It is now common knowledge that man is his own greatest adversary as well as the world in which he lives. It’s no coincidence that we see a befuddling proof of how the thirst for influence and profit combined with superficiality and carelessness tends to pull us into an exceedingly sad condition day after day, year after year.

It is both futile and difficult to argue that the world is shifting and that the environment is paying the price. So much so that Google weighed in on the problem. Satellite photographs a simple and unequivocal instrument were used by the American tech behemoth to make its point. We can now get a detailed and immediate understanding of the effect of man on the atmosphere in recent decades thanks to a time-lapse feature added to Google Earth. To say the least, looking at these pictures is unsettling.


Image credit: Google/Youtube

As compared to our planets millennial past 36 years from 1984 to 2020 are not many. Nonetheless, in just a brief amount of time man has succeeded in permanently altering the face of certain parts of the Earth in an evolution that is both destructive and alarming.

The time-lapses shown by Google on its Google Earth tool are unwavering and unmistakable. There are 24 million photographs open to the public that illustrate how the planet has evolved from 1984 to today. Not in a positive way to be sure. Natural spaces as well as glaciers, green, and lush fields, are dwindling as a result of human presence.


Image credit: Google/Youtube

Nature has given way to urbanization in some instances (Dubai’s development is one of the most representative and impressive) while in others, trees and woodland have been transformed into fields and towns or the ice has receded and never returned.

Climate change and human presence in the world form a devastating duo that can inexorably and forever alter the destiny of the only place capable of welcoming us for the time being.


Image credit: Google/Youtube

Google’s time-lapses were grouped into five categories: transforming forests, delicate beauty, renewable supplies, global warming, and urban sprawl. Both of these things according to the American firm, “are by no means abstract and distant.”

“Many people – commented Rebecca Moore, Director of Earth Engine & Outreach at Google – think the effects of climate change are far away. With our time-lapses, we have a clearer picture of our changing planet.”


Image credit: Google/Youtube

“It’s a must-see feature,” Moore adds, “for all those who are sensitive to this issue but also for those who doubt the reality of climate change.”

In view of these photographs, one can only be amazed by the speed at which we have transformed the Earth directly or indirectly in less than 40 years. The dream is that these technical tools will help to improve something, or at the very least raise the consciousness of issues that concern us all.

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