Am I hearing "This is threatening my world view" in the background? It's a satellite view, the satellites available in 1984 had a dramatically lower resolution than the amazing birds flying today... sheesh!
The key point here is that you can easily see important medium to large scale changes to the earth's surface. Glacial retreat, human development, the strip mining of Canada for tar oil and the Amazon for resources. Anybody not familiar with these events over the last 30 years has either had their head buried in the sand (tar sand?) or has a political agenda that verges on fundamentalist religion (complete with belief system that displaces logic or clear and irrefutable scientific evidence.)
We are drowning in corporate stories of unbridled greed and the wholesale destruction of society, Nestle is trying to push a global patent on the medicinal use of Fennel Flower, a curative that has been well documented for thousands of years. Disney was trying to trademark "Dia de los Muertos" and only when the Hispanic community howled with outrage did they change their minds. Even now the American Supreme Court is hearing whether or not corporations should be able to OWN as patents HUMAN GENES. This has grown into a full on disaster. Because there are companies that have been patenting genes in cows and pigs for years now (think transgenic livestock) and many of those very same genes exist in human being so guess what, somebody owns a piece of you. If fact the best guess is that at this point in time every bit of your genome belongs to somebody. You've been chopped up (like those real estate loan bundles) and your bits now belong to a variety of corporations. You might say so what, here's an example of the problem, Myriad Genetics owns the patents on BRCA1 and BRCA2. They saw a gold mine in the human genome and have been cashing in for over a decade. Because they have patents, the only tests for these two oncogenes you can get are their tests. They've been able to keep the price of these tests incredibly high (because they have a corner on the market) and there are now tests that are BETTER, FASTER and infinitely less expensive, but you can't use them because of the patent. The result is that many thousands of women have screened with false negatives and died of breast and ovarian cancers, with a better test in plain sight, that they can't get.
I liked Atlas Shrugged as much as the next person, but for every visionary Dagny Taggart out there, there are ten Gordon Gekkos. Greedy, self serving, money grubbing bastards who'd part their own Moms out for seed capital. You can't swing a stick any more without hitting the damage done to our society or our government by greedy people bent on inflicting their wealth and egos on society. So I say to the Libertarians, by all means, please shrink government to its logical minimum (but no more please), ensure the greatest amount of civil liberties (but remember while exercising your Second Amendment rights, that your bullets don't recognize property lines), and please take off the rose colored glasses with regards to rampant, unbridled capitalism. It's rapacious, and prone to cannibalizing the very society in which it lives. Even Adam Smith warned of the dangers of monopolies and erosion of the middle class. Control rods like Glass Steagall aren't just niceties, they're full on necessities. The banks are mainlining OE, they're clearly addicted, the economy is inflating again, property values just had their highest jump in a single month in living memory, we just set a new record on the Stock Exchange and you can already smell the smoke from the fire that will set off the next blowout, and you best believe it will dwarf the previous economic blowouts. Its time far sanity children, because the craziness is getting life threatening.