• Graeme

Earthrise - A photo about climate change

In 1968, three Americans did something that has indirectly led to this week’s climate change talks in Glasgow. Frank Boreman, Jim Lovell and Bill Anders were the astronauts on Apollo 8. The spacecraft left the earth’s atmosphere, and orbited just 60 miles above the moon.

The astronauts sent pictures back to earth and people were gripped. This was before Neil Armstrong had walked on the moon. Was the moon made of cheese? Did a man live there? What was its dark side like?

However, the most famous picture taken on that space odyssey was not of the moon, but of the earth. It’s a photo that is now called Earthrise, and it showed our home in a completely new way. It was a bright, blue, green globe floating in the vastness of space. It looked fragile. It is a photo that inspired the modern environmental movement.

On that trip, Bill Anders read words that were listened to by millions living back on that fragile, blue globe. He read the following: “In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth. Now the earth was without form and void, and darkness was upon the face of the deep, and the spirit of God moved upon the face of the waters And God said, “Let there be light,” and there was light, and God saw the light and it was good, And God divided the light from the darkness.”

Whatever you may believe about how the earth was created, whatever you may think of the climate change talks in Glasgow. Whatever you think, Apollo 8 showed us that our wee home, floating around in space, is both beautiful and fragile.

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