In the end, it always comes down to earth… and for us– as the family of life on earth and as a human species within that family; it is time for us to come down to earth, too. It’s time for humanity to honor and to respect, and to do what we can to protect— the integrity of earth systems that support life on our Mother Earth. 

Perhaps if we realized just how intimately, energetically, and inter-dependently connected we are to life on earth and the planet, earth itself; we wouldn’t aim:

  • To sterilize our urban human ecosystems-rid them of healthy, historic, rightfully resident bacteria;
  • To eliminate “pests and weeds and fungus” from our foods with killer pesticides, herbicides, and fungicides” that actually; inadvertently, covertly leads to another cide… homocide;
  • To live on other planets in our Solar System, like Mars.

But, we would aim:

  • To live sustainable (or ideally regenerative) lifestyles that consciously promote greatest return to life and mitigate biodiversity loss;
  • To protect the habitats and vibrant landscapes that support life, not by removing the human dimension, but by designing ways to live as other animals do- in synergy, harmony, and balance with mother earth, too;
  • To clean up and eliminate forever in the future- synthetic, artificial, industrial pollutants that contaminate the air-water-soil earth systems that we rely on to live.

If species and earth systems co-evolved and still do, then “organisms-like us, influence our abiotic (non-living) environment, and that environment in turn influences- us, the biota by Darwinian process.” (Lovelock 1995) Perhaps some species have a greater or lesser planetary influence than others. Some may have a small butterfly ripple effect on surrounding life and environment. Others may have a transformational impact on a watershed, a bioregion, or a landscape. As previously mentioned, our cyanobacteria ancestors (present day Spiralina) had a legacy planetary scale influence on earth, enriching the atmosphere with oxygen and producing their own food via photosynthesis to create conditions for life to persist and to evolve.

Similarly, we as humans now have a living legacy, planetary scale stewardship role to play on earth systems. The question is: Will we choose to continue to be drivers of climate change, air and water pollution, excessive waste production, insane traffic, incessant human development, and extraordinary wildlife extinction? These earth system impacts fly in the face of cyanobacteria’s life-positive impact, and rather create human-earth stressful conditions– not conducive to life. Continuously driving detrimental earth systems impacts into our earthen ground, would be very odd for a conscious human community, right? Persevering in instigate these life-intoxicating planetary scale changes would be ludicrous because the living biosphere is our home, true? Well, what if we just stopped to breathe, listen, and observe recent natural disturbance responses of earth systems? Might we take pause and meditate on our recent behavior when there are extraordinary fires and floods against our favor, or more frequent and intense earthquakes, or hurricanes zooming and volcanoes on the Ring of Fire fuming, sea levels rising and ice-free Arctic summers for the first time compromising? Is not earth speaking loudly enough now?

Could Earth be saying —”There is no Planet B for you humans, can’t you see?”

Indeed, we evolved into a complex living creature over 3.5 billion years on this planet where we’ve been our best teacher— harmonizing with Earth’s frequencies, metabolizing within Earth’s natural rhythms from day to night to day. We simply can’t go off planet. And by the way, there is no Planet B either for the rest of our family from the living phylogenetic tree with whom we are biogenetical, intimately, energetically, and interdependently connected. We are all tied to the same life force, which miraculously evolved on earth and took no other course, but continued to persist under very specific air, water, temperature conditions it did not resist. NASA missions may have been looking for life on other planets and recently exploring the possibilities of other life on Mars..for living on Mars. Experiencing life on Mars with Matt Damon, growing his potatoes on Mars, in the movie, The Martian, was just close enough for me to living on Mars and stuff.  Given that it’s taken our living family 3.5 billion years to mature to the complex living legacy biome we are today, I can not imagine living on Mars as a viable solution. Let me repeat again– we are a complex living biome, and like the rainforest, have evolved with the rest of the biosphere over 3.5 billion years here on earth. We can not live anywhere else in the universe. We can’t be re-located off Earth to every last leaf, nor re-engineered to every last ant, nor slash and burned without everlasting consequence. There is no way to take the legacy of life with us to another planet… and that seems so ludicrous anyhow, as we’ve got a brilliant, blue-green planet right here, right now… that suits us just fine.

Imagine what it would take to re-locate and to try and re-create live on another planet… after earth. If James Lovelock and Lynn Margaulis’ Gaia thesis be true, then earth as a mass of semi-molten rocks, fuming with chemicals from erupted volcanic tops and minerals landed from other earthly rock—like meteorites, regularly striking the earth like a clock… allowed only after 1 billion years, the first forms of life to stew in Oparin-Haldane’s and Stanley Miller’s primordial soup. Then, it took another 3.5 billion years of time for the Garden of Eden we live in today, to mature until now at its prime.

One thing is for sure, Homo sapiens would not last but a second on our early earth or more than a minute on our future earth, when we continue to wreak havoc on our biosphere. True, evolution is a part of life’s design and the awakening of future beings is the natural incline; but that doesn’t necessarily mean humans need now go extinct. There are other paths we can choose if we consciously think. Besides disappearing or attempting an off planet escape; we can change the behaviors that are harmful to us. We can re-shape the ways we live… and a new integral earth, make. I am confident that a new naturally intelligent consciousness is all it would take.

Alas, it is now daybreak; so ode to all mothers of humanity— our biologic mothers, women of the earth, our biogenetic ancestors from life’s family tree, and all nurturers of life wherever you may be…we all have a stake, so thank you for helping humanity become awake!


  • Catherine Cunningham, PhD

    Mission Possible: Awaken Natural Intelligence in Our World

    Natural Intelligence

    Dr. Catherine Cunningham, PhD is an ecologist, anthropologist, writer, filmmaker, and media host producing films, interactive experiences, and online multimedia for international clients who are focused on positive economic, social, and environmental win-win-win solutions to global conservation and climate change.

    Catherine has travelled, written, photographed, and filmed in 70 countries, producing creative films and music videos in support the UN Global Goals and the human+nature planetary health narrative. Visit Natural to see where her work has premiered internationally. Over 20 years, she has interviewed hundreds of global thought leaders to promote sustainable solutions to climate change and conservation in creative ways. Catherine has written numerous articles on climate change, nature, and regeneration. She’s currently writing two books: “Naturally Intelligent by Design” — a fine art science and culture book for families and “Natural Intelligence”— a guidebook for well-navigating a post COVID-19 world by following nature’s principles. Partnering with Eurovision News and Events, Catherine is also an independent media host— producing content on nature, climate, and regeneration; syndicated globally by EuroVision’s News Direct. She is a regular contributor to Thrive Global and Medium. She currently produces communications for the Prince Albert II Foundation and participates in programming @ the World Economic Forum on Climate Change, Nature, and Biodiversity. As an university educator, Catherine taught undergraduate and masters courses in corporate sustainability communications at Arizona State University; global sustainability at Chapman University; biology, ecology, botany, and environmental science at Denver State College and Front Range College. In 2016, she designed one of the first university courses on the 17 Sustainable Development Goals (also online), contributing to youth action on the UN Global Goals. She also created a post-graduate program with UNESCO on the MAB (Man the Biosphere) reserves. Catherine earned her PhD in Ecosystem Science at ETHZ in Switzerland, studying climate impacts on mountain ecosystems. She holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Cultural Anthropology and International Peace Studies from the University of Notre Dame and a Masters degree from Utah State in Ecology. Catherine speaks fluent English and conversational Italian. She loves creative collaboration, media production, mountaineering, outdoor sports, yoga, wellness, and travel.