Commemorate the 40th Anniversary of the First Moonwalk by taking an even more Gigantic Leap!
Submit your comments to the US Human Space Flight Plans Committee
Please help us Speak as One World on behalf of Another!
Here’s an example of a Letter to the Editor: What Would Muir Do? (SF Chronicle)
Below are two letter templates to send to any human being, government or organization
(Some translations may be available upon request)
Thank you for participating in this historic moment!
“The One Giant Leap Campaign”
This may sound like lunacy, but this is very serious! There is a Moon Emergency and we need your help!
In the brief forty years since human footprints and flags were first imprinted on the pristine lunar landscape there has never been the threat to that wilderness as there is today. The United States (NASA) has now been joined by Russia, China, India, Japan, Germany, the United Kingdom and the European Union in the quest or race to place permanent structures and settlements on the moon. This is alarming in and of itself, yet recent events and stated plans by these governments reveal the seriousness of these “missions” that are already irreparably altering the moonscape. We invite you to read this selection of articles from across the world and consider the environmental impact of these “missions.” The literal, violent impacts of probes that are creating new craters and clouds of dust particles (visible from the earth) are already transforming the moon we see–the moon that we all see, no matter what continent or country or community or creed where we make our home. Imagine a country dropping a nuclear bomb in the center of Yosemite and perhaps you can feel the impact that would have on all of us.
For centuries and certainly for generations, humankind has dreamed of traveling to the stars. The first and foremost “star” in the night sky is the moon (Greek: mene, from the word for month). Each month this reflective, glowing orb circles us, a constant companion that seems so close, though it floats some 238, 900 miles (384, 400 km) above–or over, or under, or around. The cycles of this near and dear neighbor are continuous reminders of our place in the sidereal, celestial, universe floating on mystery, on something like a strange blue-green apple on the bough of space. Many have said it more eloquently, but the poetry of our planet is inextricably woven in the gravitational fabric of Earth and Moon.
In July, 1969 humankind, represented by the United States, stepped onto the face of the “Man in the Moon.” What had once been the dream lit by moonshine and music, by Moonlight Sonata, Moon River and the dances of countless Honeymoons, had come true. Since that “one small step” earthlings have made the still-risky cosmic climb to the mountains of the moon over and over, putting more machines and more humans on the chalky countenance of the great 2160 miles-in-diameter (3475 km) disk.
In human history, and certainly since President Theodore Roosevelt preserved over 200 million acres of American land in the early part of the 20th Century, there has not been as great a crisis in the preservation movement on the scale at hand! We need global visionaries, statespeople, scientific, artistic and religious thinkers to join in the Campaign to Save the Moon! This is nothing short of a planet-wide emergency.
We urge you to think long and hard about the use of the word “mission.” Something strange and shady is going on in the name of science. We have “mission control” and speak of scientific missions in ways reminiscent of the old religious missionary efforts to bring “good news” to lands perceived to be in need of “saving.” History has clearly shown the results of this parochial and patriarchal approach to what is “foreign” or “barbaric,” “heathen,” “pagan” and ultimately “wild” (meaning uncontrollable; in pristine state as opposed to fallen and sinful). Taken in this light the immediate and impending desecration (to borrow another ecclesiastical term) of the moon is yet another example of the hubris of humanity in the short-sighted attempt to mine the resources, claim control, manipulate and forever re-shape the experience of life on earth as well as life in the cosmos. Scientific exploration and discovery are integral and essential to our humanity. Yet, the aesthetic and ethical experience are equally intrinsic and too easily ignored, to our peril.
As terrestrial inhabitants we have a long history of National Parks, a few International Parks as well as Reserves, Preserves, Refuges, Open Spaces, Sanctuaries and other protected lands and water areas all over the earth. We are still challenged to take care of our Spaceship Home using good economics (eco-nomic: home management). Sometimes called the father of national parks, Scottish born John Muir sauntered into Yosemite Valley in the 1860’s. There he found a delightful and dangerous paradise inhabited by wonderful wild things and native residents who understood their relationship with the natural cosmos. In this mountain “temple” Muir found that he was stepping into “a new world. . .as if in the presence of superior beings new arrived from some other star” (Our National Parks, 1901). John Muir’s scientific as well as spiritual experience in the mountains of California led to a lifetime of preserving wild landscapes not only as “parks” but as classrooms and indeed sanctuaries.
Buzz Aldrin, second person to touch the moon, has written, ” The amount of light that reflected off the lunar surface was so high, it was as if we were standing in brilliantly lit snow. The sky was utter blackness. I could see no planets or stars. I remarked to Houston, ‘Beautiful, beautiful. Magnificent desolation. . . .’ There wasn’t time to savor the moment. It seemed as though what we were doing was so significant that to pause of a moment and reflect metaphysically was really contrary to our mission. We weren’t trained to smell the roses. We weren’t hired to utter philosophical truisms on the spur of the moment. We had a job to do.” Now, our job as a planet is to “smell the roses” here, and leave the magnificent desolation alone.
John Muir cannot leap up the temple mountains and descend the silent, sacred valleys of the moon today. His energy and enthusiasm, his passionate pen can no longer echo the outrage at the threat to the wilderness. But a year before he died, in the midst of the battle to save the magnificent Hetch Hetchy Valley, Muir wrote in his journal, “This Yosemite Park fight began a dozen years ago. Never for a moment have I believed that the American people would fail to defend it for the welfare of themselves and all the world. The people are now aroused. Tidings from far and near show that almost every good man and woman is with us. Therefore, be of good cheer, watch, and pray and fight!”
In the bushy-bearded spirit of Muir–please join us now. This will be an inter-stellar fight, but a fight as peaceful as the moonlight on a dark blue lake. As you read this letter, governments, agencies, military forces and “space explorers” are planning more assaults on the wilderness Moon. It’s time to howl, but not at the moon this time; we must lift our voices to those who would change the quality of our life on earth while digging up, developing and destroying a far away land that may one day soon be littered with flags, fences, facilities and perhaps even advertisements visible on your evening walk on city street, country lane, desert, island, plain or mountain range.
Take this One Giant Leap today!
Let’s preserve the First Space Wilderness. Let’s designate a Moon Park!