Aug 18, 2022Liked by Mike Sowden

Mountains that created themselves usually follow the general rules of isostasy/isostatic equilibrium and have a "keel" sticking down into the mantle- what would all that weight do to the crust if a mountain were built up, and what about the crust rebound from where the material was sourced? oh man, so many questions!!

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This whole post just gave me chills! Thrilling in all sorts of ways. And, being a born and raised mountain girl myself, the whole topic of how those kinds of landscapes affect our psychologies is a fascinating question to me. This will be so fun!

I was looking at that long, skinny mega-city plan and all I could think about was a wall in wildlife migration patterns. Assuming there are wildlife migration routes that would be affected. I guess if China managed to build that gargantuan dam that measurably affected the planet's gravitational balance due to how much water it displaced, someone else can build the most absurd city in a desert ...

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Love this topic! And that picture of Madagascar -- talk about perfectly making your point!

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Aug 18, 2022Liked by Mike Sowden

How do mountains affect us - that question catapulted me back in time, to Grade 5, 40-odd years ago... and this poem, which has stuck in my mind:


by Earle Birney

He invented a rainbow but lightning struck it

shattered it into the lake-lap of a mountain

so big his mind slowed when he looked at it

Yet he built a shack on the shore

learned to roast porcupine belly and

wore the quills on his hatband

At first he was out with the dawn

whether it yellowed bright as wood-columbine

or was only a fuzzed moth in a flannel of storm

But he found the mountain was clearly alive

sent messages whizzing down every hot morning

boomed proclamations at noon and spread out

a white guard of goat

before falling asleep on its feet at sundown

When he tried his eyes on the lake, ospreys

would fall like valkyries

choosing the cut-throat

He took then to waiting

till the night smoke rose from the boil of the sunset

But the moon carved unknown totems

out of the lakeshore

owls in the beardusky woods derided him

moosehorned cedars circled his swamps and tossed

their antlers up to the stars

Then he knew though the mountain slept, the winds

were shaping its peak to an arrowhead


But by now he could only

bar himself in and wait

for the great flint to come singing into his heart

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Awesome, can’t wait!

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This whole idea of geoengineering freaks me out. The idea of blocking out the sun proposed by Bill Gates is a potential worldwide disaster. What if instead of climate warming, we blocked out the sun too long and we get an ice age!!!

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I love this and look forward to reading more--landscapes are so dynamic and we have dissected them from ourselves only to try and re-create them artificially in a way we deem we'd like to interact with them... ooof. Living among many mountains, I've often thought about how until quite recently mountains were considered ominous, forbidding, places to talk to gods perhaps, but not to go out and seek otherwise. I loved Robert Macfarlane's Mountains of the Mind--how he writes of that history, our fallacies in how we view and try to conquer nature, and yet the undeniable pull to mountains that he still feels....

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Yes, that's a bad situation. I feel like it's going to go from "this is a bit worrying" to "this is a catastrophic emergency" VERY quickly.

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