Rare Earth Cure*

Earthwords Anthology Cover

*36 words arranged on a single page so that reading the lines from left to right in the ordinary way presents the essential ideas driving the man-made moves on the planet’s ecology in the 20/21st centuries.

Reading the bold text vertically spells out three words which encapsulate the

changing existential relationship between human and planet.

The first two name the two geological eras that concretely inscribe evidence of man’s

existence within the Earth itself as human impact becomes more extreme. The terminal

letter of each line represents a dawning era of hope, through spelling out the collective

name for ‘rare earths’ in the periodic table of chemical elements. Curiously, far from

being scarce, these essential molecules are found in multiple combinations in many

locations on Earth; their rarity lies in the way they hide in and among each other.

Recently, individual elements have been re-badged as ‘bio-minerals’ since they were

‘discovered’ to be useful in curing human cancer. Given that cancer is caused by the

over-production of one single type of cell, my naming of a new era for our ‘rare Earth’

suggests we can use our growing knowledge with regard to the total ‘footprint’ of the

human race to judiciously remedy the outcome of past practices.

The theme for the debut Earthwords Anthology is Voices of Nature.

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