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The Path Beyond Extinction and Escape: Return to Earth, Regenerate and Share

Originally published at http://www.commondreams.org/views/2020/06/05/path-beyond-extinction-and-escape-return-earth-regenerate-and-share


I love your writings and love of mother nature thusly the natural world. Connecting the dots for us humans and the natural order. I learned it has a young girl in 50’s and 60’s but my friends from then and now don’t have the same love of the natural world?

There is much controversy about Bill Gates and his patents and I don’t know how to interpret it all. I am technology deft.


How did you learn it if I may ask?
This is so important . . how do some people learn to love the nonhuman world while some objectify it or even have disdain for it?
Many people seem to be born with an innate love and reverence for all life.
This is a great mystery to me------ one, if unsolved, may prove tragic beyond comprehension.


In case you think Shiva is uttering another plea to the Masters of the Universe to do the right thing for humanity as a whole, instead of only working up a glorious escape plan for themselves (as if that would do any good–these people are sociopaths, incapable of caring about others), it’s important to understand that the notion of a grand civilization on Mars, or no a space station, is a delusion, a science fiction fantasy. To understand why, check out the writing of Tom Murphy, a professor at the U of C San Diego, in his Do the Math column. But he’s focused on the physics, the energy constraints. Aside from that. there is the absurdity of saying it would be TOO HARD to correct the ways we’ve damaged Earth’s ecosystems so we’ll just design and engineer and build a new planet–on Mars, with inadequate gravity, almost no atmosphere, no electromagnetic field to protect life, and no LIFE. We live in complex ecosystems we only partially understand, on a planet on which we evolved and which is therefore perfect for us. Fixing the damage we’ve already done to restore balance would be infinitely easier and more likely of success than building a brand-new world. But we need the powerful to help work at it rather than continuing to extract wealth from it in hopes of flying off to their machine dreams. They, however, read too much SF as boys, and also like their fantasy because it allows them to leave the unwashed masses behind.


I’ve read everything I could get my hands on, over the years, by Ms Shiva, but this is remarkable. Just when I thought she couldn’t get more profound, more relevant…
I was especially touched by the fact that the lithium deposits she referenced are in Potosi, the source of silver where thousands upon thousands of African and indigenous people were worked, literally, to death, to further the aims of colonization and empire, as expressed so eloquently in Eduardo Galeano’s The Open Veins of Latin America.
This article also brings to mind Caroline Casey entreaties to these rich assholes like Musk, that (and here I’m paraphrasing, probably poorly), “No, boys and girls, you cannot go to other planets until you’ve cleaned your room (this planet)”.
Elon, you want a challenging project? Terraform Earth!


The highest peak in Antarctica is an attractive place to live compared to the deepest valley on the equator of Mars. Musk is out of his tech-addled mind.

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I was born with it, a Pagan way of looking at the interdependence of the multiverses. I could literally talk with thunderstorms. Of course, being adopted into a typical hyperconservative white rural small town, Christianity only please, they tried to beat it out of me. But it kept me alive and aware, seeing the horrific cruelty of “normal” American life-the private car, casual killing of farm animals, corporal punishment of children. And the biggie-fear of anything that even hinted at socialism. Or equal rights for people of color.
I became involved in the Civil Rights movement and the anti-war movement. I worked for the McGovern campaign. I divorced my adoptive family when I could no longer bear their innate cruelty( I was adopted, not an orphan, which made me a bastard. QED)
I am Wiccan/ Indigenous in all of my life ways. I believe we are all born into this world with a love for our connection to her, which is severed almost as soon as the umbilical cord in our culture. And that our species is now like the one in Independence Day, that goes from solar system to solar system, stripping all the planets like a plague of locusts.
What’s interesting, but not reported in American MSM, is that the DNA of the astronauts who spend long times in ISS changes dramatically, to the point of being a different species. If homo sap tries to colonize Mars, how long will it remain human? Or will we wither and die away from Gaia.


What an amazing and wonderful reply, thank you.

A lot to mull over in your post.

The first thing I wanted to do after reading your post was learn more about the DNA changes in astronauts.
Shockingly enough, it was reported in MSM!

I had no idea. Much to learn in so little time . . . grateful to learn so much here from people like you.



“Planet of the Humans” is back up on You Tube, and above, a podcast by Jeff Gibbs.

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Now we are really talking Common Dreams ,wonderful article .An act of Oneness for the highest good the common good of all is our next evolutionary step

You know that superiority is one of the great illusions of humans.You know it’s an illusion when those who claim superiority act in inferior ways !

Elon Musks idea of the electric car is flawed just ask the real Tesla .

In the book ; Tomorrows God the merging of economics and the ecology was called ecolonomics…as the ecology must always be kept in mind and kept in balance .


Spot on, wildfire. An additional angle on why the “species lifeboat” colonization fantasy is a crock: Anywhere in the Solar System but Earth, including Mars, people can exist only inside failsafe bubbles of high technology. Such bubbles comprise millions of high-tech components: chips, coatings, filters, alloys, glasses, ceramics, coolants, solvents, plastics, batteries, pumps, you name it. The entire global supply network of Earth, from raw extraction to the most intense processing (e.g., in chip fabs), is required to produce this stuff. To create a truly self-sufficient Mars colony would therefore entail (minimally) building on Mars a perfectly independent copy of Earth’s unthinkably vast supply network. Worse, that copy would have to be even more robust and manyfold-redundant than the original, because on Earth – so friendly to human life that it has spontaneously generated it from nonliving matter – the species doesn’t go instantly extinct if the high-technology network falters. But even if it were physically possible to build a 100% independent, bigger-and-better copy of Earth’s industrial economy on Mars, which it almost certainly is not, the diversion of resources involved in the attempt would strip and doom the Earth itself. Such a project would be suicidally insane, like tearing apart one’s ship at sea in an attempt to build an even bigger ship that, if built, would necessarily be less seaworthy than the first.

We could of course, at immense cost, build and sustain an outpost on Mars, or anywhere. Such a project would be technically feasible, however cruel, silly, and elitist. But not an independent colony. Ain’t happening.

Terraforming, even in the fantasies of its proponents, would take centuries or millennia, so could not alter the foregoing logic except on speculative timescales that have nothing to do with the questions of survival and justice before us today.

We need to absolutely reject the empty fantasies of the would-be space colonizers.


Planet of the Humans is a horrible, sad movie overflowing with technical falsehoods. Michael Moore, whose Roger and Me is an indispensable classic, has tragically jumped the shark. See, for example, Bill McKibben’s response in Rolling Stone (you’ll have to search it up, links are blocked in these comments). Or Josh Fox’s horrified takedown at The Nation. Or the responses by the Sierra club, climatologist Michael Mann, the Union of Concerned Scientists, and literally dozens of others. For this movie, Moore’s great defender is now . . . Breitbart.

“Planet of the Humans” is dead accurate.

It is the film version of the 1972 MIT Club of Rome report, “Limits to Growth”.

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This is an article I will bookmark and come to again and again as well as share with as many as possible.

It makes me wonder (kidding here) if people like Vandana Shiva are from a different planet (!) than those who objectify, use and abuse . . . the colonisers, the extractors . . those fueled by greed.
Elon Musk----the polar opposite of Vandana Shiva —how does this happen?
How is it that people become who they are?

Thank you, thank you Vandana Shiva for this piece. It should not be forgotten that Evo Morales was ousted due to lithium. This is not talked about and of course ties into Elon Musk and those that blindly support (and cheer on!) his pathological greed and bizarro, sick Space X as well as those that are advocating for infinite (but “green”) growth on a finite planet.

Her piece gets to the essence of all we face today as humans who have brought on the sixth extinction and possible near term extinction of most, if to all life on earth.

She writes:
“We need to shift from Anthropocentrism to the recognition that all humans and all beings are members of one Earth Family. The assumption of superiority of humans over other species, and some humans over others of a different colour, gender, or religion is at the root of violence against women, blacks, and indigenous people. It has justified extermination of species and cultures. It is what led to the brutal killing of George Floyd, and many others before him. And this assumption of anthropocentrism is at the root of the extinction crisis”

This says it all and hopefully will be brought to the fore as more people take to the streets.

In the meantime, we are faced with what looks to be the collapse of the u.s. as well as collapse of the biosphere and have 2 horrific presidential candidates.

My love of and wanting to protect the nonhuman world may be the driving force in doing something I did not think I could do and that is vote for . . . . it’s hard to even type this . . . . Joe Biden.

2 things happened recently that made me realize I may be forced to do this----
trump’s environmental rollbacks-----especially these:



I’m wondering if others are struggling with this?

I’m not hopeful we as a species (and other life forms) will survive the destruction of the biosphere (and other spheres) but I want to do as much as possible to minimize the death and suffering of others while I am here.


“We need the powerful to help rather than continuing to extract wealth in hopes of flying away in their dream machines.” I’d argue instead that we should prosecute the powerful for their criminal abuse and unlawful pollution of our natural environment.


I note that cable news (CNN, MSNBC) & other mainstream media were all lauding this “Spaceship X” as “a beacon of hope” amidst the coronoravirus pandemic, and the continuing oppression of people of color…and poor, in general
in other words, Propaganda, once again, for Establishment/Status Quo…
While these news organizations mouth the right words, they continue to be gatekeepers for the Oppressors. Disgusting…


Caroline., you voiced EXACTLY as I feel…I hope others like you speak out publicly… We cannot be silent anymore, this is literally life or death for all of us on many levels.


I am not sure, but like the other response to your ? I must of been born that way and I took to heart the teaching of mother nature/earth.

I had a great experience yesterday, I was sitting on my planter box and a insect flew around who had a long tail and black and white. It landed and I talked to it and started to more forward but I second move forward it flew away. A couple hours late he came back and landed and I talked to him some more and moved closer and he did not fly away. He/she was beautiful and the wings were very interesting he had to sets on each side. The sets looked like two flags back to back on each side but they were black. However, this morning I saw something moving up the stalks of my honey suckle and usually it is squirrels but it was dark and then saw the long tail, it was a rat and lead to my roof? It scared me. Thanks for giving me the opportunity to share.


Vandana Shiva outlines the road forward…if a road forward exists. Most of us are still figuring out the pieces, working too hard on one small part of a problem than can only be understood by seeing the whole.

We have allowed the most disconnected among us, to imagine a disconnected world where they invent everything, manufacture everything, turn everything to numbers, digital bits of infomation, and dominate the natural world and the people’s of the earth.

Thinking, feeling and acting our way out of the death trap they have built for all future life demands we see the big picture. And then refuse it in every moment of our lives.


manysummits writes: "“Planet of the Humans” is dead accurate. It is the film version of the 1972 MIT Club of Rome report, “Limits to Growth”.

Odd that you should say so, since the only times the 1972 Club of Rome report even mentions solar power it hails it as “pollution-free” (p. 177, 187), whereas Planet of the Humans spends much of its time claiming, falsely, that solar power (and wind, which The Limits to Growth doesn’t mention) is a crock – an illusion, a scam, a waste, as polluting as fossil fuels.

Not dead accurate. As regards its anti-renewables message, dead on arrival.