According to sea turtle biologist, Wallace J. Nichols, this little blue marble could inspire people to take meaningful action to protect our planet. Outside Magazine featured Dr. Nichols in its December 2011 cover article, “The Outside Guide to Fixing the World” by Michael Roberts.
This article inspired me so deeply that I gave my nieces and nephews a little blue marble for Christmas recently. Even more, this little blue marble will be featured prominently in my next Toastmaster’s speech at the end of January. My speech is called, “EXPAND YOUR PATRIOTISM.” The theme of this speech is caring for the earth and eliminating pollution is patriotic for the planet and America.
Nichols estimates around a million of his blue marbles are in circulation around the world. They have made it into the hands of Dr. Jane Goodhall, Harrison Ford, James Cameron, E.O. Wilson, and four-time Iditarod champion Lance Mackey, who carried one in this year’s race.
The concept of the blue marble is simple. If Nichols was standing in front of you, first you would take the little blue marble between your fingers and stretch out your arm as far as it will go. This is approximately what spaceship earth, our home looks like from a million miles out in space – a blue water planet.
Then, he would want you to hold it up to your eye and look at the sun. If water were inside, the marble would contain virtually all of earth’s elements. Finally, think of someone who is doing good work for the planet. Hold the marble to your heart: think how it would feel to you and them if presented them with this marble as a way of saying thank you.
At first, Outside writer, Michael Roberts felt uncomfortable with this “shtick.” However the last line giving the marble away to an old friend caused Roberts “fall under (Nichols) spell.” I also fell under this spell to immediately go on the website, BlueMarbles.org to purchase 50 marbles.
Roberts believes that “Nichol’s feel good approach offers a compelling alternative to the usual tactics of scaring people into action with bad news about extinctions or global warming.” Nichols himself told a group of graduate students in a lecture at Stanford University, as conservationists, “We have the power of happiness on our side.”
The blue marbles have brought me happiness. Now I give them as gifts to family members, Toastmasters, and others who are inspiring me to “be green” to save the planet from climate change.