5 quotes that show why you go into space a scientist and come down an environmentalist.

"If you really love something, you don’t want to lose it."

One of my favorite quotes ever is from astronaut Edgar D. Mitchell.

It's a little rough, but it sure does make a point. He described his experience of seeing the Earth from the moon like so:

"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 b****.'”

I've always loved the image of it — some congressional blowhard stuffed into a spacesuit. I love the message, too, and it's something I think we need to hear more often.


On Dec. 5, 2015, a group of astronauts once again tried to give world leaders everywhere a new perspective.

Planetary Collective presented world leaders at COP21 with with a video. In it, 18 astronauts from around the world asked them to take action against climate change.

And, in typical astronaut fashion, they said it in ways that really just nail it.

All GIFs via PlanetaryCollective/YouTube.

So without further ado, here are five (more) things you realize as an astronaut.

1. Humanity's effect on the planet is undeniable.

"Less than 550 humans have orbited the Earth. Those of us lucky enough to have done so more than once have not only heard about the negative impact that the industrial age has had on our planet, we’ve seen it with our own eyes." — Michael Lopez-Alegria, Space Shuttle, Soyuz, ISS, and U.S. spacewalk record holder

2. You get an eyewitness view on the environment.

The destruction of the Amazon is super clear from above.

"We astronauts have been witnessing the continued shrinking of the Aral Sea; the burning rainforests along the Amazon River and in Indonesia; the polluted air over industrial zones; and the dirty water at the river deltas." — Ernst Messerschmid, Ph.D, Space Shuttle

3. You realize how blessed we are.

"Suppose I can transfer the experience which I have to you, then you would go out and see the Earth. And when you have, let’s say the spirit and the insight, and the attitude of an astronaut, you start to love the Earth. And if you really love something, you don’t want to lose it." — Wubbo Ockels, Ph.D, Space Shuttle and first Dutch citizen in space

4. We are a very small part of a very big picture.

"We are citizens of space and stewards of Earth. We need to take actions to build a global climate alliance in order to protect our environment." — Soichi Noguchi, Space Shuttle, Soyuz, and ISS

5. It's our responsibility to protect the Earth.

"I believe we must do everything we can to minimize the human contribution to climate change and make better choices so we can live in harmony with nature and with each other." — Jerry Carr, Skylab

Because that's what it's really about, at least for me. Responsibility.

We are not children. We don't cower in caves anymore. We are not afraid of the dark. We don't ignore our messes, we don't make excuses, and we certainly don't put things off, hoping someone else will come along and save us.

We are adults. We take responsibility for our actions. That's what adults do.

Sometimes it just takes a little perspective to see that.

See what the other 13 astronauts had to say below:

Ready to reach for the stars? You can help protect the Earth by signing the League of Conservation Voters' petition supporting the EPA's new Clean Power Plan.

Heroes
True
League of Conservation Voters
The Guardian / YouTube

Earlier this month, a beluga whale caught the world's attention by playing fetch with a rugby ball thrown by South African researchers off the waters of Norway.

The adorable video has been watched over 20 million times, promoting people across the globe to wonder how the whale became so comfortable around humans.

It's believed that the whale, known as Hvaldimir, was at some point, trained by the Russian military and was either released or escaped.

Keep Reading Show less
popular
Facebook / Maverick Austin

Your first period is always a weird one. You know it's going to happen eventually, but you're not always expecting it. One day, everything is normal, then BAM. Puberty hits you in a way you can't ignore.

One dad is getting attention for the incredibly supportive way he handled his daughter's first period. "So today I got 'The Call,'" Maverick Austin started out a Facebook post that has now gone viral.

The only thing is, Austin didn't know he got "the call." His 13-year-old thought she pooped her pants. At that age, your body makes no sense whatsoever. It's a miracle every time you even think you know what's going on.

Keep Reading Show less
popular
Instagram / Katie Sturino

Plus-size women are in the majority. In America, 68% of women wear a size 14 or higher. Yet many plus-sized are ignored by the fashion industry. Plus-sized clothing is a $21 billion industry, however only one-fifth of clothing sales are plus-sized. On top of that, plus-sized women are often body shamed, further reinforcing that bigger body types are not mainstream despite the fact that it is common.

Plus-size fashion blogger Katie Sturino recently called out her body shamers. Sturino runs the blog, The 12ish Style, showing that plus-sized fashion isn't – and shouldn't be – limited to clothes that hide the body.

Keep Reading Show less
popular
via Twitter / Soraya

There is a strange right-wing logic that suggests when minorities fight for equal rights it's somehow a threat to the rights already held by those in the majority or who hold power.

Like when the Black Lives Matter movement started, many on the right claimed that fighting for black people to be treated equally somehow meant that other people's lives were not as valuable, leading to the short-lived All Lives Matter movement.

This same "oppressed majority" logic is behind the new Straight Pride movement which made headlines in August after its march through the streets of Boston.

Keep Reading Show less
popular