Carl Sagan was born on November 9th in 1934. He passed away in 1996, 20 years ago. In this video, one of his final interviews, he discusses his book The Demon-Haunted World.
Carl Sagan spent his professional career working to educate people about science. He wanted to get people excited by the discoveries of modern science. He also wanted to do away with many of the false beliefs that pervade society. He wanted to use education as protection against things like religion, astrology, UFO abduction, and other beliefs that are held without evidence.
Today we in America are faced with something that I think would have deeply troubled Carl Sagan: a Trump presidency. The American people have voted into power a dangerously unqualified demagogue who has mobilized a large percentage of the American populace into rallying behind his racist, misogynistic, bigoted ideas. Sagan was once arrested protesting at a nuclear test site. And now, twenty years after Sagan's death, the United States just elected a president who has spoken about using nuclear weapons.
That extreme aside, Donald Trump has spoken about cutting the Department of Education and the Environmental Protection Agency. The effects of Donald Trump's presidency could be absolutely catastrophic to the little progress we have made fighting climate change. And our already under-performing education system will now be dangerously imperiled. I think all that would have caused Carl Sagan some true heartbreak for the current and future generations of not just America, but all the world.
Where do we go from here? Carl kept fighting his whole life. Can we? Whatever your political beliefs may be, whether you are liberal or conservative, whatever your point on the spectrum, we need now, more than ever, to embrace the idea that when it comes to governance, facts and reason need to play an important role in our decisions. Reason needs to guide us into the future, or we will not have a future to protect.
On that note I will leave you with a video of Carl Sagan's Pale Blue Dot.