Space Ship Earth
Maybe you feel that seeing earth as a sentient being is truely too
fantastic, then lets try to see earth from another perspective.
Assume we want to go on a journey, to a very distant star. So we
go to the next spaceshipyard and start planning what we'll
need. Luckily we find someone who knows about long travels and
helps us to decide what we'll need:
Requirements for our spacegoing vessel
First of all, we'll sure need oxygen.
Some means to hold this oxygen, where it is needed, so that it
doesn't dissipate into space.
Some protection against flying particles, meteors, and the
Now this will be a very long journey, so it is impossible to staff
all the oxygen, food and water for the whole time right at the
beginning, so we'll need:
Recycling facilities for food and oxygen, some means to clean
the water and air.
It will be a very long journey, and we cannot be sure, that the
knowledge to repair the system will remain intact, so it would
be best if the system would be able to repair itself.
As we have come to this point, he suddenly turns around, gets
some paper from a desk behind him and faces us with a very
bright smile: "You won't believe it, but I have just such a
spaceship in hand". Then he presents us the ...
Space Ship Earth Fact Sheet:
oxygen: Will be constantly produced by trees, at the same time
sonsuming the, for animal species toxic, carbon dioxide
means to hold this oxygen: magnetic field and gravity
protection: same as above
food: staffed with many edible plants and animals, self reproducing
water: recycled by a complicated water cycle: trees pump the
water from the ground, and release it to the atmosphere
through there leafs, then it will rain down again.
energy: solar reactor, for security reasons it is not
physically attached to the ship, will last at some million
All parts are fully self sufficient and maintenance-free.
Garanty for life support systems will last some billion
years, when all parts are operated normally.
And that's where we are now.
Fine, no problems, we still have our garanty, don't be afraid.
But there is one little problem, the systems aren't operated
normally at this time. We are right now destroying the recycling
mechanisms for air and water, by destroying forests. At the same
time we put poisons into the system.
But we are dependent on the system, there is no harbour near,
where we can dock, and let the technicians repair all that's
wrong. Or step to the little shop at the next street corner:
"Hi, I need some billion gallons of fresh air, ...". If the
system is destroyed some day, we will die to, like
all other species. We are dependent on each other.
Do you want to think about Gaia now?
This page is brought to you by Ingo Hohmann
Last update on Sun 18.07.1999 16:42:07
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