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The american economist henry george first compared the Earth to a ship in Progress and Poverty (1879). George wrote, “It is a well-provisioned ship, this on which we sail through space,” and analogized the planet to a naval craft in which resources in the ship's hold were abundant but unfairly distributed to passengers because of privatization by the ship's hands. The phrase “spaceship Earth,” which was coined in 1963 by the futurist R. Buckminster Fuller, has since come to be associated more with a discourse of natural resource scarcity, unsound social planning, and resulting environmental crisis. Writing at the dawn of the space age, Fuller utilized the metaphor to picture the Earth as a form of rocket ship that had been created to provide ...

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