“Look again at 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." - Carl Sagan
There it is. Our little blue dot... silently swirling amongst the light of its cosmic ancestors and singing in perfect harmony with the rest of our tiny solar system. Our little blue dot knows nothing more than to obey and protect; like any good solider who has been molded from the fire of a massive power. Every single day, minute by minute, billions of years later, it keeps spinning... braving the heat of its sun and the power of its moon. It doesn't know any better. I mean how could it? It's essentially a spherical wet rock, floating in the void, governed by the sheer force of physics and time. Through disaster, evolution, extinction, and upheaval, Planet Earth has managed to house and protect one of the most powerful forces the universe knows: human beings. Our species has somehow managed to survive this long, even though the sheer concept of life is still not even a blip on the cosmic calendar. The fact that we exist is no small feat. But we are all too quick to forget that we do in fact have the power to destroy our own prosperity.
You may be asking yourself, "Why in the world are we one of the most powerful forces in the universe?". The answer is simple. As childlike as mankind may be in comparison to the rest of the Universe, we wield a force much greater than a chemical reaction. We now have the astonishing ability to recognize our place in the big picture; to contemplate the cosmos and its origins, and to ask questions that challenge the very notion of so-called, "reality". Now, burning balls of gas can't do that, can they?
Carl Sagan had an important point when he said "we are made of starstuff". If human beings were taught to look beyond the confines of the self-perpetuated boundaries of society, politics, and religion, we might actually be able to grasp the concept that we are destroying a stellar miracle. And that, is devastating.
Doubting science and evidence of our mistakes as a species will not make it go away... it will only make the clock of our fate tick faster. You can ignore reality, but reality will never ignore you. We will never have the answer to everything. But we must always march forward in the pursuit of greater understanding.
The 21st Century will be, without a doubt, one of the most uncertain times in history. Every. Single. Day. Is. Earth. Day. Every single day we live on this little tiny planet. Every single day we take, but rarely give back. Every single day is one less chance we have to making it right.
One day it will be one day too late. And then we will not only have the capacity to recognize the impact of our ignorances, but the ability to feel the gravity of loss within us.
We have one chance to save the planet. Let's do it with initiative, dignity, and grace.