This week we're going to look to the heavens-- or rather-- back to Earth. I wanted to share a photo with you that left me speechless with amazement when I first saw it. Taken on July 19th by NASA's Cassini spacecraft which is currently orbiting Saturn, this image shows our planet earth and our moon from nearly one billion miles away.
What is astounding about this image is that our planet looks so ordinary, like any other bright object in the sky. Yet this shining light in the blackness of space contains everything that we know and love: all of our family and friends, every human that has ever lived, our homes, our pets, our entire lives. Wars were fought, victories won, natural disasters have occurred, people have loved, lost, been inspired, devastated, have found hope, and through the ages have stood with their feet planted firm on the surface of that bright light in the sky, staring out at the universe around them in wonder. How small and insignificant that shining object looks, and yet how precious it is to us.
This image is at the same time both inspiring and sobering. Looking at that tiny dot in the photo in the context of the environmental crises we currently face, the fact that our earth is finite and fragile is hit home harder than ever. We are only able to survive for as long as the resources on that tiny dot are able to sustain us. With our current culture of overconsumption and unsustainable living, as well as the runaway climate change our global society has initiated, those finite resources are going to run out all too soon. If anything, this photo should be yet another "reason to care" about the environmental problems humans have caused, and the urgent need for action -- for the sake of our own survival.