Thought Bite #1 R.F. Tripp Stars die. Everyone knows that––or would, with a little reflection.

Time, particularly cosmic time, may soften such reality. There’s the story of a speaker telling his audience that, in a billion years the sun will “go out.” (That information is wrong of course, but the essential fact remains.) A man in the audience reportedly jumped to his feet and cried, “A million years?” “A billion,” corrected the speaker. “Oh, thank God,” responded the man, than sat back down, seemingly satisfied. What will happen, climate scientists tell us, is this. In a billion years (the same billion), the earth’s average temperature is expected to rise by 100 degrees fahrenheit. This will change everything of course, gradually enough for human populations to have adjusted––as best they might––like developing the necessary technology for living underground. Keep in mind, however, that 1 billion is 1000 million (years), and the human(-oid) species we know will have adapted in significant ways, perhaps (I’m going to venture “probably”) into a different species entirely. Anyway, when I first heard this, I didn’t jump to my feet, not literally, but something happened. So now when I’m making my daily rounds I often catch myself looking around and thinking, Well, that won’t be there...this will be gone. But here’s the thing: I feel sad, but somehow relieved.

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