Floating hundreds of miles above Earth, astronauts have an unparalleled and beautiful view of the planet.
But that view also lets them look down on the devastating effects of climate change, wildfires, war, pollution, and other troubling human-caused activity.
The collection of pleas is not only inspiring, but also sobering: If we don’t clean up our act, and fast, we could irreversibly destroy the only home we’ve got.
Here are the some of the most salient quotes from the video.
It’s amazing how fragile the atmosphere looks from space, said American astronaut Mary Cleave. All we have is a thin film of air to protect us.
“When you look at your planet from space, it’s beautiful, fragile, and there’s this little thin layer all the way around: our atmosphere. And that’s the only thing that protects us from the really bad vacuum in outer space. This little fragile layer, the atmosphere, is part of our life support system. We need to be really careful with it.” —Mary Cleave
That atmosphere is something we all share.
“Our atmosphere connects us all. What happens in Africa affects North America. What happens in North America affects Asia.” —Dan Barry, American astronaut
Views from space show the destruction humans have caused since the dawn of the industrial age.
“Less than 550 humans have orbited the Earth. Those of us lucky enough to have done so more than once have not only heard about the negative impact that the industrial age has had on our planet, we’ve seen it with our own eyes.” —Michael López-Alegría, American astronaut
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