Investigation 8-2:

The Road Not Taken

The decisions each of us make, both large and small, and the values we choose to pass on will determine the future of life on Earth.

Read the following poem by Robert Frost. How does the poem relate to the picture of the ball rolling on a wavy surface? Can you relate the poem to decisions your generation may be making about the kind of world you want for yourself and for your descendents?

The Road Not Taken

Two roads diverged in a yellow wood,
And sorry I could not travel both
And be one traveler, long I stood
And looked down one as far as I could
To where it bent in the undergrowth;
Then took the other, as just as fair,
And having perhaps the better claim,
Because it was grassy and wanted wear;
Though as for that the passing there
Had worn them really about the same,
And both that morning equally lay
In leaves no step had trodden black.
Oh, I kept the first for another day!
Yet knowing how way leads on to way,
I doubted if I should ever come back.
I shall be telling this with a sigh
Somewhere ages and ages hence:
Two roads diverged in a wood, and I—
I took the one less traveled by,
And that has made all the difference.

--Robert Frost (1874 - 1963)

Make a list of the ways humans are affecting Earth systems that seem important to you. (Humans are affecting the atmosphere by ...... Humans are affecting the land by ...... Humans are affecting the oceans by ..... Humans are affecting ecosystems by ......)

Write down how you think you and your actions relate to each of those impacts.

For each of the interconnections between you and the impact on Earth systems state why you are satisfied or dissatisfied with your actions.

Question 8.2.
If you had the power to change how humans, in general, relate to the Earth, what changes would you propose?

Question 8.3.
What suggestions would you make so that the quality of life for all people in the world could be improved?