My purpose in this chapter is no more than to try out a rather embryonic idea. It concerns the significance of the image of the globe in the language of contemporary debate about the environment. Though the image has long been deployed in geopolitical contexts, and even longer in connection with navigation and astronomy, my impression is that its use as a characterisation of the environment is rather recent. I have in mind such phrases, which slip so readily off the tongues of contemporary policy-makers, as ‘global environmental change’. One is immediately struck by the paradoxical nature of this phrase. An environment, surely, is that which surrounds, and can exist, therefore, only in relation to what is surrounded (Ingold 1992a: 40). I do not think that those who speak of the global environment mean by this the environment surrounding the globe. It is our environment they are talking about, the world as it presents itself to a universal humanity. Yet how can humans, or for that matter beings of any other kind, possibly be surrounded by a globe? Would it not be fairer to say that it is we who have surrounded it?