This is a new series of blogs on Biosphere Earth.
Here is part 1: Terms & Conditions
You’ve probably heard that the Earth has remarkable characteristics — but it does, compared to every other planet. It’s our life-support system, Biosphere Earth, life-support system is the difference.
Here is a definition of “Biosphere Earth,” by me, with extra comments:
“Biosphere Earth is the planetary scale platform,” meaning the entire planetary system,
“which creates the possibility for and which sustains material life,” material life is biological organisms, which obviously we are and pretty much everything we care about is.
“Biosphere Earth has resulted in human life and the human economy,” — most of our concept of where we humans live today and what we can do about today’s environmental challenges is based on an economic relationship with “reality,” but it turns out that Earth’s incredibly, unbelievably, old biospheric system in fact defines our existence and is by far the most important priority for our lives. Taking good care of the biospheric system which defines our existence is a requirement, but it also has the greatest ROI in terms of net economic gains and in terms of reducing societal stress from poverty, greenhouse gas emissions, ecosystem loss, species loss, population growth, extreme weather, drought, food system collapse, refugeeism, and more. This series will talk about all of that.
“Biosphere Earth is created and composed by the continuously creative interface of oceans, atmosphere, fresh water, landscape, and subterranean micro to macro organisms.”
So, organisms. The science of today shows that microorganisms live from at least 50 kilometers (31 miles) below the sea floor, in subterranean rock, to as high as the atmosphere goes, miles into the sky. Effectively anywhere there’s moisture there can be microbiology — on Earth.
What’s really incredible — is that as far as technology has gone with space exploration, over 4,200 planets identified to date, we haven’t found a single microorganism anywhere else in the universe. Not on the moon, etc.
Earth is the only planet with a planetary life-support system. The nearest “Earth like planets” are so far from Earth (in the universe) that traveling at through space at the speed of sound for 30,000 years still won’t get you there.
But Earth has this land / water / atmosphere / subterranean interface of micro to macro organisms, which characterizes local to global climate and biological productivity. From below ground to high in the sky organisms interact with climate conditions to distribute moisture and nutrition, affect local temperature, and create the planetary biosphere.
“The flows and interactions of conscious organisms on Earth create the materials, services and contexts, which to define the biological infrastructure underpinning humanity and the human economy.”
Every organism wants to live. Every organisms has a consciousness that tells it so many things: how to eat, what to eat, when to eat, how to adopt to seasonal change and resource change, how to communicate with others, how to reproduce, and on and on. Self-consciousness seems to be required across all spectrums of life, from micro to macro.
And somehow, meaning we don’t understand how, this self-organizing planetary biological matrix that can only be found on Earth created the greater whole that made me writing, and you reading, this sentence possible.
These are the main ideas of this series.
- All of the citations for the research referenced in this blog can be found in the most recent draft of my forthcoming paper, “Biosphere Earth = all GDPs + all lives.”