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Spaceship Earth

“There are no passengers on Spaceship Earth. We are all


Marshall McLuhan

What do you think this quote means? Explain your thinking in a comment on this posting.

  1. November 1, 2011 at 7:36 am

    It means that we are responsible for the Earth… we are here to make the earth a better place. We are not tourists who should be here and make our earth dirty. All we do here has an effect on the Earth. Its like we are pilots who are flying a plane

    • Mr. Sam
      November 1, 2011 at 8:56 am

      I agree Victor, you have explained it very well. Where you’re staying at the moment, are people being passengers or crew members?

  2. November 1, 2011 at 9:52 am

    I’m not entirely sure what that means but I’m guessing it means that we are all responsible for our actions and what we do on earth because a crew’s job is to operate and a passenger’s job is to just sit back and do nothing.

    • Mr. Sam
      November 1, 2011 at 8:10 pm

      Spot on, Andrea. What are the dangers of sitting back and doing nothing? Also, what could we do to be good crew members?

  3. daniel :)
    November 1, 2011 at 11:14 am

    I think it means that every body should help and keep earth clean and tidy. With no wars and global struggles. For all the people on earth to get along ans not fight with each other.
    There should be no passengers there should only be the crew that helps mother Earth. It could also mean that not only some people help but everybody should. This is the only way that Earth an be Eco friendly and green. Also to find bio gas and solar power machines and not run by fossil fuels. I think this is one of the most worst problems we humans have. Why don’t all people want Earth to be Eco friendly again. Maybe it is because of greed and money.

    • Mr. Sam
      November 1, 2011 at 8:12 pm

      Your question is very interesting: why don’t people want Earth to be healthy? I was wondering exactly the same thing this morning when I was picking up more plastic on the beach… why are we doing this to our amazing, beautiful planet? You may be quite right when you say greed and money, but also ignorance is a factor.

  4. Madhav
    November 1, 2011 at 12:53 pm

    I think, that it means we all have a great duty to protect our space ship (Earth). By not throwing rubbish or polluting around, we are doing a huge responsibility to keep our spaceship healthy. Even, if we make new inventions for our life to become easier, we should keep in mind, that our inventions should not harm the nature of our spaceship. If we keep destroying our spaceship, then it will shatter down slowly, killing us all along with it. This means the same thing with our planet Earth because if we keep on destroying nature, there will be nothing left and all of us will suffer until death.

    By Madhav 👿

    • November 1, 2011 at 4:13 pm

      Hi Madhav,

      I like the way you described it as “If we keep destroying our spaceship, then it will shatter down slowly, killing us all along with it.” and how you connected the Spaceship to the Earth.

      • Mr. Sam
        November 1, 2011 at 8:14 pm

        Me too. I also really like Madhav’s idea that our new inventions and innovations should also be good for the planet. This morning I was picking rubbish off the beach and I was thinking it would be good if companies could be punished if their products were found polluting the environment!

        • madhav
          November 2, 2011 at 11:21 am

          Hi Mr.Sam

          In Singapore there is a law that bubble gum is not aloud because they want their country to be clean. Before lots of people was throwing bubble gum on the floor so they banned it
          and also littering you will be charged a fine. The last time I went to Singapore it wasn’t that clean, until they made that law. Then it was super clean when I went the next time.

  5. November 1, 2011 at 3:37 pm

    I think it means that we should be responsible for the earth. I think it is also trying to tell that to stop polluting to save the earth. If we keep on poluting and destroying the earth, we will regret what we have done for our convenient life. So we must save our the beautiful planet.

    • Mr. Sam
      November 1, 2011 at 8:19 pm

      Yes, it does seem to be all about convenience doesn’t it? It is much more convenient, for example, to use a plastic spoon and throw it away than it is to use and wash a metal one. Can you think of any other examples?

  6. 19vint
    November 1, 2011 at 5:45 pm

    I think it means that we have a responsibility and duty to protect the earth. The more technological and literal meaning could mean that there still is no ferry/shuttle service that can carry people into space yet, and all manned spaceships/crafts have only the crew there and no passengers, and most of the people in space are there for a specific purpose, like to research and join up with ISS.

    • Mr. Sam
      November 1, 2011 at 8:20 pm

      I like the words “responsibility” and “duty”. Do you know anybody who is living up to their responsibility or performing their duty?

  7. Pat
    November 1, 2011 at 6:10 pm

    I think that it means that we are a team, should all work the same amount of work not someone working to hard and someone not working. Also I think that it means that we are all responsible for any things that happens to the earth not only one person.

    • Mr. Sam
      November 1, 2011 at 8:20 pm

      Yes, I agree. You know, the biggest problem is that most people say “well… nobody else does it, so why should I?”

      • November 2, 2011 at 10:26 am

        Hi Mr.Sam,

        Isn’t that why we need leaders and followers?

  8. Melis
    November 1, 2011 at 9:04 pm

    I can’t be sure on what this means, but I think it means watch our actions on what we have done to the Earth and it is our responsibility, a crew’s job is to operate and get things going but a passenger’s job is to do what they are told: which is to sit back and follow the instructions of the crew.

    • Mr. Sam
      November 2, 2011 at 8:35 am

      So, do you think we should have passengers on our planet? If so, who is allowed to just sit back?

      • madhav
        November 2, 2011 at 11:24 am

        Hi Mr.Sam

        I think that the passengers can be young children because they don’t know how to do lots of things yet. But that doesn’t mean they are going to be passengers for there whole life when they are ready and know how to do thing.

        By Madhav

  9. November 1, 2011 at 9:37 pm

    I think it means everyone has to contribute to planet Earth. If that’s true then we are pretty sucky crew members. But what I want to know is who built the ship and where can I get off?!

    • Mr. Sam
      November 2, 2011 at 8:37 am

      Ha ha ha! Do you have any theories about who built the ship? Also, if you could get off where would you go and what would you do?

      • November 2, 2011 at 6:48 pm

        I think the Earth was made by a ‘dust bunny’ that kept collecting little bits of the universe.
        And if I could get off I would get on another ‘dust bunny’ and restart the world.

  10. Billy
    November 2, 2011 at 10:30 am

    Hi 6SS,

    I think it means that no one are passengers it means we all have something to do with the earth so not one of us have nothing to do with the world today we have all contributed.

    To add on to what Caitie said about wondering who made it i say we have all made it in some kind of way… we might not even no that we have!!

    I think it could also mean that we are not passengers because someone in the world is also taking a piggyback on us as well it is like a chain of helpers.



  11. 19pochrakamolp
    November 2, 2011 at 11:58 am

    hi 6ss
    I think it means all of us has to take care of the earth by not throwing trash. because its like the space ship is earth and we have to protect it.


    • 19pochrakamolp
      November 2, 2011 at 11:59 am

      and also make it a better place to live in

  12. Zola
    November 2, 2011 at 6:50 pm

    I think it means that all of us should take care of earth because we are all from earth and it is our pleasure and responsibly to help mother nature.


  13. November 3, 2011 at 1:53 pm

    I think it means that all of us should protect the earth by not using so much plastic bags and not throwing trash. Also we have to make the earth better.

  14. November 3, 2011 at 5:27 pm

    I think it means that if we don’t stop polluting our planet, we will all die in the end. I think Marshall McLuhan described earth as a spaceship and if we, let’s pretend that humans is the crew and we are polluting our spaceship, we will all be gone.

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