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EarthA Tenant's Manual$
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Frank H. T. Rhodes

Print publication date: 2012

Print ISBN-13: 9780801478239

Published to Cornell Scholarship Online: August 2016

DOI: 10.7591/cornell/9780801478239.001.0001

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The Third Planet

The Third Planet

(p.3) Chapter 1 The Third Planet

Frank H. T. Rhodes

Cornell University Press

This introductory chapter emphasizes the difficulties of truly attaining full knowledge of the planet Earth, while at the same time contending that we must attempt to understand it regardless. To illustrate, the chapter provides a sampling of perspectives regarding the planet—from an astronomer's viewpoint, a geologist's, and so on—in showing how no one can truly grasp the scope and breadth of the Earth's totality. However, it is imperative to make an effort, not so much out of academic or environmental interest as it is about a matter of survival. In order to do so, the chapter places humanity in the role of tenants—rather than owners—as well as stewards, custodians, and caretakers, in emphasizing the urgent need to reconsider one's view of a planet with already finite resources.

Keywords:   astronomy, geology, biology, environmentalism, literature, finite resources, Earth resources, humanity, survival

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