We humans live by stories, says David Korten, and the stories that now govern our society set us on a path to certain self-destruction. In this profound new book, Korten shares the results of his search for a story that reflects the fullness of human knowledge and understanding and provides a guide to action adequate to the needs of our time. Korten calls our current story Sacred Money and Markets. Money, it tells us, is the measure of all worth and the source of all happiness. Earth is simply a source of raw materials. Inequality and environmental destruction are unfortunate but unavoidable. Although many recognize that this story promotes bad ethics, bad science, and bad economics, it will remain our guiding story until replaced by one that aligns with our deepest understanding of the universe and our relationship to it. To guide our path to a viable human future, Korten offers a Sacred Life and Living Earth story grounded in a cosmology that affirms we are living beings born of a living Earth itself born of a living universe. Our health and well-being depend on an economy that works in partnership with the processes by which Earth's community of life maintains the conditions of its own existence—and ours. Offering a hopeful vision, Korten lays out the transformative impact adopting this story will have on every aspect of human life and society.
NEW EDITION, REVISED AND UPDATED Nearly two years after the economic meltdown, joblessness and foreclosures are still endemic, Wall Street executives are once again getting massive bonuses, and our leaders in Washington lack the will to make desperately needed fundamental changes to the economy. Change will have to come from below. Agenda for a New Economy is the handbook for that revolution. In this revised and updated edition David Korten has fleshed out his vision of the alternative to the corporate Wall Street economy: a Main Street economy based on locally owned, community-oriented “living enterprises” whose success is measured as much by their positive impact on people and the environment as by their positive balance sheet. We will lose nothing in the process because, as Korten ably demonstrates, the supposed services Wall Street offers are simply a con game. And Korten now offers more in-depth advice on how to mount a grassroots campaign to bring about an economy based on shared prosperity, ecological stewardship, and citizen democracy.
Combining theory, case studies and speculative fiction, a range of contributors, from leading UK academics to pioneering renewable activists, create a compelling picture of the potential perks and pitfalls of a low carbon future.
Release on 2017-09-26 | by W. John Kress,Jeffrey K. Stine
Earth in the Age of Humans
Author: W. John Kress,Jeffrey K. Stine
Pubpsher: Smithsonian Institution
Explores the causes and implications of the Anthropocene, or Age of Humans, from multiple points of view including anthropological, scientific, social, artistic, and economic. Although we arrived only recently in Earth's timeline, humans are driving major changes to the planet's ecosystems. Even now, the basic requirements for human life--air, water, shelter, food, nature, and culture--are rapidly transforming the planet as billions of people compete for resources. These changes have become so noticeable on a global scale that scientists believe we are living in a new chapter in Earth's story: the Anthropocene, or Age of Humans. Living in the Anthropocene: Earth in the Age of Humans is a vital look at this era. The book contextualizes the Anthropocene by presenting paleontological, historical, and contemporary views of various human effects on Earth. It discusses environmental and biological systems that have been changed and affected; the causes of the Anthropocene, such as agricultural spread, pollution, and urbanization; how societies are responding and adapting to these changes; how these changes have been represented in art, film, television, and literature; and finally, offers a look toward the future of our environment and our own lives.
By the bestselling author of Voluntary Simplicity (over 150,000 sold) • Brings together cutting-edge science and ancient spiritual wisdom to demonstrate that the universe is a living, sentient system and that we are an integral part of it • Explores the power of this new paradigm to move humanity toward a sustainable and promising future Science has traditionally regarded the universe as mostly made up mostly of inert matter and empty space. At one time this point of view was liberating, part of the Enlightenment-born rationalism that helped humanity free itself from superstition and fear and achieve extraordinary intellectual and technological breakthroughs. But this paradigm has outlived its usefulness. It has led to rampant materialism and environmental degradation—if the universe is essentially dead and we are alive, then the inanimate stuff of the universe should be ours to exploit. But we now know that not only is the view of a dead universe destructive, it is also inaccurate and misleading. In The Living Universe, Duane Elgin brings together evidence from cosmology, biology, physics, and even his participation in NASA-sponsored psychic experiments to show that the universe is permeated by a living field and that we are always in communion with that field of aliveness whether we are conscious of it or not. This is a world-view that, as Elgin explains, is shared by virtually every spiritual tradition, and the implications of it are vast and deep. In a living system, each part is integral to the whole, so each of us is intimately connected to the entire universe. Elgin eloquently demonstrates how our identity manifests itself on a whole series of levels, from subatomic to galactic. We are, he writes, “far more than biological beings—we are beings of cosmic connection and participation.” To confront our ongoing planetary crisis of dwindling resources and escalating conflict, we need to move past an ideology of separation, competition, and exploitation. Duane Elgin asks us to see humanity sharing in the same field of aliveness, to discover how to live sustainably and harmoniously within the living universe.
Agents of Change on the Frontlines of Sustainability
Author: Lyle Estill
Pubpsher: New Society Publishers
A remarkable cast of characters inhabit the pages of this book. Meet Tim Toben, who developed a high rise with the lowest energy consumption of any building in the southeastern United States, was foreclosed upon, and lost millions in the process. Gary Phillips held the line against real estate developers in Chatham County and was run out of office for his efforts. Elaine Chiosso has been protecting her watershed by fighting on behalf of the Haw River for twenty-eight years. Unflinchingly honest and compulsively readable, Small Stories, Big Changes provides an intimate look at the personal experience of being a pioneer in the sustainability movement, laying bare the emotional, spiritual, and financial impact of a life lived in the service of change. Activist, farmer, publisher, philosopher or entrepreneur; each writer has a unique personal tale to tell. Small Stories, Big Changes is a book written by ordinary people doing extraordinary things; whose lives have been transformed by their willingness to commit themselves unreservedly to the creation of a better world. Empowering, hopeful, and inspiring, this rich tapestry of voices from the vanguard of change is a must-read for anyone dreaming of a brighter future and seeking a counterbalance to a canon of work that is laced with doom and gloom. Lyle Estill is the president and co-founder of Piedmont Biofuels and the author of Industrial Evolution, Small is Possible, and Biodiesel Power. He has won numerous awards for his commitment to sustainability, outreach, community development, and leadership.
A small city's big vision that can help transform your own community. We all want a sustainable future, but what does it look like, and how do we get there? In Ithaca, NY a new culture is blossoming-one that values cooperation, local production, environmental stewardship, social justice andcreativity. Ithaca is showing the way to meet the challenges of the day with a wide variety of practical, real-world solutions. Filled with inspiring examples, Choosing a Sustainable Future provides readers with a remarkable sense of possibility. Explore Ithaca's: bustling, vibrant farmers markets, overflowing with fresh, local produce award-winning community credit union that triples the savings of low-income people flagship college sustainability programs pioneering alternative transportation programs, such as Ithaca Carshare innovative efforts by coalitions of local business, university, government and activists to create transformation in areas as diverse as green building, city planning, health and wellness, and honoring cultural diversity. Taken together, these examples of citizen engagement are a taste of what life could be like in a sustainable city of the future. In a time of overwhelming economic, social and environmental crises, Choosing aSustainable Future provides a quiet, authoritative voice of hope.
Recognising widespread uncertainty about how to address gender within the forestry world (from researchers, as well as natural resource, development and conservation practitioners), this paper strives to provide targeted guidance. We divide gender methods into three main approaches, based on the availability of resources. In the first section, we provide a brief discussion of theory and method. Then, after discussing some all-purpose methods, we classify methods loosely into categories of ‘quick and [more or less] dirty’; systematic ‘academic’ studies; and collaborative studies. We argue that although there is legitimate space for all three approaches, the last is the most likely to result in long-term and meaningful improvements in forests and human well being.
Release on 2014-06-20 | by Laura Westra,Mirian Vilela
Author: Laura Westra,Mirian Vilela
The Earth Charter is a declaration of fundamental ethical principles for building a just, sustainable and peaceful global society, with ecological integrity as a major theme. This book provides a series of analyses of ecological integrity as it relates to the Earth Charter, social movements and international law for human rights. It is shown how the Earth Charter project began as a United Nations initiative, but it was carried forward and completed by a global civil society initiative. The drafting of the Earth Charter involved the most inclusive and participatory process of its time ever associated with the creation of an international declaration. This process is the primary source of its legitimacy as a guiding ethical framework. The Earth Charter was finalized and then launched in 2000 and its legitimacy has been further enhanced by its endorsement by over 6,500 organizations, including many governments and international organizations. In the light of this legitimacy, an increasing number of international lawyers recognize that the Earth Charter is acquiring the status of a soft law document. The book also shows the strong connection between ecological integrity and social justice, particularly in the defence of indigenous people, and includes contributions from both the North and the global South, specifically from Central and South America.