The Incredible Sun – Our Lifeforce

A Timely Reminder of how Nature Sustains Us.

Recent news has been dominated by a phenomenon carving a 100 mile swathe across America. The total eclipse of the sun. This event created such interest that millions of people took the day off to find the best place within and along the path to witness it. It also created a deep emotional response; this was an event that proved there are great unfathomable forces in the world completely outside our understanding and control. It also reminds us that one of the purposes of our organisation, Sustainable Dorset, is to draw attention to the supremacy of the sustainability of life on Earth.

The Sun – our Energy, our Lifeforce

The eclipse literally shut off completely the energy for the area affected needed to sustain life, albeit for just over two minutes. It takes just a miniscule quantity of the energy provided by the Sun to power the process whereby organisms, especially green plants, synthesise carbohydrates from carbon dioxide and water to produce their growth, the process of photosynthesis. In the process, Nature remarkably releases its only form of waste product, oxygen, ironically, the basis of life on earth. This process produces the gas in just the right quantity to maintain the proportion of it in our atmosphere at a stable 21%, less than this and we would suffocate, more than this and things would combust more readily (known affectionately by environmentalists as the Goldilocks effect, not too little, not too much, but just right).

This is just one graphic example of the importance of Nature and sustainability, something we should be aware of instinctively, not just for two minutes on one day, but all day, everyday.