Symphony of Science – Climate Change

John D Boswell at Symphony of Science created a beautiful video that describes our greatest challenge to date – climate change. Yes, the subject is a downer, and I would love to believe that it really isn’t happening as much as the oil industry would like us to. But the reality is that it is happening, and it’s getting worse.

Boswell’s video features the late Isaac Asimov, speaking out on climate change way back in the 1980’s. It’s a reminder of the fact that human-caused climate change is nothing new; we’re only now starting to feel the worst effects of it.

There is, however, some hopeful news. The climate change we are experiencing is caused by us, and that means we can do something to reverse it. Boswell emphasizes this point in his video, and turns what could have been a depressing commentary on rapidly diminishing polar ice into a message of hope; we can correct this problem.

If we choose to.

One final leap…

The Great Moment – Paul Calle, 1969

Today, Neil Armstrong was laid to rest in a private burial at sea in Navy tradition. Of course, Armstrong’s passing will spark the recurring question of when or whether NASA will return astronauts to the Moon or beyond. But for today, I wanted to remember Armstrong in the seminal moment that defined his life, and set a marker that would forever define the history of the human race into two halves – one when humanity was confined to Earth, and another in which humanity walked upon another world.

Over the years, I’ve seen several paintings and photos of those incredible forays on the surface of the Moon. But this painting, created by the late space artist Paul Calle in 1969 is, to me, striking for its sheer loneliness of being the first human to set foot on another world.

Of course, Buzz Aldrin was in the Eagle Lunar Module ready to descend the ladder a short while later and  yes, there were thousands of engineers and technicians who worked for years to make this moment possible, to say nothing of the millions of people around the world watching the events unfold on television. But for a moment, there was just Neil Armstrong, alone, standing on the surface of the Moon.

Thank you Neil, for that giant leap for all of us.

Neil Armstrong being buried at sea
Credit: NASA / Bill Ingalls. See the Flickr set for more