Somehow 50 years have gone by since the Moon Landing. A truly amazing event in human history. Now it seems everyone is scrambling to get back there to … do science … do military things … do nationalism … do marketing … and leave more junk.
See the New Moon Race (NPR)
So, I present something I put together a few years ago that may be even more timely now. It’s an out-of-this-world and perhaps “spacey” idea: Moon Wilderness Park
I was floating this idea that landed here: Moon Park
(I haven’t updated the site and some links don’t work … but some good images and music!)
Here is a portion of the proposal and invitation I started sending around back then. I even heard back from Ann Druyan, widow of Carl Sagan (Carl Sagan Foundation).
See what you think of this very wild, wilderness, dream …
The letter I sent to the United Nations and other organizations and individuals:
“The One Giant Leap Campaign”
Dear Fellow Earth-Dweller:
This may sound like lunacy, but this is very serious. There is a Moon Emergency and we need your help!
In the brief forty [now fifty] 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.
. . .
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.
. . .
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.