

    Public libraries remain one of the best uses of taxpayer dollars. They are open to all. Young or old, poor or wealthy, residents can use computers and read current magazines and newspapers. Compact discs featuring a wide variety of music and
    movies on DVD may be checked out in addition to novels and other books.

    April 13, 2014

  • Terps need to move and move quickly

    The good news is Maryland will never have to play another basketball game in the Atlantic Coast Conference. Goodbye, good riddance, sayonara, smell ya, no more of you, stay classy, we won’t let the door hit us on the way out.
    Until we see you in court.

    April 13, 2014

  • Sunday hunting Sunday hunting

    Legislation that increases hunting oppportunities on Sundays in Garrett, Allegany and Washington counties has passed the Maryland General Assembly and reached the governor’s desk.

    April 13, 2014 1 Photo

  • You’ll never guess who the real hero was (He was six feet tall and bulletproof)

    Most folks know about the 20th Maine’s bayonet charge that repulsed the Rebels at Little Round Top because they watched the movie, “Gettysburg.”
    Capt. Gary and First Sgt. Goldy post ourselves a hundred yards or so away from where it happened in real life. Tourists frequently ask us how to find it.

    April 13, 2014

  • Early morning lunar eclipse this Tuesday

    For the first time since 2011, our area may see a total lunar eclipse as the moon will pass through the Earth’s deep shadow.

    April 13, 2014

  • Big bucks How many deer on Green Ridge?

    A study completed in 2013 by a master’s degree candidate at the University of Delaware showed that there are 20 to 30 deer per square mile on the Green Ridge State Forest, including some pretty darn nice bucks.

    April 12, 2014 1 Photo

  • Then again, he’s manager of the Yankees, and I’m not

    I went to bed confused Wednesday night, which in itself is nothing new. But having
    watched most of the Orioles-Yankees game, including the final three innings, earlier
    in the evening, then watching the late Baseball Tonight before I turned in, I was under the impression that the Yankees had won the game when I was pretty sure before watching the show that the Orioles had won.

    April 11, 2014

  • Who knows how many times she poisoned him?

    My dad used to say that if tobacco and coffee tasted as good as they smelled, the world would be a better place.

    April 5, 2014

  • Rusty writes about the nature of doghood

    I am a dog.
    Therefore I bark.
    I don’t understand why it is so hard for humans to understand this.
    I mean, there are certain things that come with the territory, right?

    April 5, 2014

  • Black bear biologist explains new hunt

    The Maryland Wildlife & Heritage Service has abandoned the bear harvest quota system in use for 10 hunting seasons and has set the next two hunts at four days apiece.

    April 5, 2014