Earth from Space: The Planetary Society Urges Stepped-Up Monitoring of Our Home Planet

For Immediate Release
June 19, 2008

Mat Kaplan
Email: [email protected]
Phone: +1-626-793-5100

Bill Nye the Science Guy will conduct a Planetary Society presentation on Capitol Hill on June 25, 2008, urging the United States to lead a global response to climate change on Planet Earth, with increased observations from space and greater global coordination.

Wednesday, June 25
8:00 am
2325 Rayburn House Office Building
Washington DC.

This event is held in cooperation with the House Science and Technology Committee.

Joining Nye, who is vice-president of The Planetary Society, will be eminent scientists Charles Kennel and Berrien Moore, and NOAA Assistant Administrator for Satellite and Information Services, Mary Kicza. The program will be introduced by Louis Friedman, Executive Director of The Planetary Society.

The Planetary Society is the largest space-interest group in the world and the leading Non-Governmental Organization advocate of space exploration.

"Understanding our home planet better is a key benefit of space exploration," said Friedman. "Both exploration of the solar system and Earth observations from space have contributed greatly to that understanding," he added.

Kennel, recently appointed chair of the National Research Council's Space Studies Board, and Moore will discuss the dangers represented by global climate change, citing reports from the U.S. National Research Council and the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change. Kicza, who is the Chair of the Committee on Earth Observation Satellites Strategic Implementation Team, will speak about international government programs of Earth observations.

Kennel said, "Earth observations are showing the immense changes taking place on our planet. Never before have they been so needed."

The Planetary Society has joined the Alliance for Earth Observations, an initiative created to promote the understanding and use of land, air and sea observations for societal and economic benefit.

"Earth observing is a key to our survival," said Nye, "and goes hand-in-hand with planetary exploration as part of humankind's efforts to create a hopeful and positive future."

Riders on the Earth Together - a special issue of The Planetary Society's membership magazine, The Planetary Report - will be unveiled at the Congressional event. Kennel served as guest editor of the issue, and, together with Moore, Richard Somerville and Michael King, contributed articles. Riders on the Earth Together was partially sponsored by Northrop Grumman Corporation.

About The Planetary Society

With a global community of more than 2 million space enthusiasts, The Planetary Society is the world’s largest and most influential space advocacy organization. Founded in 1980 by Carl Sagan, Bruce Murray, and Louis Friedman and today led by CEO Bill Nye, we empower the public to take a meaningful role in advancing space exploration through advocacy, education outreach, scientific innovation, and global collaboration. Together with our members and supporters, we’re on a mission to explore worlds, find life off Earth, and protect our planet from dangerous asteroids. To learn more, visit