Biosphere People

The atmosphere in the room was uncomfortable and charged with tension. People weren’t looking at each other, but were watching each other. There was suspicion and caution in the air. Or also: The mood was exuberant. The atmosphere was warm and open. People smiled and waved to each other. Everyone could breathe freely.

Image: Adrien Jutard, 2021

The scientific concept of the atmosphere, which affects the air space, the gaseous shell of a planet, has long since found its way into spiritual and social territories. We use it to describe. However, like the cloud cover, the ‘atmospheric’ perspective remains viewed from outside or above. I am still able to survey the phenomenon, to form my own judgment. I can more or less tell what is happening.

The concept of the biosphere has not yet penetrated our everyday consciousness. The biosphere encompasses all areas of the earth in which living things occur and ranges from five kilometers below the surface to 60 kilometers in height. Only microorganisms live in the peripheral areas. We humans are right in the thick of it and, as ‘biosphere people’ (Raymond Dasmann, 1976), we influence a wide variety of these habitats. We are a part, and not an independent one, from all of this life.

If we no longer just think, research, and formulate from a general perspective, but also from a perspective of the middle-class, what kind of statements, judgments or actions would the ‘biosphere’ perspective lead us to? How would we describe events in their ‘biosphere’? Which parameters should still be considered for this? How was the atmosphere, uh, biosphere on your vacation?


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