Earth analysis from data collected by the deep space probe, Xertox

The Xertox deep space probe from the planet Outlandia entered a polar Earth orbit and collected data from every surface area for a period of twelve months. These data included photos of the planet’s surface, along with atmospheric, oceanic, and continental compositions and temperatures (collected by deployed robotic labs).

Analysis (based on data received by Outlandia, 200 years later) reveals that the planet’s atmosphere contains high levels of greenhouse gases contributing to an average surface temperature of 65.4° F. The oceans appeared to have risen significantly over the past 150 years before major evaporation.  The planet has no glaciers, with very little ice during the winter at the southern pole. The northern pole has almost no ice during winter.

There is no life on the planet beyond the bacterial, algae, and fungi groups. Given soil analyses and the planet-wide remains of buildings and large structures, it appears the planet had a wide array of higher life forms, including intelligent. Further analysis shows a sudden release of methane from warming oceans over a hundred-year period, likely due to the extensive burning of fossil fuels. This is demonstrated by the unique fossil fuel signature contained the planet’s CO2 molecules.

Conclusion: Since this advanced civilization would have had decades warning of rising temperatures and their implications, we conclude this species rapidly developed technologically, well ahead of the time necessary to evolve beyond the stage of focusing only on meeting its immediate needs. Famine, disease, mass migrations, and conflict would have drastically reduced the populations of most species. Eventually,    temperatures too high to support most life forms completed the extinction process.

This is a fictionalized account of a deep space probe mission conducted from the planet Outlandia located 200 years away in our Milky Way Galaxy. They launched Xertox in Earth’s year 1950 after spectrographic analysis indicated Earth was located in what we call, the Goldilocks zone (not too hot, not too cold . . .). Unfortunately, by the time it got here in 2150, we were toast.

Does our fate sound far-fetched? Maybe it is not. According to the University Corporation for Atmospheric Research, the average global surface temperature has increased about 1.53° F since 1880. Scientists warn of a threshold effect if the average surface temperature rises another 1° C (for a total of 3.6° F above the average 1880 temperature). Melting glaciers, rising sea levels, stronger storms, and the current (sixth) extinction of species all attest to the implications of these rising temperatures related to burning fossil fuels.

Perhaps it is time for us to evolve a lot faster.

Forthcoming Book Announcement

Fielding_Nunavik Cover
Map: Courtesy of Nunavik Tourism

Expedition to Nunavik: A Photo Essay is a collection of photographs with a brief history of Northern Quebec (see my two posts about the trip from August 2015). It is about our relationship to the environment.

I was looking for an interesting place to photograph early in 2015, possibly Antarctica, New Zealand, or Iceland. Then, an advertisement in Outdoor Photographer Magazine placed by Nunavik Tourism of Northern Fielding_Nunavik.jpg Page 48Quebec caught my eye.

Although we were going to photograph musk oxen and landscapes, this expedition would lead me to learn more about the history and culture of Nunavik’s Inuit. Like so many native Peoples around the world, the Inuit face constant tension between maintaining their culture and traditional way of life, and integrating with the Western world.

Fielding_Nunavik.jpg Page 24I’m waiting for a decision on a proposal I submitted to a Canadian publisher. Should the press be interested, the book would likely be published in 2017. If the press decides not to publish, I will independently publish later this year. I should know which direction publication will take within the next few weeks.


In follow-up to the Peaks Island Community Discussion

My thanks to all who attended; you were a wonderful audience. It was a packed house!

My thanks also to Priscilla Webster, Kathryn Moxhay, and the Friends of the Peaks Island Branch Library who made this possible;

Cynthia Farr-Weinfeld of CFW Photography here in Portland who wrote a wonderful Foreword;

and my friends whom I’ve known forever, Debbie Jordan and Dave Stankowicz here on Peaks.

The following photos, courtesy of A.D. Stankowicz:

Debbie Jordan on keyboard
Debbie Jordan on keyboard
Kathryn Moxhay, of the Friends of the Peaks Island Library
Kathryn Moxhay, of the Friends of the Peaks Island Library






Global population Growth
Global Population Growth



Interactive Discussion
Interactive Discussion






Great Audience
Great Audience






With Cindy Farr-Weinfeld
With Cindy Farr-Weinfeld
With Cindy Farr-Weinfeld and branch library supervisor, Priscilla Webster
With Cindy Farr-Weinfeld and branch library supervisor, Priscilla Webster






Back at Black Dog Cottage
Back at Black Dog Cottage

Here are the references I referred to in my opening remarks:

The End of Plenty

Rachel Carson

Living Planet Report

National Academy of Sciences

The Sixth Extinction

Barnes & Noble Climate Change Titles (I have no financial or business relationships with Barnes & Noble)

Barnes & Noble Environmental Pollution Titles National Geographic: Global Warming

Perhaps the most eloquent speaker for helping us understand our universe was the Cornell University astronomer, Carl Sagan, who hosted the 1980 TV series, Cosmos. A decade later he showed us a humbling photo of Earth (the Blue Dot), taken from Voyager I, and made the point that Earth is the only home we’ll ever have so we better take care of it.

Carl Sagan’s Blue Dot The Blue Dot from 4 billion miles

In the 1980s Sagan encouraged a promising 17 year-old boy from New York to pursue astronomy. He invited Neil deGrasse Tyson to Ithaca to see what was going on at the forefront of astronomy. Today, Dr. Tyson is the Director of the Hayden Planetarium in New York City. He hosts Nova Science Now (and others), and resurrected Cosmos in 2014, aired on Fox, and now available on Netflix. Like Sagan, he too emphasizes that we need to globally act to protect our environment, since we now now that the additional CO2  in the atmosphere started to climb since the beginning of the industrial revolution (this CO2 has a fossil fuel signature–meaning, we did it).

New Look

I decided with the new year a new look is warranted for my blog. WordPress calls it “2014” so, technically, I’m still a year behind. I’m at a bit of a lull right now as I await review comments on my bird photobook, “Birds of Declining Populations,” and “A Personal Odyssey Along Maine’s Coast.”  I’m also getting ready for another photo shoot; more about this in a later post.

I registered for the CANAM Photo Expo. All of the camera clubs in western New York and Ontario, Canada will be entering photographs from their members.  I’ve entered 13 photographs that will be split between the print and digital salons. Competition will be stiff–I hope to at least get a couple of photographs scored in the top 20%.

In the meantime, if you haven’t seen any of my recent photographs you can click on this link. You can navigate to the rest of the site from there, if you wish.