You listen to a river gently rolling by.
You notice the leaves rustling in the wind.
You hear the birds, you hear a tree fall.
In the distance you hear a cow.
It's quiet, peaceful.
And all of a sudden, it's a gear shift inside you.
And it's like taking a deep breath
Oh yeah. I forgot about that.
This is the first pictureof the Earth from space that any of us ever saw. It was taken on Christmas Eve 1968 during the Apollo 8 mission.
More...In relatively comfortable boundaries... But we are filling up that thin shell of atmosphere with pollutants.
I'm Al Gore. I used to be the next president of the United States.
.I don't find that particularly funny.
I've been trying to tell this story for a long time and Ifeel as I've failed to get the message across.
I was in politics for a long time. I'm proud of my services.
(Mayor of New Orleans in background).
There are good people who are in politics who hold this at arm's length because they acknowledge it and recognize it as a moral imperative to make big changes .
And they lost radio contact when they went around to the dark side of the moon and therewas inevitably some suspense. Then when they came back in radio contact they looked up and snapped this picture and it became known as Earth Rise. And that one picture exploded in the consciousness of the human kind. It led to dramatic changes. Within 18 months of this picture the modern environmental movement had begun.
The next picture was taken on the last Apollo mission, Apollo 17. This one wastaken on Dec. 11, 1972 and it is the most commonly published photograph in all of history. And it is the only picture of Earth from space that we have where the sun was directly behind the spacecraft so that the Earth is fully lit up, and not partly in darkness.
The next I'm going to show you has almost never been seen. It was taken by a spacecraft called the Galileo that went out to explore thesolar system. As it was leaving Earth's gravity it turned its cameras around and took a time lapsed picture of one day's worth of rotation here compressed into 24 seconds. Isn't that beautiful?
This image is a magical image in a way. It is made by a friend of mine, Tom Dan San(sp?). He took 3000 separate satellite pictures taken over a 3 year period, digitally stitched together. He chose imagesthat would give a cloud free view of every square inch of the earth's surface. All of the land mass is accurately portrayed. When that is spread out it becomes an iconic image.
The Most Ridiculous Thing
[pic]I show this because I want to tell you a story about two teachers I had, one that I did not like that much, the other who was a real hero to me. I had a grade school teacher who taughtgeography by pulling a map of the world down in front of the blackboard. I had a classmate in the sixth grade who raised his hand and he pointed to the outline of the east coast of South America, and he pointed to the west coast of Africa, and he asked, "Did they ever fit together?" And the teacher said, "Of course not! That's the most ridiculous thing I've ever heard." That student went on to be adrug addict and a ne'er do well. That teacher went on to be a science advisor in the current administration.
But you know, the teacher was actually reflecting the conclusion of the scientific establishment at that time: "Continents are so big that obviously they don't move." But actually as we now know they did move. They moved apart from one another, but at one time they did in fact fit together.But that assumption was a problem.
It reflected the well known wisdom:
"What gets us into trouble is not what you don't know, but what you think you know that just ain't so."
This is actually an important point, believe it or not because there is another such assumption that a lot people have in their minds right now about global warming that just isn't so. The assumption goes like this: