=> realizing how beautiful the planet is
=> being inspired to change to better habits
Not long ago I was lucky to experience something interesting that I’d like to share with you. During the “Congress of the Future”, a one-day event organized by the Institut des Futurs Souhaitables, we were put in a pitch-dark setting and shown a picture of the Earth turning as seen from space.
The idea had come from an association called “Blueturn”, which is convinced that waking people up to the inspiring awe and beauty of our planet will ultimately lead us to care for it better. This was brought to us by the astronauts. Those who were given the opportunity of reaching space and were given to see in a single eyeful the entirety of good old planet Earth came back utterly transformed. This was henceforth called the “Overview effect”. It reaches a point where many of them joined and supported environmental causes. It’s pretty straightforward, too: seeing our blue planet as a jewel lost in the blackness of space, a breath of warmth amidst the cold and dark space, made them realize how lucky they were to be called earthlings and they wanted to share this wonder when their mission came to an end.
The same phenomenon was at work at the time the first picture of Earth seen from space was published. It made the front page of every newspaper in the world, and this image had a massive long-lasting impact on the collective psyche of the world’s inhabitants, and was the founding inspiration for many a project that was initiated to defend our planet in those days.
Toady, Earth is a familiar figure. The planet is in our schoolbooks, in movies, is the background of our computer screens and we even hover over it in our video games. So we can’t quite grasp the amazement that was felt back then. As if such beauty shown over and over again would become slightly boring. Too much blue planet kills the blue planet, as the saying goes, and our generation doesn’t consider this gift a particular achievement. Others burn, blast, flood and drain and we don’t bat an eye, when we should actually feel wounded almost in our own flesh.
To rekindle this love of planet to the hardened souls that we are, some French persons had the idea of pasting side by side images sent by a satellite that Americans sent to space (it was a project initiated under Clinton, scratched by Bush, but finally completed under Obama). It gives this high-resolution video where we can see the earth turn round.
It actually made my heart miss a beat and I realized how lucky I was to be human. After all, it bears repeating that even if we are far from having scoured the univers, for now we still are on the only confirmed inhabited planet!
So take a few minutes, switch off the lights and close the shutters, turn your computer or TV on and watch this video of our turning Earth loop over and over again! It is so beautiful – and it’s up to us to care for it. Let’s try to keep that in mind in our daily proceedings.