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I searched for beauty today and found it in abundance ...

Today's beauty merited three folders:

Wood Duck - Emerson Point Preserve's temple, mound and midden complex which are relics of the Native American civilization which inhabited this beautiful place for thousands of years.  Starring a beautiful wood duck

Emerson Point Preserve - Six miles of hiking along the Manatee River and Tampa Bay, featuring birds, especially a roseate spoonbill and a mother osprey with baby

Baby Manatees - I returned to yesterday's bald eagle nest and found the mother with the two babies, a beautiful scene, and then to the St. Petersburg shoreline where I found a half dozen manatees, including two babies


I happened to read Sky & Telescope magazine yesterday and found the following interesting article:

NASA to Abandon Plan for Moon Base?

NASA will probably not build a full-fledged outpost on the Moon as originally planned, the agency's acting administrator, Chris Scolese, told lawmakers on Wednesday, April 29th. His comments also hinted that the agency is open to putting more emphasis on human missions to Mars or a near-Earth asteroid.

To which I say: Well, of course ... !  

Humans aren't going to return to the moon.

Nor are humans going to visit Mars or an asteroid.

Those futile dreams are dying right now, as they should and as they must.

The era of human space exploration ended with the Apollo mission's conclusion in 1972.

The era of human space flight is nearing its end.  The death of the Space Shuttle is the end of the United States sending astronauts into space.  There won't be a replacement for the Space Shuttle.

America's priorities will change dramatically in the decade ahead.  Humankind's priorities, too.  

There's nothing on the moon, Mars or anywhere else in space which is of use to humankind.  The Earth is humankind's only home.  There is no other.  Humans evolved on the Earth and humankind will go extinct on the Earth.

We're nearing the end of the human tragedy.  But everyone should keep in mind that "nearing the end" is stated within the context of a planet with is 4.5 billion years old.  Humans will continue suffering from our own foolish, reckless, self-destructive decisions for a very long time.

Who can teach peace to humankind?  Who will tell humankind that our species has run out of time and squandered its brief moment of existence and talents?  

This is not the sort of message that humans will hear especially since the vast majority of humans still believe that our species is at the center of the Universe and is of special concern to God.    

David Mathews

Originally posted to dmathew1 on Sun May 03, 2009 at 03:09 PM PDT.

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