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Does seeing Earth from space alter your perspective?

The views expressed are those of the author and are not necessarily those of Scientific American.

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Whenever I watch videos of Earth from space I’m struck by how thin the atmosphere is. Seen from above, our atmosphere is nothing more than a thin shell, enveloping life on Earth. It looks fragile. For me, it makes it even harder to rationalize polluting the environment or letting carbon emissions run wild when you realize that there isn’t an infinite repository for our industrial scale excreta.

For the 40th anniversary of the “Blue Marble” photograph, a group called Planetary Collective has put together a short film (20 minutes) documenting the perspective-altering experience of seeing Earth from space featuring interviews with five astronauts.

Is it just me, or does seeing our home planet from space invite contemplation?

David Wogan About the Author: An engineer and policy researcher who writes about energy, technology, and policy - and everything in between. Based in Austin, Texas. Comments? Follow on Twitter @davidwogan.

The views expressed are those of the author and are not necessarily those of Scientific American.

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  1. 1. N49th 5:34 pm 12/10/2012

    It should!

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  2. 2. PatrickR 5:51 pm 12/13/2012

    Corporate,civilian and military leaders across the globe are so filled with the lust for money and power that the fact they are destroying the earth mean very little if anything to them. The sad part is even in the parts of the world where citizens can make a difference their is little opposition. The time will come I think,sooner than most expect, where Nature will say that’s enough or perhaps we’ll go extinct from our own devices either way at the rate we are currently using up resources and polluting the environment future generations are being handed a life supporting planet that’s not healthy and on the brink of environmental chaos.

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  3. 3. manniking50 5:05 am 12/28/2012

    Nice post, the best.

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