It’s a stunning image, no doubt about it.
Why is this photo mesmerizing to millions of people?
The answer is not: Namib-Naukluft Park is an eye-popping natural wonder. But rather: We’re not sure if this is a photograph or a painting.
Our collective focus — on the image instead of on the subject — helps explain why our Society refuses to shut off the media spigot on Earth Day.
It also helps explain why our Society’s mission statement ought to have two additional words: To inspire people to care about pictures of the planet.
Reality and pictures of reality: They’re not the same thing.