On April 22, 2017, Earth Day celebrations will take place in 193 countries, www.earthday.org. I find it encouraging that this recognition of our planetary environment now includes so many celebrations. The concept of Earth Day began with the intentions and actions of a few individuals just over four decades ago.
The several founders—scientists, teachers and professors, citizen activists, and politicians—were clear that this day was to include all species. No matter how large or small, including those invisible to unaided human eyes. Wherever the species were found: on, under, or above the earth. All the earth’s systems: the biosphere of the surface, the waters, and the atmosphere.
Earth Day was also conceived as an invitation for all of us to be aware of the interrelations of the myriad species and the dynamic exchanges and changes in the biosphere. Humans, like many other sentient beings, are curious creatures. There is so much to be curious about on our planet earth. New discoveries are made daily in the realms of the oceans, the forests and deserts, in every kind of animal life. We can each make discoveries by simply walking outside anywhere—city, suburb, or country—and paying attention to what is around us.
Peter Godfrey-Smith’s Other Minds, the Octopus, the Sea, and the Deep Origins of Consciousness highlights the discoveries made by human research into the mysteries of the octopus family. Godfrey-Smith also suggests that octopuses may be doing research on the researchers. Octopuses, along with us, are curious, deliberative, and playful.
There are many delights in this book, particularly in Godfrey-Smith’s clear outlines of early life form histories, and his own deep-sea diving adventures with octopuses.There are also interesting hypotheses about awareness itself—of our species and others.Godfrey-Smith reminds us that awareness is the stuff of consciousness, and that awareness means the necessity of choice; how, or whether to act or not, no matter which species you’re a member of.
whenever I hear
the foghorn sound
that whales journey
Enjoy the earth,