“For The Moment, The Earth Is Where We Make Our Stand”

Earth - Carl Sagan    -    http://mariopiperni.com/

One of the first astronomy books I ever read was Carl Sagan’s beautifully written Pale Blue Dot. It introduced me to the world of galaxies and planets – ours and those beyond – and gave me a perspective on our place in the cosmos in a way I had never before imagined. I instantly became a Saganite.

The following is a video in which Sagan’s words from Pale Blue Planet narrate Adam Winnik‘s beautifully scripted animation. The narration’s audio is a bit low in places, so I’ve included the full text below. Enjoy.

“From this distant vantage point, the Earth might not seem of particular interest. But for us, it’s different. Consider again 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.”

“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.”


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3 thoughts on ““For The Moment, The Earth Is Where We Make Our Stand”

  1. The Genius of Sagan is concisely interpreted in the well thought out words he used to explain our world in the universe that we live in. There are a lot of new discoveries to appreciate and how these discoveries can make it a better world. Can we ever imagine a world without hunger,wars,conflicts,humanitarian genocides,despot and the poor. We must thrive to make this a better place for everyone but thank the blessings we have had that made us have the ideas that made us more prosperous than some.

    This is an imperfect world that has the ability to go where noone has gone before or our history will show us as the living species that chose self aggrandizement to the detriment of the many.

  2. I found the video to be “right on!”. Carl expressed my feelings entirely. In fact, I have a view about space exploration that would probably be considered a conspiracy theory.

    I think that if we ever find a planet that humans can live on comfortably enough, the only ones who will ever get there will be the 1% and those who serve them. They will leave this planet when it is finally dying from the damage those same people leaving, did to it with the pollutions their corporations created.

    The rest of us won’t be able to afford the trip so we’ll stay down here in all their pollution instead.

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