Terraforming Earth

Interview with Geoffrey Bowker

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Video transcript: "Life has always been about terraforming, it's always been about changing the world around us and this is from the very earliest days the archaea, the first bacteria. They would give out oxygen as part of their metabolic process and they kept on giving out oxygen until 20% of US atmosphere roughly was made out of oxygen.

That then created a niche for the eukaryotes, the modern life forms, to come into being, because we could then use the oxygen as our own energy source. So really the earth has always been about change. It's always been about us, as living forms, changing the world around us. And I like to think about this too in a slightly more complex way that, in a sense, we ourselves are made up of all forms of life which are changing us all the time. One of the earliest examples given is mitochondria, which are little cells which give you energy, within your own cellular structure and mitochondria were originally an invasive species that invaded the human body and took it over. Over 90% of the cells in the human body are made up of microflora and microfauna.

So at the same time as we, as life forms, are terraforming the earth, so is life itself adapting to and changing every specific individual life form all of the time. So the correct unit of analysis here is not - nature here, humans there, inside our body here, outside our body there - it's understanding the dance of life and the way in which the dance of life works."

Other interviews with Geoffrey Bowker

Related tags: Theory, Story, Climate Change,