According to NASA, Earth can sometimes feel like the last place you’d want to be. Indeed, a number of explorers have devised inventive ways to move civilization off this planet.
It’s no surprise: The promise of a better life in the mysterious beyond can be seductive. But the fact is the more we learn about out there the more we realize how special it is here. The first astronauts to look from space back at Earth, a “pale blue dot, the only home we’ve ever known,” as scientist Carl Sagan once wrote, saw a beautiful, delicate world that is perfectly suited to the bounty of life it supports.
“When I looked up and saw the Earth coming up on this very stark, beat up lunar horizon, an Earth that was the only color that we could see, a very fragile looking Earth, a very delicate looking Earth, I was immediately almost overcome by the thought that here we came all this way to the Moon, and yet the most significant thing we’re seeing is our own home planet, the Earth,” said William Anders, a crew member on Apollo 8, the first crewed mission to the Moon.
On this 50th anniversary of Earth Day on April 22, we reflect on nine reasons Earth is the best place to live:
1. We can take deep, cleansing breath
2. There’s solid ground to stand on
3. The seasons go round and round
4. Its gravity doesn’t turn us into noodles
5. We can enjoy a pleasant breeze
6. It’s a sparkling globe of blue, white and green
7. It’s got clear skies, sunny days and water we can swim in
8. Dry land exists! And the entire world isn’t smothered beneath miles of ice
9. Cream puff clouds that come and go