It is not known for sure who coined the term "Spaceship Earth," but it was popularized by American inventor and environmentalist Buckminster Fuller (1895-1983). The term implies that Earth, like a spaceship, is vulnerable and self-contained, and must be kept in good working condition. Fuller wrote that "we have not been seeing our Spaceship Earth as an integrally designed machine which to be persistently successful must be comprehended and serviced in total."
I first heard the phase from Donovan on his album, Essence to Essence. Side one had the song, "Operating Manual for Spaceship Earth" – 3:28 minutes.
Spaceship Earth is a world view term usually expressing concern over the use of limited resources available on Earth and the behavior of everyone on it to act as a harmonious crew working toward the greater good.
It may have been derived from a passage in Henry George's best known work, Progress and Poverty (1879). From book IV, chapter 2:
It is a well-provisioned ship, this on which we sail through space. If the bread and beef above decks seem to grow scarce, we but open a hatch and there is a new supply, of which before we never dreamed. And very great command over the services of others comes to those who as the hatches are opened are permitted to say, "This is mine!"
David Deutsch also speaks on this at TED.
I believe it is important to start (long passed this time actually) to look at the Earth, as a one country planet. Because, it is. We are a one country planet, with many factions trying hard to living independently and deluding themselves and one another, to think that this is indeed the case. It's not.
So, Wake Up., People!
Think of yourselves as living in fish bowl and where someone else, shits, someone else, eats, breathes, procreates and dies and that death has to do with waste, and the little death, which is our polluting our world, all of which is still in the fish bowl for others to (again), eat, breathe, etc.