Crew Commentary

Crew Living in Symbiosis with Spaceship Earth

Tim Rumage - Planetary Ethicist


“If you really want to help this world, what you will have to teach is how to live in it.”

Joseph Campbell


The Quartermaster’s Report, Volume 3, like its predecessors, is designed to be a guide and reference as to how harmoniously humanity and Earth are getting along with each other. And this edition really begs the question of how well do people, governments, industries and economies understand how truly dependent our existence is upon a healthy and functioning environment/ecology.


There are too many news reports on extensive droughts, record setting wildfires, flash floods, coastal erosion, atypical temperatures and severe weather events, as well as cities sinking due to over pumping of ground water, for anyone (including politicians, business leaders and the public) to claim ignorance of the events.




On September 27, 1962, the book Silent Spring by Rachel Carson was published1.


“We in this generation, must come to terms with nature, and I think we’re challenged as mankind has never been challenged before to prove our maturity and our mastery, not of nature, but of ourselves.”

Rachel Carson


Since 1970, three billion North American birds have vanished2.


I can hear the silence in my yard and neighborhood because the songs and calls of birds and frogs are gone. Spring now sounds like winter.


While the issues of concern have been identified, the will to resolve them remains elusive – even though the means to heal the wounds are known and attainable.


The major barrier to success is within us. We have been trained/educated to see boundaries and borders. All too often, success is defined solely by financial gain which tends to reward short-term thinking. Now we must learn to see past those self-imposed constrictions and understand the flow of resources that favor long-term thinking.


We cannot solve long-term issues until we understand that Earth is Home. With Home comes a commitment to place, a sense of responsibility for its care and a link to its future.


We need to switch from a mindset of – did you get the right answer, to a broader understanding of – did you ask the right question? It is no longer enough for us to be an inventive species; we also need to be a responsible one. We need to be more curious about the fuller panoply of what we cause to happen. After all, nature responds to what we do – not what we think or what we intend. We may build a road in hopes of improving traffic flow, but paved landscape also reduces the amount of rain that can be absorbed by the land and thus increases the potential for flooding.


The real question posed by The Quartermaster’s Report is – are the cumulative, collective and continuous results of our actions what we meant to create?


Our actions are the manifestations of our beliefs. Did our short-term focus give us the long-term benefits we desired. Are we proud of our legacy that has resulted? The information in The Quartermaster’s report is:


“We are entering a period of consequences.”

Winston Churchill


Because of the speed and magnitude of change, let’s hope that:


“We are the ones we have been waiting for.”
Hopi Elders


The Quartermaster’s Report Volume 3 is available for download at https://thisspaceshipearth.org




1 https://www.rachelcarson.org/silent-spring


2 https://www.science.org/content/article/three-billion-north-american-birds-have-vanished-1970-surveys-show