Our faith requires that we protect Spaceship Earth.
Before NASA’s Voyager I spacecraft left our solar system on February 14, 1990, the probe’s camera was turned backward for a photo of the Earth, at a distance of 3.7 billion miles.
In the photo, which was requested by the late astronomer Carl Sagan, the earth is barely visible—only a pale blue dot. Referring to the photo, Sagan wrote: “To me, it underscores our responsibility to deal more kindly with one another, and to preserve and cherish this pale blue dot, the only home we have ever known.”
The earth’s 7.7 billion inhabitants are passengers aboard what is for all practical purposes, a gigantic spaceship—a ship so large that it would be impossible to build with our current technology and resources.
Our ship has a life support system that includes a magnetic field that shields us from space radiation and solar winds; and a 300-mile-thick atmospheric blanket that allows life to flourish.
We have the essentials: food, water, and other resources to sustain us as we hurl through the vacuum of space at 70,000 miles per hour in our orbit around our nearest star, the sun. We are part of a solar system about two-thirds from the center of our galactic home, the Milky Way, which is about 100,000 light-years across.
One of the most critical long-term tasks in the operation any craft is maintenance.
While Spaceship Earth possesses complex self-regulating systems, there are apparently enough of us on this planet, given our activities, to have an effect on those systems.
We should be fully involved in all efforts to examine the condition of our spaceship and perform preventative maintenance whenever necessary. It is our only home in a vast and lonely universe.
And among earth’s inhabitants, all with primarily the same DNA, there is no them and us. There is only us.