Elisabeth Ervin-Blankenheim

May 31, 2022

Song of the Earth

Understanding Geology and Why It Matters

Oxford University Press 2021

In today’s podcast, Elisabeth Ervin-Blankenheim explains how understanding harmonics of the earth provides a forward-thinking methodology to confront the challenges presented by the massive changes in the climate. In her book Song of the Earth: Understanding Geology and Why it Matters (Oxford University Press, 2021), Ervin-Blankenheim documents the history of geology, a Western epistemological exploit, properly contextualizing how geologists know what they know. Song of the Earth is framed the around three primary tenants: geologic time, plate tectonics and evolution. Through her magnificent use of brevity and clarity, the narrative, supported by the three tenants, documents the “biography of the Earth” consisting of a multiplicity of interactions occurring between geosphere-human, hydrosphere-human, biosphere-human spanning millions of years. Ervin-Blankenheim impresses throughout her narrative that life today represents only .1% of life that has existed throughout the history of the planet, yet we cannot understand the changes such as extinction without recognizing how the earth impacts life and how life impacts the earth. Without mindful recognition about the interconnectivity of ecosystem, the mechanics of extinction and survival will continue to remain opaque.

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