„Of course we must keep our planet habitable – not on a leisurely timescale of centuries or millennia, but urgently, on a timescale of decades or even years. This will involve changes in government, in industry, in ethics, in economics, and in religion. We have never done such a thing before, certainly not on a global scale.

It may be too difficult for us. Dangerous technologies may be too widespread. Corruption may be too pervasive. Too many leaders may be focused on the short term rather than the long. There may be too many quarreling ethnic groups, nation-states, and ideologies for the right kind of global change to be instituted. We may be too foolish to perceive even what the real dangers are, or that much of what we hear about them is determined by those with a vested interest in minimizing fundamental change.

However, we humans also have a history of making long-lasting social change that nearly everyone thought impossible. Since our earliest days, we’ve worked not just for our own advantage but for our children and our grandchildren. My grandparents and parents did so for me. We have often, despite our diversity, despite endemic hatreds, pulled together to face a common enemy. We seem, these days, much more willing to recognize the perils before us than we were even a decade ago. The newly recognized dangers threaten all of us equally. No one can say how it will turn out down here.“


Sagan, Carl: Pale blue dot. A vision of the human future in space. 1st edition, New York: Random House, 1994, p. 374