Wednesday, April 22, 2009


False-color radar image of the surface of Venus. [Courtesy NASA]

Today, April 22, is Earth Day... but unless you are a Planetary Chauvinist, you also know that it is Venus Day.

It’ll be Venus Day for a good while, too, since our Venerian solar days are over 116 times longer than an Earth day. And that will give us plenty of time to think of ways to save our planet.

Greenhouse gases are an issue, of course. We Venerians can’t get enough of ’em. All that carbon dioxide and sulfur dioxide are absolutely necessary to maintain the balmy 860°F surface temperature that makes Venus the perfect place among planets.

“Save the Whales”? Pfaugh. On Venus, “whales” are the subject of science fiction... mainly because there are no oceans. Carbon-based lifeforms of any kind are thin on the ground, for that matter. All y’all wimps can’t take the heat. The local silicon-based biochemistry is much more adaptable.

On Venus, “Rock and Roll” isn’t music. It’s a dude and his food.

Not that there aren’t environmental concerns. While there are no icecaps, polar or otherwise, to shrink, the depth of the tellurium-gallium snow in the mountains occasionally is insufficient to support a decent skiing season. Opinion is strongly divided as to whether this diminution of snow cover is veneriogenic in origin.

Hey, ya gotta love our pearlescent little planet. Where else in the Solar System can you breathe seltzer instead of drinking it?

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