View from Above

Several decades ago, probably not long after the Blue Marble photo of the Earth from the Moon was taken in 1972, I read a Science Fiction story about the effect of that experience on astronauts. The people in the story noticed “the far look” among returnees and how their vision became more global. They hypothesized that it was the experience, not just that the astronauts were an elite. In the story they trained two as ordinary people as they thought they could safely send for the mission to the Moon. Those two also came back with “the far look”.

The article As we fight COVID-19, we should turn our gaze to space points out that has happened in reality. Those who have ventured far enough into space to see the whole planet have a broader outlook. If humanity is going to beat COVID-19, more people will have to develop that broader outlook and action.

The Summer 2020 issue of Nature Conservancy includes some amazing, beautiful aerial photos by George Steinmetz and an interview. He observes the same phenomenon in himself, seeing the planet “from bird height.” Read the interview, Capturing the Human Planet

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