Prologue: What is the purpose of “Terraism – a New Concept to Save the Planet”? (1/52)

Illustration by Susanne Gold/ text by Ted Ganten

It all started with the big bang 13.8 billion years ago

The earth has existed for about 4.5 billion years. Life came to our planet 3.5 billion years ago. The earliest ancestors of mankind developed about 7 million years ago and Homo Sapiens, as he prevailed over all the other human races, is just about 200 thousand years old. The way we humans currently live and love – and someof us consider themselves/us to be divine – are only a snapshot in the long chain of evolution. We are continuously evolving, albeit in very small steps into something new. Hopefully.

Where are we heading?

If we do not blow up the earth into small pieces, evolution will continue despite the destructive behaviour of Homo Sapiens. Someday, probably without him. If only because we ourselves create environmental conditions in which we can no longer live. But still – the spark of life will probably be carried on. That is comforting.

But for all the consolation that lies in this thought: The present life can be so much fun and I see so much potential in human beeings that I personally like to work for the preservation and further development of Homo Sapiens. One does not have to agree. There is the argument that our lovely planet would be better off without us. However, at least those of you that agree with my opinion will have come to realize that we have to do something differently. Otherwise, it is highly unlikely that things will continue with Homo Sapiens and his successors for the next 10,000 years.

What do we have to do differently?

Of ourse, I do not have the solution. Still I see a way to contribute to it. Within this text, I am detailling an concept to create a bright future. It won’t solve all challenges. The intrinsic charm is that we can start implementing the idea tomorrow and thus very probably move things at least in the right direction. I do not want to spend time and efforts about the problems and challenges that we have to face. We are flooded with catastrophes, drama and suffering through all media channels every day.

Rather, my approach is to focus on possible solutions. However, I cannot avoid presenting common basic assumptions about how things will develop in the short and medium term. The assumptions are share without extensive lines of argumentation. Temporal variances of a few decades or slight deviations in the various causal chains and future scenarios are not relevant and not essential for the presented conclusions. Time will have to show to which extent the implementation of the ideas and basic ethical principles via awareness raising in politics and other areas will have an effect on the future scenarios. As we all know, the flap of a butterfly’s wings in China may trigger a hurricane in the USA. If this booklet is such a flapping of wings, I hope it will provide a tailwind for the continued existence of Homo Sapiens and its further development.

Two groups of readers might be disappointed

On the one hand those will be dissapointed who expect a scientific paper and a comprehensive  depiction of the philosophical landscape, theorems and history. This is beyond the scope. The focus is on a constructive, pragmatic proposal to address challenges. On the other hand, there are those who perhaps would like to see a concrete opportunity for contribution or a clear roadmap for implementation of the idea. That is not the scope either. An idea needs to be discussed before it is implemented. It must reach a degree of maturity and generate resonance that will lay fertile ground for its implementation. At the end, there are some considerations on how the ideas can or could be turned into reality. But there are a thousand ways. These pages are hopefully a seed. Not the tree and certainly not the fruit.

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