|We are star stuff, which has taken its destiny into its own hands. The loom of time and space works the most astonishing transformations of matter. Our own planet is only a tiny part of the vast cosmic tapestry, a starry fabric of worlds yet untold. Those worlds in space are as countless as all the grains of sand on all the beaches of the earth. Each of those worlds is as real as ours. In every one of them there’s a succession of incidents, events, occurrences, which influence its future. Countless worlds, numberless moments, an immensity of space and time, and our small planet at this moment — here we face a critical branch point in history. What we do with our world, right now will propagate down through the centuries and powerfully affect the destiny of our descendants. It is well within our power to destroy our civilization and perhaps our species as well. If we capitulate a superstition or greed or stupidity, we can plunge our world into a darkness deeper than the time between the collapse of classical civilization and the Italian Renaissance. But we are also capable of using our compassion and our intelligence, our technology and our wealth, to make an abundant and meaningful life for every inhabitant of this planet, to enhance enormously our understanding of the universe and to carry us to the stars.