Who Speaks for Earth?

When I watch Carl Sagan discuss the reality of nuclear proliferation in the final episode of Cosmos, it cements my unabashed admiration of him. When I watch him pace among the tress on the hilltop, I’m reminded not only that he was a great teacher, scientist, and writer; he was also a passionate activist. A leader even. In this six minute clip he quite handily shatters the illusion that nuclear weapons are protecting us. He is a fine orator, and while it can’t be proven, this speech surely resonated through parts of American politics.

If we’re willing to live with the growing likely hood of nuclear war, shouldn’t we also be willing to explore vigorously every possible means to prevent nuclear war?

Carl Sagan asked the right questions, and many people heard him. He taught us about the depth of beauty in science, but he also put out a call to action that the world has not answered. More than 25 years after it first aired, this clip is as relevant and powerful as it was during the Cold War. And the great question – “Who speaks for earth?” – still stands.