Friday, March 28, 2014


Probably not the best shot that's on the web, but it'll do.

A shot from the Cassini space probe taken through the rings of Saturn. That tiny little, sort of blue dot is Earth. As you can see the inset shot is nothing more than a blur.

That's our home folks. That tiny, pale dot is the stage that's seen all out wars, plagues, arguments, loves, hates, indifference. All of human history in that speck.

I've been feeling, well ready to chew nails and spit red hot rivets this week. And I haven't exactly kept it to myself have I?

Sometimes it's time to take a couple steps back and look at the world from someone else's point of view. In this case it's Carl Sagan. Again. In a quote from The Pale Blue Dot.

"From [the] distant vantage point [of deep space], the Earth might not seem of any particular interest. But for us, it’s different. Consider again that dot. That’s here. That’s home. That’s us. On it everyone you love, everyone you know, everyone you ever heard of, every human being who ever was, lived out their lives. The aggregate of our joy and suffering, thousands of confident religions, ideologies, and economic doctrines, every hunter and forager, every hero and coward, every creator and destroyer of civilization, every king and peasant, every young couple in love, every mother and father, hopeful child, inventor and explorer, every teacher of morals, every corrupt politician, every “superstar,” every “supreme leader,” every saint and sinner in the history of our species lived there—on a mote of dust suspended in a sunbeam.

The Earth is a very small stage in a vast cosmic arena. Think of the rivers of blood spilled by all those generals and emperors so that in glory and triumph they could become the momentary masters of a fraction of a dot. Think of the endless cruelties visited by the inhabitants of one corner of this pixel on the scarcely distinguishable inhabitants of some other corner. How frequent their misunderstandings, how eager they are to kill one another, how fervent their hatreds. Our posturings, our imagined self-importance, the delusion that we have some privileged position in the universe, are challenged by this point of pale light. Our planet is a lonely speck in the great enveloping cosmic dark. In our obscurity—in all this vastness—there is no hint that help will come from elsewhere to save us from ourselves.

The Earth is the only world known, so far, to harbor life. There is nowhere else, at least in the near future, to which our species could migrate. Visit, yes. Settle, not yet. Like it or not, for the moment, the Earth is where we make our stand. It has been said that astronomy is a humbling and character-building experience. There is perhaps no better demonstration of the folly of human conceits than this distant image of our tiny world. To me, it underscores our responsibility to deal more kindly with one another and to preserve and cherish the pale blue dot, the only home we’ve ever known."

We need to remember that this planet is a space ship. A huge space ship, to be sure but a self contained "ship." If we treat her with love and respect she will provide everything we need to sustain ourselves and our children. If we don't, and we're doing a piss poor job of it so far, she won't. And we won't have anyone to blame but ourselves.

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