Earth Day is about saving this pale blue dot we call home…

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Earth DayIt’s been difficult these past few days with the blog and all—more on that tomorrow—and I’ve almost let Earth Day pass me by without so much as a sidelong glance. But I’m reminded just now of one of the Earth’s most passionate advocates who unfortunately is no longer with us, who called this world ‘a pale blue dot.” I am of course referring to Carl Sagan, the well-known astronomer and bestselling author of Cosmos: A Personal Voyage. In his followup A Pale Blue Dot: A Vision of the Human Future in Space, there is an eloquent passage where he describes the view of Earth from beyond Saturn, as seen through the lens of the Voyager 1 space probe.

The piece, set to music and video below, reminds us that our planet is little more than a point of light in vast, encompassing cosmos… but it is our “point of light,” and it’s the only one we’ve got. Perhaps the implied message is that we better take care of this place we call Earth, because if we don’t, no one else in the universe will even notice… when we are gone.

I know you’ll probably be reading this the day after Earth Day, but this will still be just as important and definitely worth the time.

I’ll close with another quote from Carl Sagan, as relevant today as it was almost 30 years ago…

“Our own planet is only a tiny part of the vast cosmic tapestry, a starry fabric of worlds yet untold. Those worlds in space are as countless as all the grains of sand on all the beaches of the Earth. Each of those worlds is as real as ours. In every one of them, there’s a succession of incidents, events, occurrences which influence its future. Countless worlds, numberless moments, an immensity of space and time. And our small planet, at this moment, here we face a critical branch-point in the history. What we do with our world, right now, will propagate down through the centuries and powerfully affect the destiny of our descendants. It is well within our power to destroy our civilization, and perhaps our species as well. If we capitulate to superstition, or greed, or stupidity we can plunge our world into a darkness deeper than time between the collapse of classical civilization and the Italian Renaissance. But, we are also capable of using our compassion and our intelligence, our technology and our wealth, to make an abundant and meaningful life for every inhabitant of this planet. To enhance enormously our understanding of the Universe, and to carry us to the stars.”

Happy, belated, Earth Day.

Post by ILO on 04/22/09 at 11:01 pm