The Bridge at the Edge of the World  [Printer-friendly version]
April 24, 2008


[Rachel's introduction: This is the introduction to an extraordinary
new book (The Bridge at the Edge of the World) by Gus Speth,
who is currently Dean of the School of Forestry at Yale University. I
don't recommend very many books, but I feel sure that nearly every
Rachel's reader will find Gus Speth's new book illuminating and
worthwhile reading. -- P.M.]

By James Gustave Speth

Between Two Worlds

The remarkable charts that introduce this book reveal the story of
humanity's impact on the natural earth.[1] The pattern is clear: if we
could speed up time, it would seem as if the global economy is
crashing against the earth -- the Great Collision. And like the crash
of an asteroid, the damage is enormous. For all the material blessings
economic progress has provided, for all the disease and destitution
avoided, for all the glories that shine in the best of our
civilization, the costs to the natural world, the costs to the glories
of nature, have been huge and must be counted in the balance as tragic

Half the world's tropical and temperate forests are now gone.[2] The
rate of deforestation in the tropics continues at about an acre a
second.[3] About half the wetlands and a third of the mangroves are
gone.[4] An estimated 90 percent of the large predator fish are gone,
and 75 percent of marine fisheries are now overfished or fished to
capacity.[5] Twenty percent of the corals are gone, and another 20
percent severely threatened.[6] Species are disappearing at rates
about a thousand times faster than normal.[7] The planet has not seen
such a spasm of extinction in sixty-five million years, since the
dinosaurs disappeared.[8] Over half the agricultural land in drier
regions suffers from some degree of deterioration and
desertification.[9] Persistent toxic chemicals can now be found by the
dozens in essentially each and every one of us.[10]

Human impacts are now large relative to natural systems. The earth's
stratospheric ozone layer was severely depleted before the change was
discovered. Human activities have pushed atmospheric carbon dioxide up
by more than a third and have started in earnest the dangerous process
of warming the planet and disrupting climate. Everywhere earth's ice
fields are melting.[11] Industrial processes are fixing nitrogen,
making it biologically active, at a rate equal to nature's; one result
is the development of more than two hundred dead zones in the oceans
due to overfertilization.[12] Human actions already consume or destroy
each year about 40 percent of nature's photosynthetic output, leaving
too little for other species.[13] Freshwater withdrawals doubled
globally between 1960 and 2000, and are now over half of accessible
runoff.[14] The following rivers no longer reach the oceans in the dry
season: the Colorado, Yellow, Ganges, and Nile, among others.[15]

Societies are now traveling together in the midst of this unfolding
calamity down a path that links two worlds. Behind is the world we
have lost, ahead the world we are making.

It is difficult to appreciate the abundance of wild nature in the
world we have lost. In America we can think of the pre-Columbian world
of 1491, of Lewis and Clark, and of John James Audubon. It is a world
where nature is large and we are not. It is a world of majestic old-
growth forests stretching from the Atlantic to the Mississippi, of
oceans brimming with fish, of clear skies literally darkened by
passing flocks of birds. As William MacLeish notes in The Day before
America, in 1602 an Englishman wrote in his journal that the fish
schooled so thickly he thought their backs were the sea bottom. Bison
once roamed east to Florida. There were jaguars in the Southeast,
grizzly bear in the Midwest, and wolves, elk and mountain lions in New

Audubon described the breathtaking multitudes of the passenger pigeon
migration, as well as the rapacity of their wild and human predators:

"Few pigeons were to be seen before sunset; but a great number of
persons, with horses and wagons, guns and ammunition, had already
established encampments.... Suddenly, there burst forth a general cry
of 'Here they come!' The noise which they made, though yet distant,
reminded me of a hard gale at sea.... As the birds arrived, and passed
over me, I felt a current of air that surprised me. Thousands were
soon knocked down by polemen. The current of birds, however, still
kept increasing.... The pigeons, coming in by thousands, alighted
everywhere, one above another, until solid masses... were formed on
every tree, in all directions.... The uproar continues... the whole
night.... Toward the approach of day, the noise rather subsided....
The howlings of the wolves now reached our ears; and the foxes,
lynxes, cougars, bears, raccoons, opossums, and pole-cats were seen
sneaking off from the spot. Whilst eagles and hawks, of different
species, accompanied by a crowd of vultures, came to supplant them,
and enjoy their share of the spoil. It was then that the authors of
all this devastation began their entry amongst the dead, the dying,
and the mangled. The pigeons were picked up and piled in heaps, until
each had as many as he could possibly dispose of, when the hogs were
let loose to feed on the remainder."[17]

The last passenger pigeon on earth expired in a zoo in Cincinnati in
1914. Some decades later, forester and philosopher Aldo Leopold
offered these words at a ceremony on this passing: "We grieve because
no living man will see again the onrushing phalanx of victorious
birds, sweeping a path for spring across the March skies, chasing the
defeated winter from all the woods and prairies.... Men still live
who, in their youth, remember pigeons. Trees still live who, in their
youth, were shaken by a living wind.... There will always be pigeons
in books and in museums, but these are effigies and images, dead to
all hardships and to all delights. Book-pigeons cannot dive out of a
cloud to make the deer run for cover, or clap their wings in
thunderous applause of mast-laden woods. Book-pigeons cannot breakfast
on new mown wheat in Minnesota and dine on blueberries in Canada. They
know no urge of seasons; they feel no kiss of sun, no lash of wind and

Human societies are moving, rapidly now, between the two worlds. The
movement began slowly, but now we are hurtling toward the world
directly ahead. The old world, nature 's world, continues, of course,
but we are steadily closing it down, roping it off. It flourishes in
our art and literature and in our imaginations. But it is

Economic historian Angus Maddison reports that in the year 1000 there
were only about 270 million people on earth -- fewer than today's
U.S. population. Global economic output was only about $120 billion.
Eight hundred years later, the man-made world was still small. By
1820, populations had risen to about a billion people with an output
of only $690 billion. Over this eight hundred years, per capita income
increased by only a couple of hundred dollars a year. But shortly
thereafter the take-off began. By 2000, populations had swelled by an
additional five billion, and, astoundingly, economic output had grown
to exceed forty trillion dollars.[19] The acceleration continues. The
size of the world economy doubled since 1960, and then doubled again.

World economic activity is projected to quadruple again by midcentury.

Historian J. R. McNeill has stressed the phenomenal expansion of the
human enterprise in the twentieth century. It was in the twentieth
century, and especially since World War II, that human society truly
left the moorings of its past and launched itself on the planet with
unprecedented force. McNeill observes that this exponential century
"shattered the constraints and rough stability of old economic,
demographic, and energy regimes." "In environmental history," he
writes, "the twentieth century qualifies as a peculiar century because
of the screeching acceleration of so many of the processes that bring
ecological change."[20] We live now in a full world, dramatically
unlike the world of 1900, or even that of 1950.

Physicists have a precise concept of momentum. To them momentum is
mass times velocity, and velocity is not just speed but also

Today the world economy has gathered tremendous momentum -- it is both
huge in size and growing fast. But what is its direction?

I am seated in my study as I write this, looking at a stack of books
about two feet high. They share a common theme, and it is not a happy
one to contemplate. We can see this theme immediately in their

By a conservative jurist: Richard A. Posner, Catastrophe: Risk and

By the president of the Royal Society in the United Kingdom: Martin
Rees, Our Final Hour: How Terror, Error and Environmental Disaster
Threaten Humankind's Future

By a leading American scholar: Jared Diamond, Collapse: How
Societies Choose to Fail or Succeed

By a British scientist: James Lovelock, The Revenge of Gaia: Why
the Earth Is Fighting Back and How We Can Still Save Humanity

By an American expert: James Howard Kunstler, The Long Emergency:
Surviving the End of Oil, Climate Change, and Other Converging
Catastrophes of the Twenty-first Century

By a U.S. expert on conflict: Michael T. Klare, Resource Wars: The
New Landscape of Global Conflict

By an Australian diplomat and historian: Colin Mason, The 2030
Spike: The Countdown to Global Catastrophe

That is but a sample of the "collapse" books now on the market. Each
of these authors sees the world on a path to some type of collapse,
catastrophe, or breakdown, and they each see climate change and other
environmental crises as leading ingredients of a devil's brew that
also includes such stresses as population pressures, peak oil and
other energy supply problems, economic and political instabilities,
terrorism, nuclear proliferation, the risks of various twenty-first-
century technologies, and similar threats. Some think a bright future
is still possible if we change our ways in time; others see a new dark
ages as the likely outcome. For Sir Martin Rees, "the odds are no
better than fifty-fifty that our present civilization on earth will
survive to the end of the present century."[22] Personally, I cannot
imagine that the risks are so great, but Rees is a thoughtful
individual. In any case, it would be foolish to dismiss these authors.

They provide a stark warning of what could happen.

The escalating processes of climate disruption, biotic impoverishment,
and toxification that continue despite decades of warnings and earnest
effort constitute a severe indictment, but an indictment of what
exactly? If we want to reverse today's destructive trends, forestall
further and greater losses, and leave a bountiful world for our
children and grandchildren, we must return to fundamentals and seek to
understand both the underlying forces driving such destructive trends
and the economic and political system that gives these forces free
rein. Then we can ask what can be done to change the system.

The underlying drivers of today's environmental deterioration have
been clearly identified. They range from immediate forces like the
enormous growth in human population and the dominant technologies
deployed in the economy to deeper ones like the values that shape our
behavior and determine what we consider important in life. Most
basically, we know that environmental deterioration is driven by the
economic activity of human beings. About half of today's world
population lives in abject poverty or close to it, with per capita
incomes of less than two dollars a day. The struggle of the poor to
survive creates a range of environmental impacts where the poor
themselves are often the primary victims -- for example, the
deterioration of arid and semiarid lands due to the press of
increasing numbers of people who have no other option.

But the much larger and more threatening impacts stem from the
economic activity of those of us participating in the modern,
increasingly prosperous world economy. This activity is consuming vast
quantities of resources from the environment and returning to the
environment vast quantities of waste products. The damages are already
huge and are on a path to be ruinous in the future. So, a fundamental
question facing societies today -- perhaps the fundamental question --
is how can the operating instructions for the modern world economy be
changed so that economic activity both protects and restores the
natural world?

With increasingly few exceptions, modern capitalism is the operating
system of the world economy. I use "modern capitalism" here in a broad
sense as an actual, existing system of political economy, not as an
idealized model. Capitalism as we know it today encompasses the core
economic concept of private employers hiring workers to produce
products and services that the employers own and then sell with the
intention of making a profit. But it also includes competitive
markets, the price mechanism, the modern corporation as its principal
institution, the consumer society and the materialistic values that
sustain it, and the administrative state actively promoting economic
strength and growth for a variety of reasons.

Inherent in the dynamics of capitalism is a powerful drive to earn
profits, invest them, innovate, and thus grow the economy, typically
at exponential rates, with the result that the capitalist era has in
fact been characterized by a remarkable exponential expansion of the
world economy. The capitalist operating system, whatever its
shortcomings, is very good at generating growth.

These features of capitalism, as they are constituted today, work
together to produce an economic and political reality that is highly
destructive of the environment. An unquestioning society-wide
commitment to economic growth at almost any cost; enormous investment
in technologies designed with little regard for the environment;
powerful corporate interests whose overriding objective is to grow by
generating profit, including profit from avoiding the environmental
costs they create; markets that systematically fail to recognize
environmental costs unless corrected by government; government that is
subservient to corporate interests and the growth imperative; rampant
consumerism spurred by a worshipping of novelty and by sophisticated
advertising; economic activity so large in scale that its impacts
alter the fundamental biophysical operations of the planet -- all
combine to deliver an ever-growing world economy that is undermining
the planet's ability to sustain life.

The fundamental question thus becomes one of transforming capitalism
as we know it: Can it be done? If so, how? And if not, what then? It
is to these questions that this book is addressed. The larger part of
the book proposes a variety of prescriptions to take economy and
environment off collision course. Many of these prescriptions range
beyond the traditional environmental agenda.

In Part I of the book, Chapters 1-3, I lay the foundation by
elaborating the fundamental challenge just described. Among the key
conclusions, summarized here with some oversimplification, are:

** The vast expansion of economic activity that occurred in the
twentieth century and continues today is the predominant (but not
sole) cause of the environmental decline that has occurred to date.
Yet the world economy, now increasingly integrated and globalized, is
poised for unprecedented growth. The engine of this growth is modern
capitalism or, better, a variety of capitalisms.

** A mutually reinforcing set of forces associated with today's
capitalism combines to yield economic activity inimical to
environmental sustainability. This result is partly the consequence of
an ongoing political default -- a failed politics -- that not only
perpetuates widespread market failure -- all the nonmarket
environmental costs that no one is paying -- but exacerbates this
market failure with deep and environmentally perverse subsidies. The
result is that our market economy is operating on wildly wrong market
signals, lacks other correcting mechanisms, and is thus out of control

** The upshot is that societies now face environmental threats of
unprecedented scope and severity, with the possibility of various
catastrophes, breakdowns, and collapses looming as distinct
possibilities, especially as environmental issues link with social
inequities and tensions, resource scarcity, and other issues.

** Today's mainstream environmentalism -- aptly characterized as
incremental and pragmatic "problem solving" -- has proven insufficient
to deal with current challenges and is not up to coping with the
larger challenges ahead. Yet the approaches of modern-day
environmentalism, despite their limitations, remain essential: right
now, they are the tools at hand with which to address many very
pressing problems.

** The momentum of the current system -- fifty-five trillion dollars
in output in 2004, growing fast, and headed toward environmental
disaster -- is so great that only powerful forces will alter the
trajectory. Potent measures are needed that address the root causes of
today's destructive growth and transform economic activity into
something environmentally benign and restorative.

In short, my conclusion, after much searching and considerable
reluctance, is that most environmental deterioration is a result of
systemic failures of the capitalism that we have today and that long-
term solutions must seek transformative change in the key features of
this contemporary capitalism. In Part II, I address these basic
features of modern capitalism, in each case seeking to identify the
transformative changes needed.

The market. In Chapter 4, I focus on the need to transform the
market to make it work for the environment, reversing the historical

I examine the urgent need to take seriously neoclassical environmental
economics with its emphasis on achieving environmentally honest prices
and correcting other market signals, and look at the need to restrain
"market imperialism" and excessive commodification.

Growth. In Chapter 5, I focus on what has been called the
"growth fetish" and on taking seriously the field of ecological
economics, including its critique of endless economic growth and its
concern that advanced industrial economies may have already exceeded
their optimal or sustainable scale. I explore the dimensions of a
"post-growth society," where neither nature nor community is
sacrificed to the priority of economic growth. In Chapter 6, I develop
the idea that today's economic growth in affluent societies is not
materially improving human happiness and satisfaction with life and is
a poor way to generate solutions to pressing social needs and
problems. I call for alternative measures that directly address these
social challenges, which now desperately need attention.

Consumption. In Chapter 7, I focus on materialism and
consumerism in today's affluent societies -- what has been called our
affluenza -- and suggest ways to encourage both green consumption and
living more simply.

The corporation. In Chapter 8, I take up the challenge to the
dominance and power of the modern corporation, including that offered
by what is often referred to as the antiglobalization movement, and
set out a program to transform corporate dynamics.

Capitalism's core. Chapter 9 is more speculative. Is there
something beyond both capitalism and socialism? If so, what might be
the dimensions of a nonsocialist system beyond today's capitalism?

In Part III, I consider two potential drivers of transformative

A new consciousness. In Chapter 10, I focus on the prospect for
profound change in social values, culture, and worldviews. I explore
how today's dominant values contribute abundantly to social and
environmental alienation and what might lead to a new consciousness
that gives priority to nonmaterialistic lives and to our relationships
with one another and the natural world.

A new politics. In Chapter 11, I address the search for a new
and vital democratic politics -- one premised on addressing America's
growing political inequality and capable of embracing neglected
environmental and social needs and sustaining the difficult actions
needed. I examine the vital longer-term goal of strong democracy as
well as the immediate steps needed to forge a new environmental
politics. An important question in this regard is whether a popular
movement that can drive real change is being born.

Taken together, the proposals presented in the chapters that follow
would, if implemented, take us beyond capitalism as we know it today.

The question whether we would then have an operating system other than
capitalism or a reinvented capitalism is largely definitional. In the
end, the answer is probably not important. I myself have no interest
in socialism or centralized economic planning or other paradigms of
the past. As Robert Dahl has quipped, "Socialist programs for
replacing market capitalism [have] fallen into the dustbin of
history."[23] The question for the future, on the economic side, is
how do we harness economic forces for sustainability and sufficiency?

The creativity, innovation, and entrepreneurship of businesses
operating in a vibrant private sector are essential to designing and
building the future. We will not meet our environmental and social
challenges without them. Growth and investment are needed across a
wide front: growth in the developing world -- sustainable, people-
centered growth; growth in the incomes of those in America who have
far too little; growth in human well-being along many dimensions;
growth in new solution-oriented industries, products, and processes;
growth in meaningful, well- paying jobs, including green-collar ones;
growth in natural resource and energy productivity and in investment
in the regeneration of natural assets; growth in social and public
services and in investment in public infrastructures, to mention a
few. These are the things we should be growing, and it makes good
sense to harness market forces to such ends. As I discuss in Chapter
5, even in a "post-growth society," many things still need to grow.

I believe Paul Hawken, Amory Lovins, and Hunter Lovins have it right
when they propose these strategies for the new economy in their book
Natural Capitalism:

** Radically increased resource productivity in order to slow resource
depletion at one end of the value chain and to lower pollution at the
other end.

** Redesigned industrial systems that mimic biological ones so that
even the concept of wastes is progressively eliminated. (This is what
the new field of industrial ecology is all about.)

** An economy based on the provision of services rather than the
purchase of goods.

** Reversal of worldwide resource deterioration and declines in
ecosystem services through major new investments in regenerating
natural capital.[24]

The good news is that impressive thinking and some exemplary action
have occurred on the issues at hand. Proposals abound, many of them
very promising, and new movements for change, often driven by young
people, are emerging.[25] These developments offer genuine hope and
begin to outline a bridge to the future. The market can be transformed
into an instrument for environmental restoration; humanity's
ecological footprint can be reduced to what can be sustained
environmentally; the incentives that govern corporate behavior can be
rewritten; growth can be focused on things that truly need to grow and
consumption on having enough, not always more; the rights of future
generations and other species can be respected.

America faces huge social problems and needs in addition to its
environmental challenges. But priming the economic pump for ever-
greater aggregate growth is a poor, sometimes even counterproductive,
way to generate solutions on the social front. We need instead to
address these problems directly and thoughtfully, with compassion and
generosity. A whole world of new and stronger policies is needed --
measures that strengthen our families and our communities and address
the breakdown of social connectedness; measures that guarantee good,
well-paying jobs and minimize layoffs and job insecurity; measures
that introduce more family-friendly policies at work; measures that
provide more time for leisure activities; measures that provide for
universal health care and alleviate the devastating effects of mental
illness; measures that provide everyone with a good education;
measures to eliminate poverty in America, sharply improve income
distribution, and address growing economic and political inequality;
measures that recognize responsibilities to the half of humanity who
live in poverty.

If you raise these social issues in the councils of our major
environmental organizations, you might be told that "these are not
environmental issues." But they are. As I explain in the chapters that
follow, they are a big part of the alternative to the destructive path
we are on. My hope is that the environmental community will come to
embrace these measures, these hallmarks of a caring community and a
good society.

In the end, then, despite the large volume of bad news, we can
conclude with an affirmation. We can say with Wallace Stevens that
"after the final no there comes a yes." Yes, we can save what is left.

Yes, we can repair and make amends. We can reclaim nature and restore
ourselves. There is a bridge at the edge of the world. But for many
challenges, like the threat of climate change, there is not much time.

A great American once said: "We are now faced with the fact that
tomorrow is today. We are confronted with the fierce urgency of now.
In this unfolding conundrum of life and history there is such a thing
as being too late. Procrastination is still the thief of time. Life
often leaves us standing bare, naked and dejected with a lost
opportunity. The 'tide in the affairs of men' does not remain at the
flood; it ebbs. We may cry out desperately for time to pause in her
passage, but time is deaf to every plea and rushes on. Over the
bleached bones and jumbled residue of numerous civilizations are
written the pathetic words: 'Too late.'" -- Martin Luther King, 4
April 1967, Riverside Church, New York City.

Let us turn, then, to the costs of being too late.


James Gustave Speth is the Dean of the School of Forestry at Yale


End Notes

1. The graphs are from W. Steffen et al., Global Change and the Earth
System: A Planet under Pressure (Berlin: Springer, 2005), 132-133
(with sources for the graphs cited therein).

2. Millennium Ecosystem Assessment (MEA), Ecosystems and Human Well-
Being: Synthesis (Washington, D.C.: Island Press, 2005), 31-32.

3. Food and Agriculture Organization, Global Forest Resources
Assessment 2005 (Rome: FAO, 2006), 20. This calculation includes all
net change in forest area in South America, Central America, Africa,
and South and Southeast Asia; the total is about twenty-eight million
acres lost per year between 2000 and 2005.

4. MEA, Ecosystems and Human Well-Being: Synthesis, 2; MEA, Ecosystems
and Human Well-Being, vol. I: Current State and Trends (Washington,
D.C.: Island Press, 2005), 14-15. See also N. C. Duke et al., "A World
without Mangroves?" Science 317 (2007): 41. And see Carmen Revenga et
al., Pilot Analysis of Global Ecosystems: Freshwater Systems
(Washington, D.C.: WRI, 2000), 3, 21-22; World Resources Institute et
al., World Resources, 2000-2001 (Washington, D.C.: WRI, 2000), 72,
107; and Lauretta Burke et al., Pilot Analysis of Global Ecosystems:
Coastal Ecosystems (Washington, D.C.: WRI, 2001), 19.

5. Food and Agriculture Organization, World Review of Fisheries and
Aquaculture (Rome: FAO, 2006), 29; Ransom A. Myers and Boris Worm,
"Rapid World-wide Depletion of Predatory Fish Communities," Nature 423
(2003): 280, See also Fred Pearce, "Oceans Raped of Their Former
Riches," New Scientist, 2 August 2003, 4.

6. MEA, Ecosystems and Human Well-Being: Synthesis, 2.

7. MEA, Ecosystems and Human Well-Being: Synthesis, 5, 36.

8. Tim Radford, "Scientist Warns of Sixth Great Extinction of
Wildlife," Guardian (U.K.), 29 November 2001). See also Nigel C. A.
Pitman and Peter M. Jorgensen, "Estimating the Size of the World's
Threatened Flora," Science 298 (2002): 989; and F. Stuart Chapin III
et al., "Consequences of Changing Biodiversity," Nature 405 (2000):

9. U.N. Environment Programme, Global Environment Outlook 3 (London:
Earth-scan, 2002), 64-65. Drylands cover about 40 percent of the
earth's land surface, and an estimated 10-20 percent suffer from
"severe" degradation. James F. Reynolds et al., "Global
Desertification: Building a Science for Dryland Development," Science
316 (2007): 847. See also "Key Facts about Desertification,"
Reuters/Planet Ark, 6 June 2006, summarizing U.N. estimates.

10. Fred Pearce, "Northern Exposure," New Scientist, 31 May 1997, 25;
Martin Enserink, "For Precarious Populations, Pollutants Present New
Perils," Science 299 (2003): 1642. See also the data reported in Joe
Thornton, Pandora's Poison (Cambridge, Mass.: MIT Press, 2000), 1-55.

11. U.N. Environment Programme, Global Outlook for Ice and Snow, 4
June 2007. See also See generally
William Collins et al., "The Physical Science behind Climate Change,"
Scientific American, August 2007, 64.

12. "UN Reports Increasing 'Dead Zones' in Oceans," Associated Press,
20 October 2006. See generally Mark Shrope, "The Dead Zones," New
Scientist, 9 December 2006, 38; and Laurence Mee, "Reviving Dead
Zones," Scientific American, November 2006, 79. On nitrogen pollution,
see Charles Driscoll et al., "Nitrogen Pollution," Environment 45, No.
7 (2003): 8.

13. Peter M. Vitousek et al., "Human Appropriation of the Products of
Photo-synthesis," Bioscience 36, no. 6 (1986): 368; S. Rojstaczer et
al., "Human Appropriation of Photosynthesis Products," Science 294
(2001): 2549. See also Helmut Haberl et at., "Quantifying and Mapping
the Human Appropriation of Net Primary Production in Earth's
Terrestrial Ecosystems," Proceedings of the National Academy of
Sciences (2007).

14. U.N. Environment Programme, "At a Glance: The World's Water
Crisis," and MEA, Ecosystem and Human Well-Being: Synthesis, 32.

15. MEA, Ecosystem and Human Well-Being: Synthesis, 12.

16. William H. MacLeish, The Day before America: Changing the Nature
of a Continent (Boston: Houghton Mifflin, 1994), 164-168.

17. Quoted in Stephen R. Kellert, Kinship to Mastery.: Biophilia in
Human Evolution and Development (Washington, D.C.: Island Press,
1997), 179-180.

18. Quoted in Kellert, Kinship to Mastery, 181-182.

19. Angus Maddison, The World Economy: Millennial Perspective (Paris:
OECD, 2001).

20. J. R. McNeill, Something New under the Sun: An Environmental
History of the Twentieth-Century World (New York: W. W. Norton, 2000),
4, 16.

21. Among the many books written about the possibility of large-scale
economic, environmental, and social breakdown are Jared Diamond,
Collapse: How Societies Choose to Fail or Succeed (New York: Viking,
zoos); Fred Pearce, The Last Generation. How Nature Will Take Her
Revenge for Climate Change (London: Transworld, 2006); Martin Rees,
Our Final Hour: A Scientist's Warning... (New York: Basic Books,
2003); Richard A. Posner, Catastrophe: Risk and Response (New York:
Oxford University Press, 2004); James Lovelock, The Revenge of Gaia:
Why the Earth Is Fighting Back -- and How We Can Still Save Humanity.
(London: Penguin, 2006); James Martin, The Meaning of the Twenty-first
Century (New York: Penguin, 2006); Thomas Homer-Dixon, The Upside of
Down: Catastrophe, Creativity, and the Renewal of Civilifation
(Washington, D.C.: Island Press, 2006); Mayer Hillman, The Suicidal
Planet: How to Prevent Global Climate Catastrophe (New York: St.
Martin's Press, 2007); James Howard Kunstler, The Long Emergency:
Surviving the Converging Catastrophes of the Twenty-first Century (New
York: Grove Press, 2005); Richard Heinberg, Power Down: Options and
Actions for a Post-Carbon World (Gabriola Island, B.C.: New Society,
2004); Ronald Wright, A Short History of Progress (New York: Carroll
and Graf, 2004); John Leslie, The End of the World: The Science and
Ethics of Human Extinction (London: Routledge, 1996); Colin Mason, The
2030 Spike (London: Earthscan, 2003); Michael T. Klare, Resource Wars:
The New Landscape of Global Conflict (New York: Henry Holt, 2001); and
Roy Woodbridge, The Next World War: Tribes, Cities, Nations, and
Ecological Decline (Toronto: University of Toronto Press, 2004).

22. Rees, Our Final Hour, 8.

23. Robert A. Dahl, On Political Equality (New Haven and London: Yale
University Press, 2006), 105-106.

24. Paul Hawken et al., Natural Capitalism: Creating the Next
Industrial Revolution (Boston: Little, Brown, 1999), 10-11.

25. See Chapters 10-12.