“We’re living on a tiny little dust mote in left field on a rather insignificant galaxy. Basically, this is it for humans. It strikes me that it’s a shame that we’re squabbling over oil and borders.”
~ Bill Anders, Apollo 8
This month’s issue about the environment always brings back to me an article that we ran in 2009 that I am choosing to share an excerpt from:
Earth Appreciation ~ The View from Out There
In July, 1969, Michael Collins served as the Command Module pilot on Apollo 11, the historic first mission to land men on the moon. He circumnavigated the moon alone while Eagle Astronauts Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin descended to the lunar surface. John Hammack, former chair of the West Point Association of Graduates, has characterized Collins’ 1974 autobiography, Carrying the Fire: An Astronaut’s Journeys, as “the single best book of its genre” and “the standard reference on space travel.” It lends new perspective on time, light and movement from one who has seen the fragile Earth from the other side of the moon.
“I really believe that if the political leaders of the world could see their planet from a distance of 100,000 miles, their outlook could be fundamentally changed,” says Collins. “That all-important border would be invisible, that noisy argument silenced. The tiny globe would continue to turn, serenely ignoring its subdivisions, presenting a unified facade that would cry out for unified understanding, for homogeneous treatment. The Earth must become as it appears: blue and white, not capitalist or communist; blue and white, not rich or poor; blue and white, not envious or envied.
“From the moon,” he continues, “Earth looks small, shiny, serene, blue and white, fragile… but appearances can be deceiving. It’s certainly not serene, but definitely fragile, and growing more so. The loss of habitat, the trashing of oceans, the accumulation of waste products—this is no way to treat a planet.”
Impressive enough are those who actually take a powerful stand to make a difference as we see in “The Power of One” on pages 14-15, where one brave Julia Butterfly Hill made her home for two years in a 1,000-plus-year-old redwood tree to increase awareness of threats to our ancient forests. It doesn’t take a heroic act to make a difference on the planet. It all starts with awareness of our thoughts, behaviors and actions. It starts right now.
Shelly Searle, Publisher