This is a conceptual question I continue to struggle with as I have started studying electronics.
Say we have a battery, and one of its terminals is connected directly to a nice patch of highly conductive earth. Further assume that the potential of the battery is greater than that of Earth. Now I realize that this is not a closed circuit, but why wouldn't charge flow from the battery to the Earth? Doesn't there exist an electric potential which should cause the quantity of electrons in the battery to be drained or at least decreased to the point at which the electric potential between the Earth and the battery is the same? Isn't this the same principal that is behind electrostatic discharge (albeit this scenario is not implying such a large difference in potential?)
I have read every other answer here on electronics.stackexchange that references ground, and I am still not satisfied.