Spaceship Earth: the Best Metaphor

When I came to this realization only a few years ago, that humanity is, in effect, inhabiting, changing, and steering this collective spaceship, I saw everything more soberly and clearly. We are, without a doubt, now totally connected to each other and dependent on each other to act favourably towards all species, the environment, and our physical and mental health.

Consider the starship Enterprise only multiply its size by 25 billion times. Add about 6 billion more crew members including 300 Captains with their own advisory bodies, and 900,000 nuclear weapons. Plus enough land, water and air to sustain the crew for an indefinite amount of time. There you have it. Spaceship Earth.

So far, our travel trajectory is fixed at circular, and leaving the ship is expensive, risky, and distance limited. Not all the crew get along with each other, with serious skirmishes breaking out occasionally, some lasting for years. And our average on-board birth rate is too high, too many of us have extensive illnesses and/or live in poverty, our biosphere is degenerating while heating up the ship, our sprinkler/cooler systems and our ambient air and thermostats are operating erratically. Plus our insect and animal friends have food and other survival issues.

Once a person adopts this perspective, his/her values and behaviour may change towards being more inclusive of the human condition and more engaged in propelling Spaceship Earth in the right direction. Time will tell.

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