Sunday, April 21, 2013

Earth Day: If You Love This Big Blue Marble

       When astronaut William Anders looked out from lunar orbit in 1968 he saw an extraordinary sight: the planet Earth rising above the horizon of the moon surface,much as the moon itself does from Earth's point of view. He took several photographs. One of them became extremely famous and become known as Earth Rise. Its now an iconic image seen on everything from postage stamps to posters. It was also massively influential culturally. The baby boom generation-poising themselves to challenge authority and change the world, took a look at this small and fragile image and a massive change in ego orientation occurred  They began to realize that the eco system of the planet was equal if not more important than their own individual lives-especially considering all human beings live on Earth. Two years later, this culminated in the celebration of the first annual Earth Day.
         This is one of the reasons why I have and will always continue to challenge all those people who question the value of space exploration,there argument being that we have too many Earthly difficulties to fix than to spend money sending humans to explore outer space. When the very first astronomers began to realize the nature of the solar system, human beings generally believed the Earth was flat and would fear that sailing ships too far out at sea would consequently sail off the end of the world. Sometime later another astronomer named Galileo altered human perception yet again so people realize the Earth was not the center of the known universe but rather orbited a stellar body. Even though a lot of society is still bound by different creation myths about the origins of the universe, people are all the better for understanding and being able to see their universe as they do today.
          If one takes a moment out of their all too fast and busy modern lives, it really isn't even a great revelation that our exploration of the cosmos-whether it be by a homemade telescope in 1590 or an orbiting space shuttle in 1985, in inexplicably tied to our understanding and appreciation of our own planet. The majority of people I talk to are convinced that more people should be taking greater responsibility for what happens to the planet Earth. In the same quarters,however paranoid thoughts about the realities of climate changes and even watching someone casually tossing a garbage bag from a car window onto the side of the road may produce a great deal of cynicism and hopelessness about human being's abilities to effectively take care of our natural environment. Its a disturbingly strong sociological division between people to be able to produce all that effective a solution so it seems.
          It would take a great deal of time to fully explain how this could work. But I personally envision a simple and cost effective way in which humanity could still enjoy all the technological fruits of today while living in complete harmony with their natural environment  In basic terms, it was to do with ones effort and interest. As much as I've done this I'll quote Dr.Helen Caldicott regarding her thoughts on this issue. If all people (male and female) harnessed the same instincts they'd have to protect their children from harm towards the protection of the Earth's natural resources, its likely they would find that said environment would gradually improve itself by the virtue of their now wholehearted efforts. Many words of this sort have been spoken,many of them not heeded. I don't necessarily expect my own words on this to be any different. But to sum it up, the more opportunities we have to see the planet we live on from a distance, the more we will value and wish to protect it from harm.

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