Ode to planet Earth
"Good planets are hard to find", as the saying goes. This paper gives an 'extra-terrestrial' overview of the 'awesome' (literally) features of our Planet, which conspire to produce its finely-tuned, life-enabling environment. This is the first in a series of 'resource appreciation' papers. We protect what we value: these papers aim to encourage readers to value Nature's resources, and therefore protect them. The sequel paper is 'Ode to H2O' (Buchan, 1996), which reverences the wonder properties of the first pillar of life - water.