Planet Earth is a sentient being. Part 1

Part 2 can be found here
Part 3 can be found here
Part 4 can be found here

You can listen to this blog here.

(sorry about the robotic voice, one day I will get Sir David Attenborough to narrate for me).

My argument is, that because everything on Planet Earth is made of the same atoms and molecules we share a common sentient existence; Democritus [1] said that the motion of atoms unifies all things in nature.

My belief is that humans and the Biosphere are both sentient but in different ways and I argue this by taking two known scientific phenomenon, 1/f noise (or pink noise) [2] and Self-organized criticality [3].

Pink noise, which is an infrasound found in nature in both living and non-living systems, is created in the brain of humans and is also the sound made by oceans/seas, waterfalls, some animals, aurorae, lightening and astronomical bodies.  It has been observed in physics, technology, biology, astrophysics, geophysics, psychology, language and music. I suggest that pink noise should be also tagged to politics in what I would call Pink-lobbying, which would be the sound environmentalists make to speak on behalf of the biosphere.

Pink noise is also a central element in quantum mechanics and the chaos theory, which suggests to me intelligence and organisation and I would argue Descartes, “I think, therefore I am” can therefore be applied the Biosphere.

The second example is that Earth displays what is called in physics as ‘Self-organized criticality’ (Bak, Tang, & Wiesenfeld, 1988).

Also involving pink noise and a property in the dynamic systems in nature, it is one of the myriads of mechanisms that drive the complexity of Earth.  Self-organized criticality is a dynamical mechanism in land formation, earthquakes, forest fires, landslides, avalanches, epidemics and biological evolution.

This suggests to me that Earth is sentient and controls us and therefore should be afforded representation in the UN community.

Why if the physics are proven is Earth still not seen as sentient and afforded the same moral standing as humans? Answers on a postcard please!

I would say physiologically as shown in Table 1 that the Biosphere has a form similar to humans:

Human physiology Biosphere equivalent
Brain Earth’s core e.g. crust=skull, inner/outer core= cerebral cortex
Conscience The Theory of Everything (String Theory)
Body Surface
Blood Hydrological cycle
Lungs Trees
Skin Lithosphere and soil (living organism in its own right)
Eyes Atmospheres
Heart Life forms dependant on Earth

Table 1 – Similarities between Human and Biosphere’s physiology.

The climate of our planet is under the influence of humans but humans have an obligation to assist the Biosphere for its own continued survival (Singer, 2010).

Humans have dominion over nature it is true but does it become a ‘sin’ when other humans are harmed as a result of destructive actions or lack of environmental governance?

It was only 179 years ago that William Wilberforce caused the abolishment of slavery via international law and I believe that same paradigm shift can happen again now. Historically Wilberforce convinced one of the world’s richest men, Charles Grant a director of the famous East India Trading Company in the 19th Century to simply stop trading people as a moral imperative. It can happen again today if just one leader caused a tipping point on behalf of the Biosphere (Polly Higgins, 2012).

I believe it’s a moral not an economic imperative that will save the day.

The Biosphere is being used the same way human slaves were, for energy. Historically slaves were seen as dumb and without sentience, on par with animals. Obviously that was and is ridiculous and the paradigm shift that happened then can happen now to free the Biosphere from exploitation if we apply a new brand of ethics to a sentient Earth.

If I asked the descendants of slaves ‘are you happy it was abolished?’ I am sure that every single one of them would say yes they were indeed glad to have been brought into existence as free individuals. Therefore it follows that there would be the same response of future generations if they were asked ‘are you happy that in 2012 the Biosphere was deemed as sentient and made part of the UN community with honourable guardistees [4] and afforded rights to protect it so you now live in security and freedom from want and fear?’.

The Biosphere is in our hands.


[1] Democritus (ca. 460 BC – ca. 370 BC) was an Ancient Greek philosopher born in Abdera, Thrace, Greece. He was an influential pre-Socratic philosopher and pupil of Leucippus, who formulated an atomic theory for the cosmos.

[4] guardistee ~ a trustee to guard the well-being of Earth (portmanteau word created by Candace James from guardian and trustee).


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