Macro-Engineers' Dreams, Richard Cathcart
Chapter 1, page 2



Lamarck thus introduced the concept of an Earthly biosphere into life science, social science and physical science. Lamarck had realized the geographical importance of the role played by plants and animals in effecting large-scale surficial changes; he was the first to recognize living things as agents for crustal, oceanic and atmospheric alterations – super-mantle geological changes of Earth's biosphere which are attributable only to life's vitality and intelligence

Towards the 19th century's end, Eduard Suess (1831-1914) added the term "biosphere" to geology's literature, which practitioners of geography almost instantly adopted. Suess was far ahead of his time. His comprehensive overview of geology, The Face of the Earth, opens with a description of the Earth as first glimpsed by an interplanetary space traveler. Just as The-Man-in-the-Moon is always seen from an Earth-based perspective, the "face" of the Earth can only be recognized from a viewpoint in outer space, hence Das Antlitz der Erde (1883-1909)! [20] The year 1899 saw the first official introduction of "biosphere" - the domain supporting life – to English-speaking geographers by Sir John Murray (1841-1914) in a speech before the British Association for the Advancement of Science (organized in 1831). The term literally means "sphere of life" but, in reality, it means that part of Earth in which life can currently exist. Careful geographers use "in the Earth" because those anti-biota conditions of interplanetary space are absolutely deadly for organisms in their native state. [21] Earth's biosphere is a shell (global Nature); therefore, being a noun far more useful than the phrase "Earth's surface" for a volume containing solid, liquid, gaseous and living matter. Geographers know that much of the complexity of Earth's biosphere from our species' viewpoint is due to the interactions among the other organisms in our Earth. Earth's biosphere is a global Nature, a dynamic complex of organisms forming a single planetary collection. So far, Earth is the only known spatial context (three-dimensional zone) of a settled Homo sapiens. Mankind is a "resource pool" to sociologists but to laypersons it is the largest possible "organization." The special character of being human is the ability to transform and control local and global Nature. Human organizations are systems for accomplishing work, for using altering techniques on materials (people, symbols, or things). [22] Amazingly, it was only after 1985 that American university-level business schools first established required environment courses in Master's Degrees in Business Administration studies – those long-familiar MBAs which, during the 1980s and beyond, were assumed to be guarantees of Yuppie prosperity!

Undeniably a scientifically useful term, "biosphere" is especially so when used in conjunction with other terminology: lithosphere (the planetary crust and uppermost mantle), hydrosphere (mainly the ocean, but also the water vapor of the atmosphere, together with rivers and lakes), and atmosphere. The atmospheric boundary separating our troposphere and stratosphere was first examined in a photograph taken on 11 November 1935 from a manned balloon, Explorer II, drifting over the USA. [23] In other words, a near-miracle technique let our world's publics see one of global Nature's boundaries penetrated and topped! Of these four nouns, only lithosphere can be regarded as globular.

Many of the ancient Greek philosophers' writings (Aristotle and Hippocrates, for example) contained biological observations and speculation which indicated their keen interest in Earth's biosphere and which were ecological in style. However, those Greek teachers never found a word describing their geographical and biological philosophizing!

German biologist Ernst Haeckel (1834-1919) did coin "ecology" in his Generelle Morphologie der Organismen (1866) after first recognizing that Earth's global Nature was a unity of some kind. Twenty years after later his Red Sea expedition, Haeckel's "oekologie" was Anglicized at the Botanical Congress, which met in Madison, Wisconsin in 1893. Thereafter, "environmentalists" made ecology a vogue term circa 22 April 1970. [24] Hippies, that now aged First World culture group of the 1970s, with their tasteless senso-eco-consciousness, aided in the speedy development of an illogical ecology. Antipollutionary political organizations, lobbying under the umbrella term "environmentalism" or "green," foresaw that human life-styles (cultures) would wreck Earth's life-support system (biosphere). [25] (Circa 1969, "Green Revolution" became a popular term describing the successful results of genetic engineering's efforts to obtain inexpensive and high-yield varieties of rice, wheat, and other grains to support the Third World's constant population growth. Circa 1970, "Green Revolution" became also a descriptive for an overly politicized ecology in the First World! "Ecology," surely one of Fate's odder twists!) Since 16 July 1945, scientists have known that humanity could destroy its only planet-sized home via general nuclear war. In other words, propaganda about a near-term future ecocatastrophe has thoroughly permeated mankind's thinking.

In 1962, Rachel Carson (1907-1964), in The Silent Spring, deceptively postulated a terminal hypothetical season when pollution had destroyed Earth's biota by forever halting natural reproduction. In his famous 1963 essay, "The Politics of Ecology," Aldous Leonard Huxley (1894-1963) foresaw ecology's transformation froma slightly neglected life science to a political cause. By the mid-1970s, Hollywood-made disaster films – movies that concentrate on one kind of natural or technological problem – were all the rage. Who can forget those stilted "epics," Earthquake (1974) and The Towering Inferno (1974)? The American public's next mind-bending science-based shock came in 1983 when credible environmentalists predicted omnicide by a theoretical season, the Nuclear Winter (a stratospheric cloud shroud) killing all life in our "global village," but not the Earth biosphere. Nuclear winter would be teratogenic pollution. [26] Some people still consider nuclear winter a blue-sky proposal by crackpots and ecofreaks. As yet, nuclear winter could be caused only by modern macro war (general nuclear warfare), not meso war (conventional war as, for example, 1991's January conflict in the Persian Gulf) [27] or micro war (terrorism). Terrorist lodges with focused agendas exist and the threaten all humanity. [28] Whatever their terror strategies and tactics, the seemingly unquenchable passion of these rapidly multiplying lodges is to mock existing noosystems by destroying public as well as private infrastructure and by maiming or murdering persons of high status in particular "target" noosystems. Many of these lodges view the First World as a lootable treasurehouse. As the First World's native population stabilizes (or falls), per capita wealth increases – except when outright invasion and stealthy Second and Third World illegal immigrants swell the ranks of those people drawing from each First World nation's hoard, which in Chapter Five are called "mass savings accounts."


NEXT PAGE - PREVIOUS PAGE - INDEX




BACK TO TOP