|Magnetic Island, Queensland, Australia|
(projects i'm involved in)
(projects i'm following)
Posted by Leon van Wyk almost 12 years ago
Solar energy drives 99.9% of the living systems on this planet... The setting sun in this photograph is highlighting some thin clouds in the upper atmosphere - and that moisture is in the atmosphere because of the Sun. The mountain peaks that leave their distinctive pattern upon the scene, were pushed up from the Earth by tectonic pressure - fueled by geothermal energy, which is heat generated by the gravitational forces in the Earth's core.
Geothermal (heat) and geochemical (molecules and matter of Earth) energy are the only other source of energy that sustains Gaia (the planet as a self-regulating, whole system). The vegetation seen at left, its canopy silhouetted against the darkening sky, illustrates chemical potential energy being used to capture the super-abundance of solar energy to generate a surplus of useable chemical energy.
In other words, plants photosynthesizing forms the foundations of virtually all life on the planet. This coastal forest was predominantly composed of Beach Hibiscus and most of the solar energy that those plants captured was turned into chemical potential energy stored as wood.
The fire burning in the foreground of this image animates the release of that chemical energy (previously solar energy, captured by living Beach Hibiscus on a succession of sunny days over the past few years). What you see is the intense process of oxidation (AKA combustion), vigorously releasing energy (heat, light and sound).
We humans have learned to - and become dependant on - using the concentrated energy source of fire to cook our food, heat our homes, provide light after sundown and to create sophisticated technology by transforming the thermal (heat) energy into chemical energy (smelting iron for example). This photograph includes a prominent human focus but also an almost hidden one.
Our bodies and all of our technology is matter infused with transformed solar energy.
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