Planet Of The Year: Magnitudes

Earth's wrath at our assaults is slow to come

But relentless when it does. It has to do

With catastrophic change, and with the limit

At which one order more of magnitude

Will bring us to a qualitative change

And disasters drastically different

From those we daily have to know about.

As with the speed of light, where speed itself

Becomes a limit and an absolute;

As with the splitting of the atom

And a little later of the nucleus;

As with the millions rising into billions --

The piker's kind in terms of money, yes,

But a million square in...

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