Courtesy NOAA Photo LibraryI always assumed that I was under near-constant supervision by government satellites. I figured that because satellites can’t really see me inside stores (where I do all my shoplifting), they’d be making up for lost time by watching me put stolen clothing on the dog (in the yard) and having my bubble baths (near a window).
At first it was creepy … but then it was sort of comforting. Like a nightlight. A nightlight that’s always looking at you.
Well, it turns out that my privacy may actually be pretty low on NASA’s list of priorities.
See, a new online system was just launched in the capital of Nepal, Kathmandu, which should allow scientists and concerned organizations access to images from NASA satellites. Cool, I thought. I’ll get a fancy new hat. But, no, it just so happens that the images aren’t of me relaxing on the roof, or of me washing my car in carwash-appropriate clothing—they’re images of the Himalayas, and the massive glaciers they hold.
I wouldn’t say that I’m “devastated,” exactly. But I am crushed. I thought we—NASA and I—had something. I mean, yes, those images are recorded and distributed to track the effects of climate change on Himalayan glaciers, and, yes, the glaciers appear to be shrinking at an alarming rate, and, yes, more than a billion people depend on the water released by those glaciers, but … what about my feelings?
Hopefully, the data provided by the satellites will help the people in vast regions of Asia to prepare for floods and, perhaps eventually, severe shortages of fresh water.
In the meantime… I guess I’ll just hide some nanny-cams around the house. To feel looked after, you know?
[It's Blog Action Day 2010, and this year's theme is water.]