Reflections on a Mote of Dust

by Milan on February 7, 2011

in Climate change, Climate science, Ethics

Carl Sagan’s Reflections on a Mote of Dust provides a wonderful sense of humanity’s broader context, the nature of the universe that surrounds us, and the obligations that arise from that.

I do think humanity has a moral obligation to work to avoid extinction. Humanity is just starting to realize its promise, and it would be tragic to be wiped out during the short, dirty, fossil-fuel fired stage that could precede humanity’s long, better future. Look at what we’ve done in the last 250 years, since the Industrial Revolution. Then, imagine what we could do with 10,000 more years of science and human effort. If we move to renewable forms of energy before we wreck the climate, humanity can have that future. If we burn ourselves out chasing the last oil, we may never even set foot on another planet.

Report a typo or inaccuracy

{ 1 comment… read it below or add one }

Milan February 11, 2011 at 11:38 pm

Here is a better version of the photo Sagan describes:

Earth (the little dot in the upper right), as seen in scattered yellow sunlight from a distance of more than 6 billion kilometers, by the Voyager 1 probe as it departed our solar system. // NASA/JPL

Leave a Comment

Previous post:

Next post: