World leaders gathered at COP21’s Action Day over the weekend watched a message from a group of people with a unique perspective on our planet: astronauts. The 500-plus men and women who have viewed the earth from on high have seen its beauty, vulnerability, and interconnectedness like no one else, and the experience has given them a shared sense of urgency in protecting our pretty Blue Marble, the only home we’ve got.
From above, these space travelers have watched deforestation, uncontrolled fires, and mega storms unfold across the globe, understanding that “the only thing that protects us from the really bad vacuum in outer space,” as former astronaut Mary Cleave puts it, is “this little thin layer all the way around: our atmosphere.”
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