Saturday, April 16, 2011

Countdown to Earth Day - part 7 of 8

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. 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 fa├žade 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.

Today we come back to Michael Collins, Apollo 11, with a quote from his book Carrying the Fire: An Astronauts Journeys. This one is a bit more profound than his quote about seeing the world in his window from part 4. I had a hard time deciding on today's' quote, Mike was certainly not the only one to note how from space, "borders" and "nations" don't exist, along with the sense of Earth's fragility, it is the most common sentiment expressed by those lucky few that have had the opportunity to take in this view.

Here are a few other quotes that inspired this image...

The first day or so we all pointed to our countries. The third or fourth day we were pointing to our continents. By the fifth day, we were aware of only one Earth.
Sultan bin Salman Al-Saud, STS-51G

You develop an instant global consciousness, a people orientation, an intense dissatisfaction with the state of the world, and a compulsion to do something about it. From out there on the Moon, international politics look so petty. You want to grab a politician by the scruff of the neck and drag him a quarter of a million miles out and say, "Look at that, you son of a bitch.
— Edgar Mitchell, Apollo 14, People magazine, 8 April 1974

When you're finally up at the Moon looking back on earth, all those differences and nationalistic traits are pretty well going to blend, and you're going to get a concept that maybe this really is one world and why the hell can't we learn to live together like decent people.
— Frank Borman, Apollo 8, Newsweek, 23 December 1968.

As I looked down, I saw a large river meandering slowly along for miles, passing from one country to another without stopping. I also saw huge forests, extending along several borders. And I watched the extent of one ocean touch the shores of separate continents. Two words leaped to mind as I looked down on all this: commonality and interdependence. We are one world.
John-David Bartoe, STS-51F

Countdown to Earth Day part 1 part 2 part 3 part 4 part 5 part 6

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