The Overview Effect and the Earth's Future
Astronauts have many varied responses to seeing the Earth from space and in space. However, one stands out for most observers: they come to have a deeper appreciation not only of the beauty of our home planet but also for its importance to humanity's future. I have not interviewed an astronaut as yet who is content to say that we can ignore the Earth as we move out into the solar system.
However, many of the justifications for settling Mars center on having a "Plan B" or an "insurance policy" in case something happens to the Earth. The term "extinction event" is being used more and more. We need to explore this mindset and consider what it means for the future of the Earth. Is it simply common sense, and should we not have such an insurance policy, or is it a subtle way to care less about the natural spaceship that gave us birth and protects us as we move through the universe at a high rate of speed?
More on this topic later!