April 22, 2005

Happy Earth Day

Why should we cede a celebration of the earth to dirty hippies, luddite lefties, and their assorted anti-progress fellow-travelers? I love this beautiful planet. The oceans with their rhythmic surf, coral reefs, tide pools, and lightless trenches; the alpine meadows with glaciers, flowers, and deep blue skies; forests of all kinds; and the bustling cities where most of us live. If we are to survive in the long term, I believe we must move out and upward into the solar system and beyond. And as we move out, I know we will look back and remember this lovely cradle of humanity, perhaps hoping to return someday:

EarthriseNarrow.jpgThe Green Hills of Earth

Let the sweet fresh breezes heal me
As they rove around the girth
Of our lovely mother planet
Of the cool, green hills of Earth.

We rot in the moulds of Venus,
We retch at her tainted breath.
Foul are her flooded jungles,
Crawling with unclean death.

. . .

We've tried each spinning space mote
And reckoned its true worth:
Take us back again to the homes of men
On the cool, green hills of Earth.

The arching sky is calling
Spacemen back to their trade.
And the lights below us fade.

Out ride the sons of Terra,
Far drives the thundering jet,
Up leaps a race of Earthmen,
Out, far, and onward yet ---

We pray for one last landing
On the globe that gave us birth;
Let us rest our eyes on fleecy skies
And the cool, green hills of Earth.

-- Robert Heinlein

Posted by JohnL at April 22, 2005 12:01 AM

Great Earth Day post. Have you seen my Space Elevators post, by the way?

Posted by: Eric at April 22, 2005 01:55 PM

I have this vision of a school child reciting The Green Hills of Earth in class on Earth Day and a "teacher" looking very, very confused.

Posted by: James Wigderson at April 22, 2005 02:08 PM

Um, why indeed? Because they, uh, um, hmmn. I don't have an answer. Happy earth day!

Posted by: RP at April 22, 2005 02:27 PM
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