This Earth Day: By Richard Heinberg

This Earth Day, I find myself thinking about Star Trek. And not in a good way.When I was a teenager I watched episodes of Gene Roddenberry’s classic original TV series multiple times—on original broadcast, reruns, and video rentals. I thought it was a little cheesy, but entertaining and, at its best, thought-provoking.

When, in 2021, William Shatner (star of the original series) made a real trip to space aboard Jeff Bezos’s Blue Origin rocket, he expected to achieve an “ultimate catharsis.” Instead, he was filled with an “overwhelming sadness” and a newfound appreciation for the beauty of Earth.

He later wrote, “I love the mystery of the universe. I love all the questions that have come to us over thousands of years of exploration and hypotheses … but when I looked in the opposite direction, into space, there was no mystery, no majestic awe to behold … all I saw was death.”

Earth is not where we’re from, it’s where we belong, and it’s the only home we will ever know. If we don’t take care of it, we will cease to exist.And why shouldn’t we want to care for our planet? Earth is miraculous and beautiful. It nourishes us physically, emotionally, and spiritually.

This Earth Day, let’s have a revival—a celebration of our true and only planetary home.

In gratitude,

Richard Heinberg

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