10 gut-wrenching pleas from astronauts to save planet Earth
NASA astronaut Karen Nyberg looks down on Earth through the windows of the cupola inside the International Space Station (ISS).NASA
Floating hundreds of miles above Earth, astronauts have an unparalleled and beautiful view of the planet.
But that view also lets them look down on the devastating effects of climate change, wildfires, war, pollution, and other troubling human-caused activity.
That's why astronauts from around (and above) the world contributed to a 2015 video titled "Call to Earth
," which urged world leaders to take action ahead of the Paris Agreement
The collection of pleas is not only inspiring, but also sobering: If we don't clean up our act, and fast, we could irreversibly destroy the only home we've got.
Here are the some of the most salient quotes from the video.
It's amazing how fragile the atmosphere looks from space, said American astronaut Mary Cleave. All we have is a thin film of air to protect us.
That atmosphere is something we all share.
Views from space show the destruction humans have caused since the dawn of the industrial age.
Ongoing human catastrophes, like deforestation, are easily visible, too.
It's also easy to see lakes dry up and pollution spread.
If we don't act now on climate change, things could spiral out of control.
People in power must work together if we want to temper climate change and its disruptive force, the astronauts say.
It's also crucial that we educate future generations to be better stewards than we have been.
We're the only caretakers of Earth, the astronauts say, so it's our job to watch over of the planet.
Dutch astronaut Wubbo Ockels suggested that the Earth has cancer, just like him, in a heartbreaking message.
Ockels died the day after recording his message.