A sight for a chosen few

manned spaceship hurtling through the infinity of space

— see the earth as it truly is, small and blue and beautiful in that eternal silence where it floats, is to see ourselves a riders on the earth together, brothers on that bright loveliness in the eternal cold — brothers who know now they are truly brothers.

Step far back. Regardez. Awesome, Forlorn, Beauty

Once upon a time, the Americans put a man on the moon. The principal goal was to find out more about the moon,

But the greatest result was that these men could look back from 250,000 miles away and see the planet Earth. Amazing, iconic photographs were taken. Millions have seen the pictures. Hundreds are now posted on the internet.

Only a chosen few have had the chance to look back, with their own eyes, see the Earth. This was obviously a mind-altering, powerful experience. The astronauts tried to put their feelings into words.

"The view of the Earth from the Moon fascinated me — a small disk, 240,000 miles away. It was hard to think that that little thing held so many problems, so many frustrations. Raging nationalistic interests, famines, wars, pestilence don't show from that distance."

— Frank Borman, Apollo 8, 'A Science Fiction World — Awesome Forlorn Beauty,' Life magazine, 17 January 1969.

"Oddly enough the overriding sensation I got looking at the earth was, my god that little thing is so fragile out there."

— Mike Collins, Apollo 11 astronaut,

 "Suddenly, from behind the rim of the Moon, in long, slow-motion moments of immense majesty, there emerges a sparkling blue and white jewel, a light, delicate sky-blue sphere laced with slowly swirling veils of white, rising gradually like a small pearl in a thick sea of black mystery. It takes more than a moment to fully realize this is Earth … home."

— Edgar Mitchell  Apollo 14

 "left Earth three times and found no other place to go. Please take care of Spaceship Earth."

—   Wally Schirra, 1998.

It is unfortunate that so very few of Earth's citizens have had the experience of looking at planet Earth from a great distance. Edgar Mitchell wanted to take a politician out there and make him look at planet Earth. OK, but I would not confine my choice to politicians. I think most politicians are fairly harmless. Fabricating,  exaggerating, minimizing, obfuscating, anything to get elected. Notice I say, elected. Their ideas seldom come to fruition, often they are not in a position of responsibility for too long.

I think it is "leaders" we want to send to the moon. "Leaders" are seldom elected. They appoint themselves; they are chosen by a small cohort of cronies; they inherit the job; they take their position by force and keep it by oppression and an orchestrated program of "brainwashing" of the population. We need to include the leaders of the world's major religions in the list for "Moon tickets".

Some prime candidates for Moon time in the twentieth century unfortunately inflicted their greatest harm before the moon landings and are now dead. This list would include Adolf Hitler, Joseph Stalin, Pol Pot and Chairman Mao.

There are plenty of "active" leaders of countries, ideologies and religious denominations who would qualify for the   Moon journey. Looking at pictures, however fantastic they are, will not work.  The Space Station will not be far enough. These men need to be sent to the Moon.

There needs to be an Observation Station on the moon where they can just observe an Earth Rise. At first, they will look for their country. Then, this will stop, and they will only see the Earth. Then they will realize what is really their home. They will look at each other and see other humans, not enemies. If they make it home they will have new priorities, a new perspective.

"Infidels", "non-believers", "heretics" will be words of the past. Territorial squabbles, revolutions, coups, invasions, blockades, sanctions, internal power struggles, escalating displays of weaponry, oppression and terrorizing of minorities, genocide,  will all be seen to be purposeless and destructive behaviors.

There is no shortage of global issues, demanding the attention of Homo sapiens. Control of our population is central to all other efforts to protect the environment.[That's another blog]

I have made a list of Moon travellers. They are not in any particular order. Some are there because their current behavior is unacceptable. Others are there because of their potential to contribute. There are more than ten, because it is possible that some are medically unfit or simply cannot be found.

"A" list.

1.Vladimir Putin   Russia

2.Tayip Erdogan  Turkey

3.Rodrigo Duterte  Phillipines

4.Ali Khamenei   Iran

5.Salman Abdulaziz al Saud   Saudi Arabia

6.Li Jinping  China

7.Kim Jong-un   North Korea  Should get the first ticket

8.Robert Mugabe  Zimbabwe. 92 years old. Probably a one-way ticket

9.Mahmoud Abbas  Palestine Liberation Organization

10.Mamnoon Hussain  Pakistan President

11.Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi  ISIS leader. Probably will not be found.

12. Bashar al- Assad   Syria. If sick or disabled, send anyway.

"B" list

Pope Francis   I leave a space between the Pope and the names of the megalomaniacs, scam artists, sadists, charlatans and just plain evil persons on the trip list above him. So, with due respect, he could be separated from them, given his own private mission. He could lead his followers out of their state of denial of the ominous, looming catastrophe of Homo sapiens population increase. I think, a moderate and gentle person. His position has great influence.

No translators necessary. Nobody on the list except the Pope gets to make a speech. Let them watch the Earth rise. And think for themselves.

"The real bonus has been that for the first time in human history we have had a chance to look at the Earth from space, and the information gained from seeing from the outside our azure-green planet in all its global beauty has given rise to a whole new set of questions and answers."

 James Lovelock, Gaia: A New Look at Life on Earth, 1979.

Finally, I conclude with locker room words from Edgar Mitchell. He was obviously frustrated and more than a little angry. I am not uncomfortable for all those on the "A" list to read them.

"You develop an instant global consciousness, a people orientation, an intense dissatisfaction with the state of the world, and a compulsion to do something about it. From out there on the moon, international politics look so petty. You want to grab a politician by the scruff of the neck and drag him a quarter of a million miles out and say:

                  "Look at that, you son of a bitch."