I wrote this essay just before 2000, and although some of the examples are dated, it is more relevant today than it was then.
Also, there is a speech transcript that puts the same ideas differently, and has a checklist of practical actions you can do.
Two millennia ago, a Revolutionary expelled the money-changers from God’s Temple.
They are back. They now own the temple, which is God’s earth. They own the trees, the denizens of the deep, the beauty that draws admirers from across the globe, the wealth within the soil, and the wealth beneath it. They own the very genes that define life, and above all, they own us, the people.
If they were good shepherds, responsible managers of unlimited power, this would not matter. But are they?
No. They indulge in a game of Monopoly with six billion tokens, controlled by a few thousand players. As in Monopoly, the aim is to own all, achieved by any means. Questions of ethics and ecology are ridiculous in a cardboard and plastic game. But the game of real life has our planet as its board, the survival of real people as its cost, the future as its stake. And another difference is, Presidents and Chairmen, Generals and Magnates, Wall Street sharks and Multinationals, all are tokens as well as players. Whatever they do to us, they do to themselves.
In California, you can buy a cup with the inscription:
IS THE ONE WHO DIES
WITH THE MOST WEALTH
Even stupid jokes can embody wisdom.
The Revolutionary Whose 2000th birthday approaches was fond of parables. Though not His style, here is a parable for the present:
I offer you a million dollars. What could you do with a million dollars! No more drudgery or hardship. Think of all the luxuries you could have! All the good things you could do!
Of course, there is a price. Tomorrow, I’ll deposit the million dollars in your bank account. Exactly one year later, you must kill every person you love, then commit suicide. Will you do it?
Surely not. Yet, we are doing it. The Faustian bargain is a perennial theme that has become reality. For present wealth, we are destroying all that humanity has ever cherished.
- We are denuding the sea of life.
- We are destroying the forests.
- The wonderful variety of Nature is under attack. How many species are no more?
- Our cities are spreading cancers, replacing fertile soil with asphalt and concrete.
- Our farming practices are turning topsoil into barrenness.
- Our sewage, potentially a precious resource, poisons rivers, estuaries and coastal waters.
- Even our history, the magnificent buildings of the past, is being eaten away by the poisonous breath of commerce.
And when we have killed all the things we love, then we will have committed suicide. For the Book of Genesis is wrong: Man was not given dominion over the earth, but stewardship. We are not apart from Nature, but part of Her.
On the cosmic scale, our passing may be immaterial. The real tragedy is the destruction during our passage.
Even now, at the turn of the Millennium, some may say: ‘Hysterical Greenie propaganda!’ And yet, the evidence is overwhelming. I will limit myself to one example, termite control.
Termites are essential members of the ecosystem: recycling wood, aerating the soil, being at the bottom of several food chains. Unfortunately, our buildings are some of the wood they recycle.
Buildings can be designed to minimise termite damage. Monitoring systems exist, allowing early detection and environmentally safe control. Nest-specific baiting techniques were devised before 1907, and the 1950s saw the development of several physical termite barriers.
Until the late ‘80s, for 40 years, all such approaches had faded into disuse, in favour of barriers of cyclodienes, which are organochlorines related to DDT.
Cyclodienes cause a horrendous list of health problems to humans, including birth defects, developmental problems in babies, cancer, damage to the liver, the nervous, immune and endocrine systems. They cross the placenta, contaminate breast milk, persist in soil over 20 years, penetrate a house’s air space even through concrete, migrate in ground water, accumulate in food chains.
Research, kept secret by the manufacturers, had demonstrated these facts years ago, and was made public only in a US Government Inquiry in 1989. For 40 years, the manufacturers encouraged the yearly reapplication of cyclodienes to homes, schools, hospitals. Pest-controllers, building workers, house occupants, and consumers of food were poisoned, to maintain profits.
Thousands of such examples exist. The conclusion is inescapable. There are only two kinds of people: Greenies and Suicides.
This is not a question of Capitalism versus Communism. Communist China is the worst polluter in the world — now that the USSR is no more. Marxists and economic irrationalists agree over an essential fallacy: that there is an ever-growing pie to be shared. They merely disagree over the way to divide it.
Rather, the Club of Rome was right. We have reached, and passed, several of the limits. As their Reports emphasized, a complex system responds to the reaching of a limit by compensating. Texas no longer flows with oil? Extract it in Alaska, at much greater cost, and frightful environmental risk. Are noxious emissions and greenhouse gases from coal-fired power stations unacceptable? Dam up valleys clothed with forest or farm, expel mountain tribes from their homes, and use ‘clean’ hydroelectricity — until the dam silts up, as the Aswan High Dam has. Or opt for the crazy choice of nuclear power, the djinn of millennial pollution that’s best left in its bottle. How do you treat a ‘decommissioned’ nuclear facility?
Australians and Americans are fortunate to occupy two of the few remaining mountains of prosperity. They stand on a plain, much of which is already under the rising flood of destruction. Desperate wars of genocide, famines, the resurgence of savagery in the name of God, the emergence of new diseases, the tide of addictions sweeping the world, the loss of life and property to natural disasters on a scale never before seen, all are linked to global crowding, to massive environmental degradation. There are limits, and humanity has passed them.
Tim Flannery has persuasively argued that early man is responsible for the extinction of ‘the huge, the fierce and the strange’: animals that provided a lot of meat for the effort, or were our competitors, or were so specialised that habitat change exterminated them. Over and over, we entered paradise, then destroyed it through overuse, through explosively rapid breeding. His best-documented case is New Zealand. The ancestors of the Maori arrived perhaps 800 years ago, to a land teeming with birds, including the gigantic moa. There are great heaps of remains of wastefully used bird bodies dated to those times, but no indications of war. A mere few hundred years later, Europeans found warlike cannibals subsisting on scarce resources.
Flannery focuses on fossils, but history shows the same lesson. The great desert of the Indus Valley is man-made, by the ancient, irrigation-using civilisation of Harappa and Mohenjo-Daro. The Sahara was once the grain supply of Rome. When Europeans came to America, it was said that a chipmunk could go from ocean to ocean, without once touching ground. By the 1930s, in less than four centuries, the American Midwest had become a dustbowl.
Time and again, in place after place, people have reached the limits of their local environment, and severely damaged it before coming into some kind of equilibrium with the remnants. Only the wilfully blind can ignore the evidence.
Pre-technological people had the excuse of ignorance. Also, the damage they caused took hundreds of years to manifest itself, and usually there was somewhere else to go. But, since the Industrial Revolution, knowledge has grown exponentially. We now know what we are doing to our planet. Our power to cause change has also increased exponentially. We are now an ever-increasing rush towards extinction, not on a local scale, but globally.
We are an intelligent species, who appreciate beauty, create marvels, care for one another and for entities as different as frogs and ferntrees, elephants and eucalypts, mountains and minarets.
We have produced a Chopin, a Mozart, a Beethoven… a long list of musical geniuses, and millions whose emotions are stirred by their music. Painting, sculpture, architecture, dance, and even the needlework of unknown peasant women attest to the nobleness of the human spirit.
People have made amazing sacrifices for the sake of their loved ones, or for a principle. Certainly, some seem to act unredeemably evil, and most of us have evil within us, but also there is generosity, love and creativity in the billions of people inhabiting the Earth.
And yet, as a species, we are destroyers. Why?
My reading, reflection and a thousand debates have suggested three reasons.
1. In the cultures now dominating the Earth, all of us are players in our local Monopoly games. Only magnitude of consequences distinguishes the great and powerful from the rest of us. Life on this planet is not threatened by the acts of evil people, them, but because each person makes a myriad daily decisions that add to a mighty avalanche of destruction. The problem is us. The powerful have reached their position not because they are evil, but because luck and skill have made them better at the game that we all play. If one of them quits the game, hundreds will fill the breach.
Nor is the game precisely for money, any more than Monopoly is. In the dominant cultures, the meaning of life is defined not only in terms of wealth, but also as the level of status, power, and fame a person has achieved. Ask: “What do you do?” The answer may be “I’m an engineer,” “I was an executive, but got retrenched,” “I’m only a housewife.” You don’t get “I go bushwalking whenever I can,” “I sew when housework leaves time,” or even “I do a lot of volunteer work now that I’m unemployed.”
The Presidents and Chairmen, Millionaires and Megastars are those who have achieved the dreams others envy. They have arrived, and yet must still maintain meaning within their lives. Prue Acton built up a business worth millions, then retired. She was far-seeing enough to change her game, becoming an artist, but a more typical human response is to continue along the same path. If a million dollars was an achievement, how about a billion? Money then merely becomes something to strive for, because those who have suffered success have no meaning without striving for something.
Life is a road, not a destination. We are at a crossroad, but the great and powerful are unlikely to choose the path of survival. For if they do, they risk being great and powerful no more, but ‘has-beens,’ relegated to obscurity.
2. We are blinded to the consequences of our actions by the processes of adaptation. This is what allows life to function in wildly varying circumstances, and influences perception, thought, even memory.
At its simplest, adaptation is a physiological response: changes in muscular tension within ear or eye, or pigment changes in the retina.
It also affects judgment. Make up a set of boxes of identical appearance but varying weights. A 1 Kg (2 lb) box will have its weight overestimated, if it is lifted after a series of 100 to 200 g weights; underestimated after 2 to 5 Kg weights. The same is true of judgments in every other sense-modality.
This holds even for memories. I’m a child, terrified on top of a ladder. As an adult, at work, I happily eat my lunch sitting on the edge of a partly built roof. Experiences with heights have taken the terror out of them. Then one day I accidentally fall from that roof. I become tense and afraid in high places. The cure? A graduated series of safe experiences with heights, until the fear disappears.
Humans can adapt to almost anything: heavenly bliss, constant terror, any climate on earth, being either the victim or perpetrator of cruelty, the finest cuisine and the greatest adventure. The battle that terrifies a rookie leaves the veteran calm. Viktor Frankl could carry on his life’s work, a prisoner in a concentration camp.
Joy is when life is better than usual, though it might be another’s hell. Unhappiness is when things are worse than the current norm, although far better than others could hope for.
Like an animal, an infant lives in the forever-present. When she is miserable, life has always been terrible, and always will be, an unending, terrifying vista of woe. When she is happy, everything has always been wonderful, and happiness is a sea of joy. As adults, intellectually we are far beyond this, with an appreciation of past and future, change and progression. However, our automatic reactions to our surroundings are still that of the baby, of the animal. Change is perceived, judged, remembered in comparison to the norm of the moment.
I’d moved interstate years ago, and now return to the scenes of my childhood. How it has changed! A freeway has replaced an entire community. Where is the garbage dump that was my source of treasure? A large shopping center occupies the space of the drive-in theater, and the park with its stately trees is now a jumble of American-style fast food outlets, office buildings, shops disguised as warehouses. But when I talk to the locals, it’s “Nice to see you! Nothing much has changed here.” Oh, they will have noted every individual change, welcomed some, been distressed by others, but in time each has sunk into the normal. Incremental change feels like no change at all. This is how aging affects us too.
Of course, we are not the prisoners of adaptation. We do perceive change. However, we see it as either linear or discontinuous. In fact, however, change is often exponential. In 1972, I made a series of predictions. I was substantially correct in content, but wildly optimistic in terms of time. The changes in environmental degradation, health, and social disintegration I expected in my grandchildren’s time are already history. The same is true of everyone who has tried to predict the future: rate of change is always underestimated.
Even our ways of expressing change deify the linear. Divorces in Australia increased by 2.9% from 1994 to 1995, but by 5.4% from 1995 to 1996. The rate is itself increasing, for the disintegration of society is one of the spiraling exponentials: a child brought up in a broken family has a poorer chance of learning the skills of social intercourse. As in the computer world, so it is with statistics. Any statistic is obsolete by the time it is published.
How does this relate to the problem facing humanity? Now, at the turn of the Century, at the end of the Millennium, we live in a drastically different world than 100 years ago, 50 years ago, even 10 years ago, and the rate of change is ever accelerating. And yet, at any one moment, we see ourselves as living a more-or-less steady-state existence. Oh, people do see change, as if it was sudden jumps, relating to some discrete experience: a treasured old building demolished, a fishing fleet going bankrupt, 10,000 bank tellers losing their jobs. But, on the whole, those not personally affected go on with their lives as if the particular change was an isolated event.
We can be comfortable in the midst of self-destruction, because we adapt so well.
3. There is a positive force that distorts our thinking.
Some people may work in the tobacco industry, yet refrain from smoking on health grounds. If so, they are evil. However, the overwhelming majority of them are ordinary, decent people who earn a living by supplying something others want. They can believe this, despite the evidence of research. Industry apologists are sincere, for if they accepted the evidence, they would have to see themselves as drug pushers.
People imbued with the noble motivations of patriotism can make nuclear bombs or biological weapons, destroy churches in acts of terrorism, lie, steal and blackmail.
All of us are subject to the process that allows them to live with themselves. It has been well understood since the work of Festinger and his colleagues, 40 years ago. They called it cognitive dissonance.
It is intolerable if the basic, underlying assumptions of life are disconfirmed in some way by reality. Joe sees himself as a good man, yet he’s hit his wife, something he disapproves of in others. He can live with it by thinking: ‘I’m not a violent man, but she shouldn’t nag me.’ Bill wouldn’t dream of stealing, but can say: ‘I’ll take cash. They use the tax for bloody politicians’ perks!’ A uranium miner once said to me: ‘If I didn’t do this job, someone else would.’ The examples are endless. Once alerted to the process, any person can think up dozens from personal experience.
So, the Pope can feel holy while inciting Catholics to continue overpopulating the earth. The people of India and Pakistan can cheer in the streets in response to nuclear weapons tests. The Iraquis can stockpile dreadful biological weapons that have the potential of backfiring, and destroying all life in Iraq. The Japanese can continue to exterminate whales, ‘for scientific purposes only.’ George Soros can see himself as a benefactor, by donating half his spoils to ‘good causes,’ although that money was gained through wrecking the economies of entire countries. And on the local scale, each of us can engage in a myriad acts known to contribute to intractable problems. ‘I need this job, and owe it to my employer to work the long hours required (although my children are strangers to me, my marriage is in trouble, and my health is suffering).’ ‘One more fag won’t kill me.’ ‘It’s not really theft.’
Even now, in the information age, some people may act in ignorance of the inevitable consequences of certain of their actions. They wreck their own life support systems unknowingly, unthinkingly, like the ancestors of the Maori did when they happily exterminated the moa.
At the turn of the Millennium, in the over-developed countries, we live in an educated society. It is far more common for people to have the information, but to distort their perception of it through cognitive dissonance. ‘There is none so blind as those who will not see.’
Who can change the world?
Edward Goldsmith once wrote that a leader is someone who sees a rushing crowd, and runs ahead of them, shouting, “Follow me!” He leads only while running in the direction chosen by the crowd.
In his monumental A Study of History, Arnold Toynbee studied the life cycle of civilisations. He showed that civilisations are born through the influence of people peripheral to the centers of power within an existing civilisation. Two examples are the Christianisation of the Roman Empire, and the birth of what Toynbee calls Western Civilisation: the now-dying technological society.
Later-day Rome was being conquered by two competing foreign religions: Mithraism, which was favored by soldiers, and Christianity, the religion of the powerless. Both came from the periphery, not only geographically from Persia and Palestine, but also in terms of influence. Christianity eventually won, partly by incorporating some of the more attractive Mithraist rituals (e.g., Christmas, the Midwinter Fest). This was not because Christianity was True, for Mithraism was also a noble religion, but perhaps because soldiers were not peripheral enough.
According to Toynbee, Western Civilisation was born in the Monasteries. The Church was corrupt: supposedly celibate Cardinals’ sons received preferment, gifts bought salvation. Decent Christian men and women voted with their feet, and established devout rural communities on the degraded soil of the abandoned latifundia (previously slave-worked plantations). Their rule was: five hours’ prayer, five hours’ work, five hours’ study each day. They raised children, rejuvenated the land, studied and prayed. They were the direct precursors of the celibate monastic orders, which arose after the ascendance of St Paul’s misogyny in their philosophy.
Hundreds of years of work and study made the Monasteries wealthy and innovative. They reinvented water power, improved the plough, found the lost treasures of Classical knowledge in the Arab writings, and became influential when Royalty sent their sons to study among the Brothers. So, the peripheral, powerless, pious voluntary peasant communities of Dark-Age Italy led to space travel, the Internet — and the hydrogen bomb.
It took 400 years for an Emperor to espouse Christianity. We don’t have 400 years, or even 40. The first book warning of the environmental consequences of technological society appeared in 1949. Since then, the conservation movement has grown exponentially, but always too slowly, and always subverted by commerce: for example, revulsion with excessive packaging turned into the ‘Keep Australia Beautiful’ campaign; ‘don’t wrap it’ became ‘put it in the bin’.
But, whatever can be done, can only be done by ordinary people, acting as individuals. By me. By you. And if it’s too little, too slow, then we are doomed.
Certainly, the famous wield disproportionately more influence than the rest of us. People like David Suzuki, David Bellamy, Noam Chomski and E. F. Schumacher have swung public opinion away from hate, waste, destruction. But they can have an effect on the course of history only insofar as they have an effect on us. On me. On you. They can lead only those who are already following.
The illimitable ocean consists of drops of water. Each drop of water counts. When a myriad drops of water move in the same direction, there is the irresistible tide that destroyed Hitler, stopped the Vietnam war, saved the Franklin river in Tasmania from damming, and on a local scale, time and again confounded the powerful.
The cliches of the alternatives movement can teach us:
- Think globally, act locally.
- The New Age is now.
- Cooperation not competition.
- Make love not war (but with a condom please!).
What must change?
Clearly, people’s attitudes and thoughts need to change, not merely our actions. When only actions change, they are subverted by the dominant culture, yielding bizarre results, like the Australian Labor Party’s pathetic ‘three uranium mines’ policy, or a paper recycling facility for Melbourne and Sydney, in Albury-Wodonga. (Post World War II, Europe was thickly scattered with small paper-recycling businesses. It is an ideal decentralised, labour-intensive industry. Yet now, ‘efficient’ means ‘big’, and Sydney was deemed too small to feed a single factory. So, recycling contractors are buried in paper the factory cannot take. Huge loads are transported long distances at great environmental cost.)
I am not arrogant enough to claim to have THE answers, but reading, thought and discussion since 1972 have led me to a plausible position. Surprisingly, I have found only three seriously pathogenic attitudes:
1. The Pursuit of Happiness. Most people’s life purpose is to seek happiness. Gilbert Ryle has demonstrated that words like ‘happiness’ are misleading. They seem to refer to ‘something,’ but in fact are adverbs rather than nouns. I enjoy reading a book. I’m doing one thing, reading, not two, reading and enjoying. Rather, the activity of reading has pleasant effects on me. Ryle’s main example is ‘Unpunctuality is reprehensible.’ It means that I dislike people to be late, not that there is an entity or process ‘unpunctuality.’
A recent magazine article titled A Simple Truth About Happiness grabs the eye because it speaks to everyone’s preoccupation. It makes the same point: happiness is something to work at, by living in a certain way, not by directly seeking it. The advice is: avoid comparisons, accept the limitations of reality, find the good in what you have.
Viktor Frankl’s advice is: seek meaning and purpose, and you will be happy.
2. Happiness is bought. The advertising industry lives on fostering this illusion. Every product, every service, is presented as necessary for happiness, and people have bought the lie. ‘If only I had a new car…’ ‘When we go on holiday…’ ‘If I could just win enough through gambling…’
It is economically necessary that people should keep yearning, that they never become more than transiently satisfied. If my old car works well enough, and if I’m unmotivated by status and fashion to exchange it, then I won’t buy a new one. So, consumer society is built on unhappiness. Through planned obsolescence, deliberately shoddy design, fashion, identification with media heroes, false linking with sex, people must be made to be unhappy with what they have, or they’ll stop buying. Then they won’t be motivated to take part in the desperate scramble for money that keeps the treadmill wheels spinning ever faster, grinding up the future.
One tragedy is that consumer attitudes have generalised to personal relationships. Others have become tools in the chase after happiness, to be acquired with great joy, found wanting, then traded in. For all too many people, the concepts of compromise, tolerance, growing together have been replaced by comparisons with idealised images of True Love.
3. The emphasis on ego. We act as if Donne’s ‘No man is an island’ were false. Genetically, we are identical to our hunter-gatherer ancestors. They lived in groups of 10 to 30, with widespread links to many others, ensuring genetic diversity. As animals, we are territorial and competitive, but also, necessarily, cooperative. Among hunter-gatherers, the individual survives only through belonging to the group, and must subsume self to affiliation. Our reversal of this is a cultural, learned stance, one which causes untold harm.
The proper balance between self and society is:
WHO doesn’t matter.
How well — that’s another matter.
Competition for excellence in the service of the group is the rightful role of ego.
All the great religions teach this. The world would be transformed if enough people gained their personal satisfaction from achievement in service, not achievement in acquisition. Jesus, Buddha, Mother Teresa, Ghandi, Martin Luther King, Nelson Mandela are better role models than Stalin, Bill Gates, Aristotle Onassis, Elle, Sinatra.
Who can teach us?
1. Sustainable cultures Throughout the existence of humankind, there have been sustainable cultures that stayed in dynamic balance with their environment over many generations. Their existence proves that another path is possible. A few still remain: Australian Aboriginal cultures, the Bushmen of the Kalahari, an isolated group in the Philippines. However, contact with aggressive, expansionary cultures has inevitably either destroyed or transformed most such people.
Expansionary and sustainable cultures are so different that a person from one finds it hard to imagine how a person from the other feels. We have an expansionary culture, where a person’s well-defined ego is independent of the group, and personal identity, power, and the desire for wealth are considered basic needs. Nature is dominated and exploited by such cultures, and conflict is inevitable. Laws need to be enforced because of the constant clash of selves.
A sustainable culture is utterly different. A person has identity only as a member of a group. Isolation from the group can kill. (There is a high risk of death among jailed Australian Aborigines, although many are urban people.) In a sustainable culture, possessions do not indicate success, because success as compared to others is unimportant. They are appreciated only in terms of their function or beauty, and are readily shared. Even modern, city-dwelling Aborigines share their possessions with their family, often a large group.
Several sustainable cultures have no chiefs or underlings. People may be admired for their abilities, and may have specialist roles for which they are well suited. This gains respect and acknowledgment, status but not power. Elders are respected for their wisdom, but need to gain consensus to achieve action. Society’s rules are not seen as laws imposed by people, but as ‘laws of nature:’ unavoidable, fixed, divinely controlled. The only need for external discipline is for children until they are trained.
Tim Flannery argues that the ‘future eating’ now destroying our global life support system evolved in Australiasia, then conquered humanity’s homeland in Eurasia-Africa. There, prey and competitor alike had co-evolved with humans, in a millennial arms race that prevented any one species from gaining overwhelming superiority. Even Java has yielded hominid remains. New Guinea and Australia evolved without humans, until perhaps 60,000 years ago. Animals and plants had no defenses from the invaders, who therefore developed a new culture, the frontier mentality: Migrate, devastate, breed beyond the carrying capacity of the land, then move on. This lifestyle has swept the world, being particularly successful in Europe during the end of the last Ice Age, when people followed the most successfully invasive plants and animals north. Flannery aptly calls the ecology of Europe a ‘weed ecology’. Not surprisingly, this led to a ‘weed culture’ that has now infested the globe.
However, in Australia, conditions have pushed cultural evolution toward cooperation, copying an ecosystem that evolved to survive soils poor in nutrients, and the recurring climatic disasters of the ‘El Nino Effect.’ It is time for us to learn from native Australians again. By cooperating, by limiting their population, by caretaking nature rather than abusing it, they survived in a difficult land for 60,000 years. The wisdom of their cultures may help us to survive beyond a few decades.
2. Buddhism also has much to offer. Here are a few Buddhist gems:
- Contentment is through ceasing to want, not through satisfying desires.
- The golden middle: too much is as bad as too little.
- Suffering is a learning experience; we live to learn something in each cycle.
- Strive to do no harm.
- Small steps go far.
Perhaps it’s an example of cognitive dissonance, but I remain an optimist. I believe that humanity has some chance of seeing the end of the third millennium, if only enough of us change our beliefs, and therefore our actions, and lead sustainable lives. Exponentials have the most surprising way of suddenly taking off, and the exponential towards sanity might just do that.
Living a sustainable life has an unexpected side-effect: it feels good . Striving for the survival of humanity and its wonderful life support system is a more satisfying game than seeking power and wealth. So, even if we fail, if in fact we have already killed Mother Earth and ourselves with Her, the effort is worthwhile.
So, join me! Like those ancient Italian peasants who walked away from the corrupt Church, walk away from the corrupt Economy. The New Age is now. It is up to you to create it for yourself.
Verkerk, R. Building Out Termites: An Australian manual for environmentally responsible control. Leichhhardt, NSW: Pluto Press, 1990.
Meadows, Donella H. et al., The Limits to Growth: A report for the Club of Rome’s project on the predicament of mankind. New York: Universe Books, 1972
Masarovic, M. D. Mankind at the Turning Point: The second report to the Club of Rome. New York: Dutton, 1974.
Laszlo, E. Goals for Mankind: A report to the Club of Rome. London: Hutchinson, 1977.
Flannery, T. The Future Eaters: An ecological history of the Australasian lands and people. Chatswood, NSW: Reed Books, 1994.
Frankl, V. Man’s Search for Meaning: An Introduction to Logotherapy. New York: Pocket Books, 1963.
Family Court of Australia, Annual Report, 1996-1997.
Festinger, L. Conflict, Decision, and Dissonance. Stanford, CA: Stanford University Press, 1964.
Edward Goldsmith, Editorial, The Ecologist, July 1974.
Toynbee, A. A Study of History. (Rev. ed.) London: Oxford University Press, 1972.
Tansley, A. G. Britain’s Green Mantle: Past, present and future. London: Allen & Unwin, 1949.
Since writing this essay, I have come across writings by ‘Grey Owl’, who used fiction and pseudo-nonfiction to advance strongly environmental views in the 1930s. He was truly a person ahead of his time, and should be honored.
Ryle, G. The Concept of Mind. Penguin 1963.
Prager, D. A Simple Truth About Happiness. Readers’ Digest, July 1998, 11-13.