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|Quotations about earth
National boundaries are not evident when we view the Earth from space. Fanatical ethnic or religious or national chauvinisms are a little difficult to maintain when we see our planet as a fragile blue crescent fading to become an inconspicuous point of light against the bastion and citadel of the stars.
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.
There's a fundamental difference, if you look into the future, between a humanity that is a space-faring civilization, that's out there exploring the stars, compared with one where we are forever confined to Earth until some eventual extinction event.
The fact that we live at the bottom of a deep gravity well, on the surface of a gas covered planet going around a nuclear fireball 90 million miles away and think this to be normal is obviously some indication of how skewed our perspective tends to be.
My loyalties will not be bound by national borders, or confined in time by one nation's history, or limited in the spiritual dimension by one language and culture. I pledge my allegiance to the damned human race, and my everlasting love to the green hills of Earth, and my intimations of glory to the singing stars, to the very end of space and time.
There is a thing inherent and natural,
Apart from an understanding of the solar system as a whole, it is becoming clear that information about any planet or satellite illuminates our knowledge of the others. In particular, if we are to understand the Earth, we must have a comprehensive knowledge of the other planets.
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.
Consider the view now held by most physicists, namely, that the sun with all the planets will in time grow too cold for life, unless indeed some great body dashes into the sun, and thus gives it fresh life. Believing as I do that man in the distant future will be a far more perfect creature than he now is, it is an intolerable thought that he and all other sentient beings are doomed to complete annihilation after such long-continued slow progress.
Human society is organized for a stable earth: its whole machinery supposes that while the other familiar elements of air and water are fluctuating and trustworthy, the earth affords a foundation which is firm. Now and then this implied compact with nature is broken, and the ground trembles beneath our feet. At such times we feel a painful sense of shipwrecked confidence: we learn how very precious to us was that trust in the earth which we gave without question.
The four-quarters of the globe are no longer Europe, Asia, Africa, and America, but Carbon, Oxygen, Hydrogen, and Nitrogen.
Not only the pretty birds, but also the predators and reptiles, the ugly and unloved, the organic and inorganic - all belong here, with us, on the same small planet.
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