We were fortunate to attend Stardate, an annual gathering of star-gazers here in New Zealand, my brother-in-law was attending with his 10-inch telescope. We observed Jupiter and three moons. The photograph below gives an idea of what we saw through the telescope. I am thoughtful because being outside late, in the gathering evening in a place under the domed sky, is intense and beautiful; the children were particularly enthralled, particularly my son who asked, “Why don’t we do this at school, science would be much more fun?”.
That is not all. Looking at the vastness of astronomy. The indifference, the beauty, the enormous distance and time. I feel insignificant. That is the point. That is real. Humans are insignificant. Our civilizations, just a brief speck of time and comfort. We need to recognize and accept our insignificance and vulnerability. To counter this reality we must develop systems that can last. We need to build flexibility and resilience into our: social, environmental, scientific, political and economic systems. That is to build sustainable, community centered systems to last. We are not following that path now, with our globalized, pared down – efficient systems that lack the flexibility and buffers to be truly resilient. We are at risk. A part of the answer is building for long term and flexibility.