Whether you’re a bird or a fish or a muppet or a human, we all live together on this pale blue dot in the galaxy of the Sun. We come from different places, speak all different types of languages, come in every shape and size and color you can imagine, but there is one thing that brings us all together: we are all earthlings.
“We are the local embodiment of a Cosmos grown to self-awareness. We have begun to contemplate our origins: star stuff pondering the stars; organized assemblages of ten billion billion billion atoms considering the evolution of atoms; tracing the long journey by which, here at least, consciousness arose. Our loyalties are to the species and the planet. We speak for Earth. Our obligation to survive is owed not just to ourselves but also to that Cosmos, ancient and vast, from which we spring.”
– Carl Sagan
“When I say it’s you I like, I’m talking about that part of you that knows that life is far more than anything you can ever see or hear or touch. That deep part of you that allows you to stand for those things without which humankind cannot survive. Love that conquers hate, peace that rises triumphant over war, and justice that proves more powerful than greed.”
– Fred Rogers
“Earth is abundant with plentiful resources. Our practice of rationing resources through monetary control is no longer relevant and is counter-productive to our survival.”
“War represents the supreme failure of nations to resolve their differences. From a strictly pragmatic standpoint, it is the most inefficient waste of lives and resources ever conceived.”
“We talk about civilization as though it’s a static state. There are no civilized people yet, it’s a process that’s constantly going on… As long as you have war, police, prisons, crime, you are in the early stages of civilization.”
“The planet’s spinning a thousand miles an hour around this gigantic nuclear explosion while these people roll these machines with rubber tires over this hard surface that we’ve laid down over the planet so that we can easily move ourselves back and forth.”
“It’s very possible that everybody is exactly the same at the core, but we’re just living these different existences through different biologies, personalities, sexual needs and wants and life experiences. One of the best ways to treat people is to treat them as if they were you living another life. Every person you run into is literally you living another life. If you lived my life, you would be me. If I lived your life, I would be you. I would have your experiences and your genes. Treating others as you would like them to treat you is too abstract. I’m saying treat them as if they ‘were’ you. If we really are one, then I am you and you are me.”
“Our society is run by insane people for insane objectives.” – John Lennon
Excerpted from: “Cosmos” Episode 13 “Who Speaks for Earth”
“The global balance of terror, pioneered by the United States and the Soviet Union, holds hostage all the citizens of the earth. Each side persistently probes the limits of the other’s tolerance, like; the Cuban missile crisis, the testing of anti-satellite weapons, the Vietnam and Afghanistan wars. The hostile military establishments are locked in some ghastly mutual embrace, each needs the other.
But the balance of terror is a delicate balance, with very little margin for miscalculation. And the world impoverishes itself by spending a trillion dollars a year on preparations for war, and by employing perhaps half the scientists and high technologists on the planet in military endeavors.
How would we explain all this to a dispassionate extraterrestrial observer? What account would we give of our stewardship of the planet earth? We have heard the rationales offered by the superpowers. We know who speaks for the nations, but who speaks for the human species? Who speaks for earth?
From an extraterrestrial perspective, our global civilization is clearly on the edge of failure in the most important task it faces; preserving the lives and well-being of its citizens, and the future habitability of the planet. But if we are willing to live with the growing likelihood of nuclear war, shouldn’t we also be willing to explore, vigorously, every possible means to prevent nuclear war? Shouldn’t we consider, in every nation, major changes in the traditional ways of doing things, a fundamental restructuring of economic, political, social and religious institutions? We have reached a point where there can be no more special interests or special cases, nuclear arms threaten every person on the earth.
Fundamental changes in society are sometimes labeled ‘impractical’ or ‘contrary to human nature’, as if nuclear war were practical, or as if there were only one human nature. But fundamental changes can clearly be made, we’re surrounded by them. In the last two centuries, abject slavery, which was with us for thousands of years, has almost entirely been eliminated in a stirring world wide revolution. Women, systematically mistreated for millennia, are gradually gaining the political and economic power traditionally denied to them. And some wars of aggression have recently been stopped or curtailed because of a revulsion felt by the people in the aggressor nations. The old appeals to racial, sexual, and religious chauvinism, and to rabid nationalist fervor are beginning not to work. A new consciousness is developing which sees the earth as a single organism, and recognizes that an organism at war with itself is doomed. We are one planet.”