Here are some really cool words to play with: mythology, world-view, cosmovision, and meta-narrative. They have different nuance, but they all broadly refer to big overarching story that describes how the world is perceived by a group of people.
Let’s stick to the word cosmovision, if only because it sounds cool.
Let’s talk about Vita’s Cosmovision.
A cosmovision is the big story that a civilization or a culture uses to describe where they came from, where they are, and where they are going. It helps to frame belief, knowledge and appropriate behavior.
So what is Vita’s Cosmovision?
At the heart of Vita is a belief, and accompanying this belief is knowledge and practice. The primary element of Vita belief is Vitae-planeta – a living organism that is made up of all living organisms on Earth, plus the ocean, atmosphere, aquifers, wetlands, cryosphere and soil.
While Vitae-planeta is a supernatural belief, it can be understood through science. Biology and cosmology help us understand where Vitae-planeta came from: she formed spontaneously from minerals when the conditions were right. When was this?
Cosmologists tell us that the Universe formed about 13.8 billion years ago, the Earth formed about 4.5 billion years ago, and life formed about 3.8 billion years ago, so life on Earth is a quarter the age of the Universe. It took hundreds of millions of years from the first life before Earth established a self-regulating system. Once established, the conditions were right for the Cambrian Explosion 600 million years ago, when the diversity of life increased rapidly, leading, eventually, to us.
The science of cosmology helps to explain where we are going. There is life on Earth because our planet is neither too close, nor too distant from the sun, and the amount of solar energy falling on our planet is just right for life. Earth is said to orbit in the Habitable Zone.
Specifically, the planet is the right temperature to allow water to exist as a solid (ice), liquid, and a gas (water vapour). That said, its not just the distance from the sun that makes conditions suited to life, but also the intensity of the sun’s energy and the amount of heat trapping gases in the atmosphere (greenhouse gases).
While the proximity to the Sun, and its intensity are fixed by physics, biology regulates atmospheric greenhouse gases. Specifically, Vitae-planeta is a self-regulating organism that maintains the chemistry of the atmosphere to keep the global average temperature just right.
Absent the interference of humans the Earth will be habitable for another 2 billion years or so. Beyond this time, the Sun will age, begin to swell and eventually produce far too much energy for Earth’s living systems to cope. Eventually, all life on Earth will be baked-off, leading to total annihilation. Grim, yes, but that’s not for several billion years.
According to Vita’s cosmovision, this is not to say that Vitae-planeta will necessarily perish. How so? Well, it is not inconceivable that sometime in the future, humans will take Earth species to another planet where conditions are suitable for life to flourish. In this way, the humans become the reproductive system of Vitae-planeta.
I know that this may seem outlandish and science-fictiony, but there is a science paper by Roberto Gatti that discusses this possibility.
Now, to be clear, populating remote planets with Earth species is way beyond the technical development of our civilization at this point, so it’s not going to happen any time soon. But more importantly, it is well beyond the emotional development of our civilization.
We humans can’t sustain the verdant cornucopia we were born into, and what, we are suddenly going to be wise stewards of a distant planet as yet unalive?
While there are dangerous people today alive trying to enliven the dead planet Mars, it is way, way too soon. We need to learn how to prevent a living planet dying before we try to figure out how to bring life to a dead one. That’s just Vitan Logic, that’s common sense.
We humans don’t know how to care for our own race, let alone the millions of species needed to foster a self-sustaining global ecosystem.
In addition to all this, we have a bigger task at hand than reproducing Vitae-planeta. First thing is that we need to keep her alive. Our planet is dying, and our first mission is to bring her back to health. Once she is bought back to health and we can enter the Verdant Age, this is when we can properly start thinking about sharing Vitae-planeta with other planets to help overcome the projected demise of life on Earth.
We can have it all. But all in good time, and in the right order.
With this as a frame, we can tease out what are right actions for today. Our role as humans is to create the conditions suited to entering into the Verdant Age. Specifically, we need to turn off the fossil fuel industry and drawdown three trillion tons of CO2 from the atmosphere by mid-century.
During this time, we need to regrow nature and establish a fair and efficient economy that honours human life, all across our planet so that all humans can be part of the success of our civilization.