Ripples #1196: Our Only Home


Preserve and cherish the pale blue dot, the only home we’ve ever known.
-Carl Sagan, shared by Terri in New Hampshire


Wake Up World. The Time is now. We need to keep trying to awaken the human race from their slumber and remind people of the absurd and beautiful situation we humans find ourselves in. The time we have now is a gift, and if we don’t start paying attention the human story may slip into an unconscious sort of autopilot.
-Adam Winnik, shared by Adam of Oakville, Ontario in a message exchange with me about the 11th anniversary of his Pale Blue Dot video


Several years ago I came across a clever and compelling video created by Adam Winnik as his final college thesis back in 2011. The title of the video, Pale Blue Dot, is a reference to a legendary photograph that famed astronomer and author Carl Sagan asked NASA to take back in 1990. Adam’s video combines his clever illustrations with quirky music and Carl Sagan’s wise words about our planet, “the only home we’ve ever known.”

I’ve made an effort to watch Adam’s video every Earth Day (I sometimes post about it on social media, and I even mentioned it in back in Ripples #1039: Refrains of Nature. It’s a gentle yet provocative reminder that our planet is the only place we have to live, and it is up to us to make some much-needed changes that will keep our home comfortable for generations to come.

Believe it our not, there is reason for both optimism and hope on these issues. There is increasing evidence of bi-partisan passion around clean energy, and MIT Technology Review recently highlighted some measurable progress on efforts to avert worst case scenarios. I was personally inspired by a article on how we can use our minds to motivate positive change

In a planet packed with a lot of really big problems, and also packed with a lot of weary earthlings who are overwhelmed, exhausted, and change-resistant, it is understandable that some people are full of doubt about the reality that we’re facing and/or the possibility that we can do anything to help.

Still, I’m reasonably confident that I’m not the only one who still believes in the ongoing impact of even our smallest actions. How can I be sure? You’re reading this issue of Ripples right now, and you’re one of many, many thousands of people who take a minute from their week to extend these Ripples ever outward.

So watch the video a time or two, forward it on to a few others who might enjoy it, and ponder with me what actions we can take to preserve and cherish Our Only Home.

P.S. Thank you Terri of New Hampshire who did some extra digging to help us “unearth” inspiration for these last two “pro Earth” Ripples. While I’m at it, thanks for all the New Hampshire hikes you’ve taken me on over the years…and also for all the ripples you helped me unleash in that lovely part of our great big, beautiful world. #uRock #PlymouthStateRocksToo

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