As a teacher, it can be challenging to have children really grasp the effects of humans on the planet. Thankfully, there is a powerful tool by Google that makes it really easy to visualize and show how in just thirty years the planet has been altered dramatically.
Google Earth Engine is a timelapse show from 1984-2012. It is a powerful resource for environmental education. It features the following locations:
- Growth of Las Vegas, Nevada
- Amazon Deforestation, Brazil
- Drying of the Aral Sea
- Drying of Lake Urmia, Iran
- Saudi Arabia Irrigation
- Dubai Coastal Expansion
- Wyoming Coal Mining
- Columbia Glacier Retreat, Alaska
I think the most dramatic one is of the Drying of the Aral Sea.
Sharing these images with my family definitely raised awareness. We see environmental changes all around us, but the timelapse format from places around the world shows we are not alone.
I remember 1984. I was thirteen-years-old. All of this has happened quickly in my lifetime. I worry about the next thirty years!