Apple Enlists Carl Sagan for Beautiful Tribute to Earth After U.S. Exit From Paris Accord

Poignant excerpt from Pale Blue Dot

Headshot of Tim Nudd

Several brands reacted quickly and scornfully last week following President Trump’s decision to pull the U.S. out of the Paris climate accord. Apple took its time, though, and waited until Wednesday night—in front of a big TV audience watching the NBA Finals—to register its displeasure.

And what a lovely protest it is.

Apple used audio of the late Carl Sagan reading from his 1994 book Pale Blue Dot: A Vision of the Human Future in Space. The chosen passages, set to videos of natural landscapes (shot by everyday Apple users on their iPhones), resonate powerfully in the wake of Trump’s move, serving as a poetic warning of how much we have to lose, and with no viable Plan B whatsoever.

See the spot here:

Here are Sagan’s words, which are culled from a longer passage in the book:

The Earth is a very small stage in a vast cosmic arena. In our obscurity, in all this vastness, there is no hint that help will come from elsewhere to save us from ourselves. The Earth is the only world known so far to harbor life. There is nowhere else, at least in the near future, to which our species could migrate. Like it or not, for the moment, the Earth is where we make our stand. It underscores our responsibility to deal more kindly with one another, and to preserve and cherish the only home we’ve ever known.

Apple has been rolling out lots of environmental messaging lately, including these charming videos for Earth Day. Also, its robot Liam, designed to take apart iPhones so they can be recycled, was just named to the shortlist of the Lions Innovation contest for this year’s Cannes festival.

@nudd Tim Nudd is a former creative editor of Adweek.