Who Speaks for Earth?

Carl Sagan once famously asked the question, "Who speaks for Earth?" It turns out that there are thousands—and perhaps millions—of humans who very actively and vocally speak for Earth on a daily basis. Chief among them, through their life's work, are distinguished luminaries and visionaries such as Carl Sagan, David Attenborough, Richard Leakey, Stevie Wonder, Jacques Cousteau, Maurice Yeates, and the Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists.

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There are lesser known humans who also speak for Earth in their own unique ways, for instance, the many environmentalists and environmental organizations. The marvelous photographs of Earth and life on Earth, as showcased in the slideshow below, are representative of lesser known humans—in this case photographers—who also speak for (the beauty of) Earth.

Viruses and Bacteria | by National Science Foundation (Photo Credit: Zina Deretsky, National Science Foundation) slime mold (Photo Credit: Zina Deretsky, National Science Foundation) cyanobacterium called Gloeotrichia echinulata (Photo Credit: Dr. Barry Rosen, U.S. Geological Survey) ciliate T. pyriformis [protozoan] (Photo Credit: National Institute of Standards and Technology) microalgae (Photo Credit: U.S. Department of Energy) Unidentified plankton (Photo Credit: Dr. John R. Dolan, Laboratoire d'Oceanographique de Villefranche; Observatoire Oceanologique de Villefrance-sur-Mer) seeds (Photo Credit: Ritesh Man, U.S. Department of Agriculture) Seqouia gigantea (Photo Credit: Dr. John Cloud, Historian, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration Central Library) forest habitat (Photo Credit: Fundacion Natura Bolivia 02-8-BO-2274) El Yunque National Rain Forest, Puerto Rico (Photo Credit: Roy Hewitt, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Southeast Region) Delmarva Peninsula hardwood and pine trees (Photo Credit: Ryan Hagerty, U. S. Fish and Wildlife Service - Northeast Region) trees (Photo Credit: U.S. Geological Survey) trees (Photo Credit: Garry Tucker, U. S. Fish and Wildlife Service) trees (Photo Credit: Larry Crist, U. S. Fish and Wildlife Service Mountain-Prairie) Indonesian Forest (Photo Credit: USAID/Danumurthi Mahendra) Cypress trees at Dale Bumpers White River National Wildlife Refuge (Photo Credit: Ray Paterra, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service) Fruit trees (Photo Credit: U.S. Department of Agriculture) Virgin Islands National Park (VINP) on St. John, U.S. Virgin Islands (Photo Credit: Trunk Bay, St. John, U.S. Virgin Islands; Kaitlin Kovacs, USGS) Streams and greenery (Photo Credit: Danny Hart, USEPA Environmental-Protection-Agency Desert National Wildlife Refuge in southern Nevada (Photo Credit: U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Southwest Region) Pines Trail at Great Dismal Swamp National Wildlife Refuge along the NC-VA (Photo Credit: U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Headquarters) A tree blossoms near the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) in Washngton, D.C. on Wednesday, March 25, 2016  (Photo Credit: Lance Cheung, U.S. Department of Agriculture) Part of Siletz Bay NWR (Photo Credit: Jennifer Winston, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service) Still water and greenery (Photo Credit: U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Midwest Region) desert brush (Photo Credit: Terry Eiler, The U.S. National Archives) Department of Agriculture People's Garden in Washington, DC (Photo Credit: U.S. Department of Agriculture Wetlands and their plants (Photo Credit: U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service) Water in the Fields (Photo Credit: Jennifer Bunker, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service) plants (Photo Credit: Kelly Ramundo, USAID) grass (Photo Credit: U.S. Department of Agriculture) Grass blowing in the wind (Photo Credit: U.S. Department of Energy) Greenery at Lake Ilo National Wildlife Refuge in North Dakota (Photo Credit: U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service) mosses and flowers covering the granite Green County, Georgia (Photo Credit: Clare Callahan, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Southeast Region) moss-covered slopes of Unalaska Island, over Captains Bay (Photo Credit: Mr. Tom Ward NOAA Teacher at Sea Program, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration) tree-ruffle liverwort (Photo Credit:  Peter Pearsall, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service) Missisquoi National Wildlife Refuge Fern Glade (Photo Credit: Ken Sturm, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service) water chestnuts (Photo Credit: Maddie List, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service) flowering plants (Photo Credit: Erin Morales, USEPA Environmental-Protection-Agency) flower (Photo Credit: Lance Cheung, U.S. Department of Agriculture) U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service desert sunflowers (Photo Credit: Joanna Gilkeson, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service) Lotus flower (Photo Credit:  Tim Brown, U.S. Department of State) flowers (Photo Credit: George Gentry, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service) pollinator plant (Photo Credit: Lance Cheung, U.S. Department of Agriculture) salmon berries (Photo Credit: Christine McCaffery, Alaska Region U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service) strawberry (Photo Credit: Lance Cheung, U.S. Department of Agriculture) landscape on Desert National Wildlife Refuge (Photo Credit: U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Southwest Region) blue-eyed grass (Photo Credit: Tom Koener, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service) Slime mold (Photo Credit: Peter Pearsall, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service) Butt-rot fungus Photo Credit: Peter Pearsall, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service unknown dune fungus (Photo Credit: Peter Pearsall, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service fungus (Photo Credit: U.S. Department of Energy) sponge (Photo Credit: Twilight Zone Expedition Team 2007, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration-OE.) nudibranch shell-less mollusk (Photo Credit: Greg McFall, NOAA's National Ocean Service) mussels (Photo Credit: Pacific Ring of Fire 2004 Expedition. NOAA Office of Ocean Exploration; Dr. Bob Embley, NOAA PMEL, Chief Scientist) methane ice worms (Photo Credit: NOAA Okeanos Explorer Program, Gulf of Mexico 2012 Expedition) roundworm (Photo Credit: National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases) spider (Photo Credit: U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service) sea spider (Photo Credit:  Scott C. France, Bahamas Deep-Sea Corals 2009 Exploration, NOAA-OER) bee on pink flower (Photo Credit: U.S. Department of Agriculture) winged ant (Photo Credit: Peter Pearsall, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service) wasp (Photo Credit: Jim Hudgins, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Midwest Region) tiger beetle (Photo Credit: Sam Droege, U.S. Geological Survey) Asian Longhorned Beetles (Photo Credit: U.S. Department of Agriculture) Eastern Pondhawk dragonfly (Photo Credit:  Alex Galt, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Midwest Region) fly (Photo Credit: Peter Pearsall, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service) Monarch caterpillar (Photo Credit: Michelle Woodson, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Midwest Region) Monarch butterfly (Photo Credit: George Gentry, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service) salmon eggs (Photo Credit: U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service) crayfish (Photo Credit: Chris Lukhaup, U.S. Forest Service) sea urchin (Photo Credit: David Burdick, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration jellyfish (Photo Credit: NOAA Okeanos Explorer Program) fishes (Photo Credit: Bonaire 2008 - Exploring Coral Reef Sustainability with New Technologies.; NOAA/OAR/OER) bull frog (Photo Credit: Bill Buchanan, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Northeast Region) tiger salamander (Photo Credit: Caitlin Smith, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Northeast Region) turtle (Photo Credit: U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Northeast Region) snake (Photo Credit: Peter Pearsall, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service) alligator (Photo Credit: Larry Rana, U.S. Department of Agriculture) avocet birds (Photo Credit: U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Headquarters) waterfowl at Quivira National Wildlife Refuge (Photo Credit: Dan Severson, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service) tern diving (Photo Credit: Barry Newberger, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service) mallard duck (Photo Credit: Courtney Celley, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Midwest Region) snow geese (Photo Credit: Amanda Horvath, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Mountain-Prairie) Crested Auklet seabird in the rain (Photo Credit: R. Dugan, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service) short-tailed albatross chick survives major storm (Photo Credit: J. Klavitter, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service) cattle egret (Photo Credit: Krista Lundgren, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service) chicken (Photo Credit: Peace Corps) spotted owl chicks (Photo Credit: Tom Kogutus, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service) Great horned owl (Photo Credit: Randolph Femmer, U.S. Geological Survey) bison (Photo Credit: Trevor Cyphers, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Midwest Region) dolphin (Photo Credit: National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration) humpback whales (Photo Credit: Dr. Louis M. Herman, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration) penguins (Photo Credit: John B. Weller, courtesy of The Pew Charitable Trusts) manatee (Photo Credit: U.S. Geological Survey - Sirenia Project) squirrel (Photo Credit: Peter Pearsall, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service) elk (Photo Credit: Peter Pearsall, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service) deer (Photo Credit: Peter Pearsall, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service) elk (Photo Credit: Lori Iverson, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service) seal (Photo Credit: Peter Pearsall, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service) ferret (Photo Credit: Ryan Moehring, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service) river rat (Photo Credit: Peter Pearsall, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service) mice (Photo Credit: U.S. Department of Energy) walrus (Photo Credit: Sarah Sonsthagen, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service) lion (Photo Credit: Sam Cushman, U.S. Department of Agriculture) fox (Photo Credit: Kristine Sowl, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service) llama (Photo Credit: Peace Corps) mountain goats (Photo Credit: Jeff Drahota, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service) moose (Photo Credit: U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service) kangaroos (Photo Credit: Central Intelligence Agency - The World Factbook) cattle (Photo Credit: U.S. Department of Agriculture) opossum (Photo Credit: U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service) polar bear (Photo Credit: Eric Regehr, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service) bear (Photo Credit: Kristine Sowl, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service) camels (Photo Credit: Pact/Abraham Ali, USAID in Africa) elephants (Photo Credit: Peace Corps) monkeys (Photo Credit: Peace Corps) chimpanzees (Photo Credit: Julie Larsen Maher, USAID and the Wildlife Conservation Society) orangutan (Photo Credit: USAID Indonesia) mountain gorilla (Photo Credit: Richard Ruggiero, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service) dog (Photo Credit: U.S. Department of Agriculture) cat (Photo Credit: President Clinton, 1993-2001, White House Photograph Office) human (Photo Credit: U.S. Department of Agriculture) human (Photo Credit: Richard Nyberg, USAID) human (Photo Credit: Peace Corps) humans (Photo Credit: NASA) Waikiki Beach and Honolulu, Hawaii (Photo Credit: Carol M. Highsmith, U.S. Department of State) ocean view (Photo Credit: U.S. Department of Energy) iceberg (Photo Credit: Lieutenant Elizabeth Crapo, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration) Arctic Ocean ice (Photo Credit: Patrick Kelley, U.S. Coast Guard) Arctic sunrise (Photo Credit: Mike Dunn, NC State Museum of Natural Sciences - NOAA Climate Program Office, NABOS 2006 Expedition) rainbow (Photo Credit: George Gentry, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service) aurora borealis (Photo Credit: Justin Connaher, U.S. Air Force) volcano (Photo Credit: John Lyons, U.S. Geological Survey) mountains (Photo Credit: USDA USFS) shot of Earth - Florida and the Bahamas - from the International Space Station (Photo Credit: Reid Wiseman, NASA) North Pole is in the middle of the Arctic Ocean (Photo Credit: NASA/Goddard Space Flight Center Scientific Visualization Studio) AFGHANISTAN: View of surrounding farmlands from within the caves at the 'Large Buddha' in Bamyan (Photo Credit: Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) - The World Factbook) ALBANIA: View from the castle at Kruje (Photo Credit: Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) - The World Factbook) ALGERIA: view of the oasis village of Beni Abbes (Photo Credit: Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) - The World Factbook) ANTARCTICA: Adelie penguins on the march at Brown Bluff at the end of the Tabarin Peninsula (Photo Credit: Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) - The World Factbook) ARGENTINA: view of Iguazu Falls (Photo Credit: Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) - The World Factbook) ARMENIA: A view of Mount Ararat in western Turkey through the fog...the dormant volcano dominates the skyline of Yerevan, Armenia's capital (Photo Credit: Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) - The World Factbook) ARUBA: Desert vegetation at Arikok National Park (Photo Credit: Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) - The World Factbook) AUSTRALIA: Sunset over the limestone stacks known as The Twelve Apostles, Port Campbell National Park, Victoria (Photo Credit: Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) - The World Factbook) AUSTRIA: A castle and mountain valley in the Alps (Photo Credit: Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) - The World Factbook) AZERBAIJAN: The Maiden Tower, built sometime between A.D. 800 and 1200, is the most recognized structure in the Old City of Baku (Photo Credit: Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) - The World Factbook) BERMUDA: Flamingos at the Bermuda Zoo (Photo Credit: Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) - The World Factbook) BRAZIL: Trinidade Beach at Paraty, Rio de Janeiro state (Photo Credit: Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) - The World Factbook) CAMEROON: Lake Nyos is a crater lake on the flank of an inactive volcano (Photo Credit: Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) - The World Factbook) CANADA: Moraine Lake in Banff National Park, Alberta (Photo Credit: Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) - The World Factbook) CHINA: The Dragon Gate Gorge is one of the Three Lesser Gorges near Wushan on the Daning River, a tributary of the Yangtze River (Photo Credit: Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) - The World Factbook) COSTA RICA: Mountainous countryside along the road to the capital of San Jose (Photo Credit: Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) - The World Factbook) CROATIA: waterfalls in Plitvice National Park (Photo Credit: Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) - The World Factbook) ECUADOR: Marine Iguanas are unique to the Galapagos archipelago, where they inhabit almost all of the islands; the largest colonies may be found in Punta Espinosa on Fernandina Island (Photo Credit: Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) - The World Factbook) EGYPT: View along the Nile River south of Edfu (Photo Credit: Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) - The World Factbook) FRENCH POLYNESIA: Moorea in the Society Islands (Photo Credit: Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) - The World Factbook) GERMANY: An alpine lake in the foothills of the Alps near Munich (Photo Credit: Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) - The World Factbook)  (Photo Credit: Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) - The World Factbook - NASA/Michael Studinger) GRENADA: island of Carriacau, part of Grenada (Photo Credit: Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) - The World Factbook) GUAM: meeting of land and sea on the Guam coastline. Mariana Islands, Guam (Photo Credit: David Burdick, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration) ICELAND: View along the 'Ring of Kerry' drive, Iveragh Peninsula, County Kerr (Photo Credit: Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) - The World Factbook) INDIA: A view from the Taj Mahal, Yamuna River, Agra (Photo Credit: Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) - The World Factbook) INDONESIA: View from the cliffs at Pura Luhur Uluwatu, Bali (Photo Credit: Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) - The World Factbook) IRELAND: View along the 'Ring of Kerry' drive, Iveragh Peninsula, County Kerr (Photo Credit: Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) - The World Factbook) ITALY: Val Gardena is one of the top ski locales in Italy (Photo Credit: Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) - The World Factbook) KENYA: Zebra Herd in Masai Mara National Reserve (Photo Credit: Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) - The World Factbook) KOREA, SOUTH: The 'Bridge of No Return' in the Demilitarized Zone (DMZ) between North and South Korea (Photo Credit: Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) - The World Factbook) KYRGYZSTAN: view of the imposing Tien Shan mountain range (Photo Credit: Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) - The World Factbook) LIBYA: sand dunes of the Sahara Desert (Photo Credit: Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) - The World Factbook) MALDIVES: An inviting beach at a resort near Male (Photo Credit: Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) - The World Factbook) MEXICO: Shoreline along the northern coast of Cozumel Island (Photo Credit: Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) - The World Factbook) NETHERLANDS: Tulip fields (Photo Credit: Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) - The World Factbook) NEW ZEALAND: A blue-colored lake in South Island (Photo Credit: Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) - The World Factbook) NORWAY: Majestic Naeroy Fjord (Photo Credit: Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) - The World Factbook) RWANDA: Group of Mountain Gorillas, Volcanoes National Park (Photo Credit: Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) - The World Factbook) SAINT VINCENT AND THE GRENADINES: The beach of Bequia, one of the larger islands of the Grenadines of St. Vincen (Photo Credit: Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) - The World Factbook) SINGAPORE: Orchids in the National Orchid Garden in Singapore (Photo Credit: Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) - The World Factbook) SLOVAKIA: The Slovakian countryside, with the Tatra mountains visible in the distance (Photo Credit: Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) - The World Factbook) SLOVENIA: Assumption Church situated on an island in picturesque Lake Bled (Photo Credit: Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) - The World Factbook) SOUTH AFRICA: Shoreline along the Cape of Good Hope (Photo Credit: Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) - The World Factbook) SPAIN: Well-preserved Roman aqueduct a few kilometers north of the city of Tarragona (Photo Credit: Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) - The World Factbook) SWITZERLAND: The Matterhorn is a pyramidal mountain on the border between Switzerland and Italy (Photo Credit: Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) - The World Factbook) TAIWAN: Sun Moon Lake is situated in Nantou County, Taiwan (Photo Credit: Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) - The World Factbook) TANZANIA: View of the summit of Mount Kilimanjaro (Photo Credit: Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) - The World Factbook) THAILAND: A beach in Krabi, Thailand (Photo Credit: Debra Tillinger, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration) UGANDA: A family of wild baboons sitting along the road from Mbale to Kampala (Photo Credit: Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) - The World Factbook) UNITED KINGDOM: A hidden pool in the Secret Garden at Blenheim Palace (Photo Credit: Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) - The World Factbook) VIETNAM: Fishing boats along the coast of the South China Sea in Vinh Moc (Photo Credit: Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) - The World Factbook) VIRGIN ISLANDS: Trunk Bay on Saint John; its beach, considered one of the Caribbean's most beautiful, even features an underwater trail (Photo Credit: Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) - The World Factbook) ZAMBIA: View of Victoria Falls on the Zambezi River as seen from the Zambian (eastern) side (Photo Credit: Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) - The World Factbook)


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