Fragile Oasis

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The Orbital Perspective of Nicholas Kristof

From the blog post:

Pulitzer Prize winning journalist Nicholas Kristof was in in the thick of things during the chaotic days of August 2011 that resulted in the Fall of Tripoli. He stood in Libya’s capital city reporting on events as they unfolded. Nick Kristof in Tripoli, Libya August 23, 2011 At the same ...

See the full post.

There is quite a number of photos from space that look peaceful from above but actually dreadful things are going on below. During expedition 30, which has ended today, scenic night shots of the Middle East (Holy Land included) have been taken that also show Damascus which has been always permanently in the news for shooting at civilians, armored tanks cruising in the streets, etc.


As beautiful as the Earth is from the orbital perspective, there's a bit of an eerie and lonely feeling as well. Until "space tourism" and space travel become "the norm" the views provided by astronauts are from extremely rare. I wonder what it must feel like to be in such a small, isolated and advanced machine knowing that just below you at any given moment are war and poverty. As an astronaut you are living on the frontier of humankind, yet as you fly over Africa you know there are wandering tribes below you who live in makeshift tents in the middle of the desert. In South America the indigenous people of the rainforest are warding off spirits from someone who has the flu. Or in first world countries like the US where there are political battles over the personal rights of women. The contrast of what we as humans create, experience, and even destroy is astounding and the culture spectrum is broad. I'm personally thankful for the work that Ron has initiated and done. The term Fragile Oasis is more accurate than many people may realize but hopefully we as humans never stop trying to improve or working towards a safer, healthier, and happier home.



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