Astronaut speaks out to warn us about our fragile planet


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Viera Voice Photo

And there it was. The first protest made in space. The Miami Herald documented the journey of Aphrodite 1, a weather balloon launched to about 90,000 feet by the Autonomous Space Agency Network (ASAN). According to the article, Aphrodite 1 carried “a GPS sensor, a camera and a message for President Trump.” 

The controversial message was a reference to a quote from Apollo 14 astronaut Edgar Mitchell, who was the sixth person to walk on the moon: "You develop an instant global consciousness, a people orientation, an intense dissatisfaction with the state of the world, and a compulsion to do something about it.’’

That quote embodied the experience that astronauts have when looking down to Earth from space; an unforgettable view that triggers a general shift in perspective, the overview effect.

The term coined by Frank White, author of  “The Overview Effect’’ and co-founder of the Overview Institute, describes the impact that view has in making astronauts realize how fragile the planet is, how crucial it is to protect it, and how unimportant artificial boundaries and arbitrary divisions are. As White explained, “we are in space[, …] all of us are astronauts, members of the crew of spaceship Earth, and the time has come to realize that this is so.” 

The time has come to protect our planet, our home, our mother Earth and accept nothing less than that. The time has come to stop putting profit first and humanity last. The time is now. Time to protect, build, and carefully mitigate, not deliberately destroy. 

We need to rethink our actions, take a step back, look at the big picture, and ask ourselves: Are our representatives aligned with our views? Are they doing what they can to protect our world, our best interest, and safeguard our future?

A group called Speak Out Brevard (speakoutbrevard.com) is pressing our locals to answer those kinds of questions, voice their answers, and influence the direction our government is taking us. Their mission is to “work with local community members to create social awareness regarding civil liberties, education and the environment through activism, and to promote equality and social justice.” 

The group scheduled a “Town Hall Meeting at the Viera High School Auditorium to discuss the issues relevant to our Congressional District” and invited Congressman Bill Posey, Tallahassee Mayor and 2018 Gubernatorial Candidate Andrew Gillum and a panel to discuss topics such as education, reproductive rights, the environment and health care. 

The meeting was happening at the time of this writing and I can only hope the outcome was positive because, remember, we are all in this together. We are all astronauts who should be working hand in hand to the sustainable advancement of mankind. Mother Earth is counting on that and so are we.