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Remember The Dot? That’s Us, That’s Home!

A View of Venus taken by a Russian Veneras Lander in the 1970’s. It shows a dead, desolate, planet. It may have been once like Earth, but suffered catastrophic climate change. 

There are still a few head buriers who refuse to believe in climate change, or that Homo sapiens is responsible for it happening. Most sane folk accept that the evidence is overwhelming.

Unfortunately, we are at a point in our history where not only are we faced with planetary catastrophe, but those who have the power to do what is necessary to prevent it, the politicians, are corrupted and controlled by the capitalist powermongers. These parasites (for that’s what they are) care only for money and the power it bestows on them. They have the power of life or death over us, and little concern for either.

Thirty-three years ago a spacecraft, Voyager 2, was passing the planet Jupiter while on it’s way out of the solar system. One man, Carl Sagan, a Nobel Prize winner who was heavily involved in the two Voyager missions, suggested the spacecraft should be turned around and it’s cameras point back the way it had come, some 6.4 billion kilometres (4 billion miles) from the planet we inhabit.

It was expected to photograph a dark and empty space, yet one photo took NASA by surprise. For in one of them, illuminated by a stray and diffuse sunbeam, was a tiny, tiny mote of light, Planet Earth!

Thirty-three years is a long time. Memories fade. The processes of life and living go on, and even momentous moments can be forgotten. In my last post I quoted John Naughton. His words:

“…the Gods just need to make people forget. Amnesia turns out to be a powerful narcotic…”

Powerful, indeed. In the thirty-three years since Voyager 1 took that momentous photograph we have discovered that we are systematically destroying that minute dot hanging in a sunbeam. We don’t have to, we can save it and ourselves. It all comes down to choice. Whether, as a species we choose to, or not.

Carl Sagan named it the “Pale Blue Dot“. He went on to write what for me is one of the most moving pieces of literature ever to be put on paper. It defined what we are, who we are, but most of all, where we are.

In case you’ve forgotten, here it is. You’ll need to look closely or you’ll miss it:

“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.

The Earth is a very small stage in a vast cosmic arena. Think of the rivers of blood spilled by all those generals and emperors so that, in glory and triumph, they could become the momentary masters of a fraction of a dot. Think of the endless cruelties visited by the inhabitants of one corner of this pixel on the scarcely distinguishable inhabitants of some other corner, how frequent their misunderstandings, how eager they are to kill one another, how fervent their hatreds.

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.

The Earth is the only world known so far to harbor life. There is nowhere else, at least in the near future, to which our species could migrate. Visit, yes. Settle, not yet. Like it or not, for the moment the Earth is where we make our stand.

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.”

— Carl Sagan, 1934 – 1996.

“Look again at that dot. That’s here. That’s home. That’s us.”

How much longer will we allow the parasites* to destroy our world in their insatiable greed for power?

One thing is certain. If we do nothing, no-one will miss us.

“The investments of just 125 billionaires emit 393 million tonnes of CO2e each year – the equivalent of France – at an individual annual average that is a million times higher than someone in the bottom 90 percent of humanity.” Oxfam.

*PARASITE: an animal or plant that lives on or in another animal or plant of a different type and feeds from it. A parasite is also a person who uses others to obtain an advantage without doing anything in exchange ~ Cambridge Dictionary

Erratum: an earlier version of this post named the spacecraft that took the photograph of Earth as Voyager 1. It was in fact Voyager 2. The text has been corrected.


2 Replies to “Remember The Dot? That’s Us, That’s Home!”

  1. Blogger has played its algorithm playlist on my commenters and I rescued you from the pit they has sent you along with many others.

    A great post, and I have seen that quote before but needed the refresher.

    I am resigned to our impending planetary doom. You and I will miss the final collapse, but it has started and is irreversible. Such a confluence of catastrophes right now.

    We are a dismal species and deserve extinction but it will be slow and painful and I grieve for the wreckage we leave behind.


  2. Agree with you both…
    So sad really that so many are so willfully ignorant or so out of the realm of knowing what’s coming or what it means, as in third world countries.

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