From tree-huggers and planet-destroyers to global citizens

Written by Alex Howerton on Tuesday, 23 June 2009. Posted in Overview Effect

When we gaze upon that awe-inspiring, full-Earth image from Apollo 17, it is no wonder we feel a strong pull of something ineffable, something transcendent. It is a pity, then that that very image, and others like it, which were produced by the highest pinnacle of our technological achievement at the time, are used by some to deride that very technology as the doom of us all. Some champions of technological progress are inclined to call people of that sentiment liberal tree-huggers. Many of those deeply feeling, deeply caring people respond by calling the former crowd cold-warrior planet-destroyers. But the tossing about of such incendiary labels only fans the flame of controversy, and does nothing to mitigate the underlying problems. All this sound and fury, signifying nothing, merely serves to mask the true irony of the situation, which is that, increasingly, the champions of technology and the environmentalists are strong natural allies, and are more often than not, these days, one and the same person.

To be able to find solutions to the grave problems facing us all these days, one must have hope that the problems are indeed solvable. To be able to do that, one must have hope for the future, that solutions are within our grasp, that tomorrow can be better than today. That is one of the prime goals of the Overview Institute: to give us a sense of wholeness, of wonder, of unity on this delicately-balanced, wondrous blue ball of ours, floating in the blackness of space. It is when we perceive this whole, this majestic beauty of the mother of us all, Gaia, that we realize our deep responsibility to use all the technology at our disposal to ameliorate conditions on the planet. We are all in this together, and together, we can rise to the challenges that we ourselves have created. That is the ultimate message of the Overview Institute, and its program of bringing images like the Apollo 17 picture and other advanced simulation technology to bear on the problem of increasing awareness, of fostering a desire to properly care for this beautiful, wonderful planet we call home.

About the Author

Alex Howerton is a Business Development Consultant with American Aerospace Advisors Inc. Alex has been researching the commercial space industry for over 16 years. He started publishing "Space Available: The Space Investors’ Report" in 1992, and was its publisher, editor and principal author until 1995, when it was acquired by Countdown Magazine.

Alex has written two books on space development. Free Space: Real Alternatives for Reaching Outer Space (Loompanics, 1995) is an assessment of the then current private space initiatives. Project Avalon (Space Available Press, 1998) is a science fiction novel exploring the ramifications of private space development and the potential consequences to society of not moving swiftly enough to create a space-faring civilization. He was formerly a Business Development Manager of Space Training at NASTAR Center.

Comments (0)

Leave a comment

You are commenting as guest. Optional login below.