Mark Kelly on 2017 and the Future of (humans on) Planet Earth

Harvey Life And Death Of A Storm
Image credit: NASA/NOAA GOES Project. Photo of our unique home captured from space on Sept. 2, 2017. Hurricane Irma is visible near the middle of the Atlantic Ocean tracking west. Irma would later traverse unusually warm surface waters greater than 86 degrees F, setting multiple records for intensity, time at high intensity, and intensity at its landfall on a multitude of Caribbean islands and Florida, where it reached an uncommon size twice the width of that state.

I highly recommend this short article, published this week, by Mark Kelly. A retired naval aviator and combat veteran, Mark made two deployments to the Persian Gulf and flew 39 combat missions as part of Operation Desert Storm. He then became a NASA astronaut and served as either pilot or commander of 4 space shuttle missions. As such, he has the rare perspective of having been in a position to look down upon the whole Earth during a total of 854 orbits over 54 days in space during the decade between 2001 and 2011.

Mark is an American patriot by any reckoning, and he has had an extraordinary opportunity to observe and contemplate our unique planet. I should think folks of any political persuasion would be interested in reading his reflections on 2017.

As we all reflect on the past year, I encourage you to read his article.

“Don’t worry about the planet, the Earth will be just fine. What you need to worry about is us — all of us. …we must lead the way in solving this problem. If we don’t do this, who will?”

-Captain Mark Kelly, retired naval aviator, combat veteran, and astronaut, 2017


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