Top Reviews Most recent Top Reviews. There was a problem filtering reviews right now. Please try again later. Verified Purchase. Pelton obviously knows a great deal about edible wild plants. Unfortunately, this is a really poorly put-together book that doesn't really convey all that knowledge. Plants are given by one common name, with no Latin name; that, together with the badly-copied and grainy black-and-white drawings that are all at the back of the book, instead of with the information for that particular plant, is not only inconvenient but makes it impossible to safely identify the wild plants.
There's no index, no way to quickly look up, for example, Goosegrass, so it's very difficult to navigate this otherwise informative book. Some plants listed, such as Bur, have no identifying sketch or information at all. Every plant's range is listed either as "widespread throughout U. The book is riddled with poor formatting where, for example, the title of a plant is at the bottom of the page, but the rest of the description is on the next page , inconsistent boldface which makes it hard to tell where one description ends and the next begins , and typos which range from annoying "oil" instead of "boil" to worrisome Camas Lily is described in the "vegetables" section, but in the back, the picture is labeled "Hamas Lily".
Because it makes it so difficult to confidently identify a plant, this book is not a good resource for inexperienced foragers, who would be better off armed with good color photographs and detailed identification information, and doesn't contain enough new information to be useful for experienced foragers, who can get more creative recipes out of Euell Gibbons. See the review. There's a problem loading this menu right now. Learn more about Amazon Prime. Get fast, free delivery with Amazon Prime. Back to top. Get to Know Us. Amazon Payment Products.
Books by Robert W. Pelton
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Most shrubs and grasses do not have roots deep enough to work below the top few feet of soil, but the deep roots of trees break up rocks and combine minerals from the rocks with carbon from the air to feed the growth of leaves and branches. As this material falls to the ground and decomposes, it rebuilds and enriches the upper layers of soil, which are vital to agriculture. It takes from to 1, years for nature to generate one inch of topsoil. Modern agricultural practices often flush away inches of topsoil in a.
One single rain forest tree will recycle 3 million gallons of water back into the atmosphere during its lifespan. The evaporative surface area of the leaves or needles on one large tree is equal to the surface area of a acre lake Hartmann , One single acre of rain forest will typically contain over large trees with an evaporative surface area greater than an 8,acre lake!
How long could anyone keep that up without going bankrupt? The tropical rain forests are particularly important due to their great density of growth. A young tree or shrub, with a few square feet of evaporative leaf surface area and a few shallow roots, has nowhere near the environmentally stabilizing effect of a mature tree with deep roots. One acre of old-. The total amount of rain forest left on the planet is about the size of the continental United States. Every year humankind destroys an area of rain forest about equal to the size of Florida.
At the current rate of destruction, 38 million acres per year, the world's last rain forests will be totally eliminated within our children's lifetime. The loss of rain forests is one very big variable with an unknown effect on the system response of our planet. Do we dare risk their destruction without knowing what the effect will be? Archaeologists generally place the dawn of modern civilization in an area known as the "Fertile Crescent," the site of the present nations of Iraq, Syria, and Lebanon.
The cedars were cut down centuries ago to provide wood to build Phoenician ships, as well as for housing and fuel. The process of desertification continues throughout the world,. The famines and extended droughts of North Africa appear to be a direct result of the destruction of Africa's forests.
In both recent and ancient times, humanity has tampered with ecosystems to such an extent that local ecosystems have become unstable and have virtually collapsed. The tropical island of Haiti provides a modern example. When Columbus "discovered" America, he landed on the island of Hispaniola, which is now the country of Haiti.
Columbus found a tropical paradise virtually covered with lush, green rain forests and populated by the Taino Indians, who had lived in harmony with the land for thousands of years. Today, not one single Taino Indian has survived, and a radically different sight greets visitors to Haiti. According to Thorn Hartmann , 33 : "If you fly over the country of Haiti on the island of Hispaniola Even the ocean around the capital of Port-au-Prince is choked for miles with the brown of human sewage and eroded topsoil.
From the air, it looks like a lava flow spilling out into the sea. Both oxygen and nitrogen allow heat and light to pass through them with minimal resistance. Other gases, such as carbon dioxide, act like an insulating blanket, trapping and holding heat on the surface of the planet and in the atmosphere. These "greenhouse gases" trap heat on the planet similar to the way glass on a greenhouse holds heat inside. Carbon dioxide is the most prevalent greenhouse gas, with a concentration of about parts per million ppm or 0.
Estimates for increases over the next century range from an. The percentage of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere has a dramatic effect on the temperatures of the planet. Without any carbon dioxide in the atmosphere, this planet would be a frozen desert, with practically all its water stored in frozen ice caps.
Venus, on the other hand, has an atmosphere rich in carbon dioxide. Figure 2 - 7. Atmospheric concentrations of carbon dioxide, 1 7 6 4 to 1 9 9 7. Brown et al.
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Plants are an important part of the cycle that maintains a healthy atmosphere. When animals breathe, they take oxygen out of the air to oxygenate their blood and digest food for energy. They exhale air with higher levels of carbon dioxide, releasing excess carbon from metabolic processes. For plants, it is the opposite process. Plants absorb carbon dioxide and release purified oxygen into the air. Plants use the carbon from the air to combine with minerals gathered by the roots. Many millions of years ago, earth's atmosphere had much more carbon in it and the planet was much hotter.
Coral reefs and forests gradually removed billions of tons of carbon from the air as they grew. Huge ancient forests were fossilized and stored this atmospheric carbon for millions of years as coal, natural gas, and oil, gradually reducing the concentrations of carbon in the atmosphere. That is, until humanity started to liberate ancient carbon by burning coal, oil, and natural gas. Each gallon of gasoline burned releases about Only 5. Burning fossil fuels also releases nitrous oxides and sulfur dioxide, which combine with water moisture in clouds to form acid rains that damage ecosystems.
Each year, we release more than 6 billion tons of ancient stored carbon into the atmosphere by burning fossil fuels see Figure Water vapor is a major greenhouse gas that becomes even more significant as warming continues. As the atmosphere warms, it holds more water vapor at cooler temperatures water vapor condenses into clouds and precipitation.
Increased water vapor may become an important factor in system feedback: As the earth warms, the atmosphere holds more evaporated water, which contributes to further warming. What does all this mean? In November , 2, leading climate scientists announced that the planet is warming because all the emissions from coal and oil burning are trapping in more of the sun's heat than is normal for our climate.
Even if that warming is not yet obvious, they warned, it is already generating bizarre and extreme Among the other greenhouse gases, some are naturally occurring, like methane swamp gas. Some were invented by human beings and are totally new to the planet, like the infamous CFCs commonly known as freon , which have a greenhouse potential 4, to 8, times as high as carbon dioxide. Since they are present in much smaller concentrations than carbon dioxide, their greenhouse impact is much less. Methane's greenhouse contribution is second only to carbon dioxide.
Even though it is present in far lower concentrations than carbon dioxide, methane is 22 times more effective at trapping heat than an equal amount of carbon dioxide. Decomposition of landfill wastes, coal mining, digestive gases from domestic animals, and the burning of fossil fuels all release methane gases into the atmosphere. This new period of less stable climate we have entered, the scientists wrote, "is likely to cause widespread economic, social and environmental dislocation. Ross documents the media campaign that has been successfully waged against the fear of global warming.
This campaign is well-funded by the oil and coal industries, which have spent many millions of dollars to persuade Americans that global warming isn't happening, that it is just some environmental hoopla. The opposing views of a well-funded minority of scientists, financially supported by members of the fossil fuel industry, get plenty of press. They do not deny the possible effects of greenhouse gases, but state that the. On the other hand, due to feedback effects that are not fully understood, things could be a lot worse than most scientists project.
Rowland, on his research into the ozone-eating capacity of the chlorine molecule McKibben , 41 When the initial scientific discovery of ozone depletion was announced, scientists were very skeptical of the results and were sure that things could not be as bad as preliminary findings indicated. They were wrong. Michael McElroy, chair of Harvard University's earth and planetary sciences department, explained, "When researchers finally conducted actual ozone measurements in the atmosphere, their findings were far worse than the worst case scenarios of the models Just because a situation is uncertain does not imply that the underlying reality is benign" Gelbspan , Almost everyone has heard that the earth's ozone layer is thinning and has developed holes.
What is ozone and why is it important to the planet? Ozone is a molecule made up of three atoms of oxygen, instead of the usual two. At ground level, ozone is very unstable and highly reactive. As it reacts with other substances, ozone's third oxygen atom splits off to oxidize whatever it reacts with, leaving behind an ordinary oxygen molecule instead of ozone. In the upper atmosphere, ozone normally forms a stable, self-regenerating layer that plays a critical part in shielding out harmful concentrations of ultraviolet radiation.
Ultraviolet radiation is the part of sunlight that causes sunburn and contributes to skin cancers. Most earthly plant and animal life developed under this umbrella of ozone and, as a result, cannot live without the shielding effects of the ozone layer. Manufactured compounds—especially CFCs freon —have been implicated in the destruction of atmospheric ozone. CFCs are normally very stable, lasting 50 to years before finally breaking down.
Unfortunately, CFCs are lighter than air and slowly migrate into the upper atmosphere, where highenergy rays from the sun blow them apart, liberating a chlorine atom into the ozone layer. Each free atom of chlorine acts as a catalyst, breaking up thousands of ozone molecules before finally reacting with something else, which removes it from circulation. In addition to CFCs, each new launch of America's space shuttle delivers tons of chlorine molecules from burned rocket fuel directly to the upper atmosphere, where they eat away at the planet's ozone shield.
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Because of the long lifetime of the CFC molecules in the lower atmosphere, the ozone destruction effects are somewhat cumulative. The good news is that CFC concentrations in the lower atmosphere are gradually decreasing. This is one example of mankind acknowledging a true environmental crisis and taking positive unified international action to remedy the situation. The Montreal Protocol of introduced international guidelines to control the worldwide phase-out of the production of CFCs. Even though their concentration in the lower atmosphere is now diminishing, they are expected to generate dangerously low concentrations of ozone in the upper atmosphere for roughly the next 50 years and will continue to affect ozone concentrations for at least the next century.
For a more complete yet highly informative and understandable description of the ozone problem, its reactions and chemistry, see Bill McKibben's The End of Nature. Since the ozone-eating effects of CFCs and other similar compounds are accelerated at cold temperatures, ozone holes or thinning tends to occur over the poles during winter. Antarctica, with its huge landmass and the coldest temperatures on the planet, generally loses more ozone than the North Pole region.
Winds can carry these "holes" away from polar regions. Currently, the ozone depletion over the continent of Australia can be so bad that it is now against Australian law to send children to school without a hat. The Australian government issues constant warnings about the dangers of being outside without the protection of heavy-duty sunscreens. The incidence of skin cancer in Australia has exploded, and many surfers lament about how rapidly they sunburn now compared to earlier decades. Ozone and Plankton Unfortunately, applying a little sunscreen does not solve the ozone problem.
The outer few layers of human skin filter out most ultraviolet light, but not all of the earth's vital organisms have the protection offered by a multiceli thickness of skin. The ocean's phytoplankton are a critical part of the food chain and play a key role in the global carbon cycle.
Phytoplankton are mostly single-celled algae that do not have a skin to filter out UV rays. The most productive phytoplankton live in the top layers of the ocean, where they receive the most sunlight. Even with the screening effects of the water, these plankton cannot handle a full shot of UV radiation. Phytoplankton are most prevalent in the nutrient-rich colder ocean waters of the far north and south.
Grey whales have their babies in the warm waters off Baja and Hawaii, but travel thousands of miles to the north each year to feed in the Arctic waters on millions of tons of krill, which in turn feed on the abundant plankton. These whales essentially fast for several months of the year, while traveling and giving birth in warmer waters. Like the whales, most of the other sea animals also feed on a food chain based on plankton as the bottom rung.
Like all plants, phytoplankton take carbon out of the environment. If they die, there goes much of the food provided by the ocean as well as a major hedge against an increase in greenhouse gases. The polar ice caps affect the balance of the earth's system in at least two major ways. They store huge amounts of water, and they act as giant reflectors, reflecting the sun's radiation back into space.
Archaeological records indicate that the earth's oceans were feet lower during the last ice age than they are now. If significant portions of the polar ice caps were to melt, not only would the oceans rise but the earth would probably warm even more due to increased absorption and decreased reflection of the sun's rays from the polar regions—another potential feedback loop with consequences of unknown magnitude! In February , my family was shaken out of bed by a 5.
Certainly this drives home the. The melting of polar ice caps and rapid shrinking of most of the earth's glaciers is not a far-off future event. It is happening now. Rodolfo del Valle, an Argentine research scientist. Most Americans think earthquakes are only a problem in California and possibly Alaska, but that isn't necessarily the case.
Remember, earthquake predic-. Living in an area that is not known for earthquakes does not mean you won't ever experience a major earthquake. What it means is that you have a smaller chance of experiencing one. It is a little-known fact that the largest earthquakes on record in the United States did not happen in California but along the Mississippi River in New Madrid, Missouri, in late and early The quakes were so powerful that they shook down chimneys miles away in Cincinnati and changed the course of the Mississippi River for more than miles.
Earthquake prediction is based on the study of past earthquake patterns. It generates statistics about the probability of an earthquake within a certain magnitude range occurring in a specified region over a specified period of time. And we think weather forecasters have a hard time being accurate! Could California fall into the ocean? It is highly unlikely that a quake could accomplish this feat, but it is both likely and probable that California will be struck by violent quakes in the not-too-distant future. It is simply a question of when and how severe they will be.
At no time in recorded history, however, has a physical earth change occurred on the magnitude of California falling into the ocean. There are tales of such disasters, such as the great flood, handed down in the biblical story of Noah and the older epic of Gilgamesh. If disasters on this order of magnitude have already occurred, they may have wiped out civilizations, leaving only legends, like the stories of the fabled lost continent of Atlantis.
Increasing volcanic activity in the Pacific Rim of Fire is one potential sign that the earth is "waking up" from a period of relative calm into a more geologically active period that will bring both earthquakes and volcanic eruptions. Unlike major earthquakes, volcanic eruptions are apt to give distinct warnings, provided the volcano is carefully monitored.
I watched a documentary program on the eruption of dual volcanoes outside the city of Rabaul, the one-time capital of Pau Pau, New Guinea. The first part of the program showed a beautiful tropical island paradise. The islanders had all been evacuated following weeks of increasingly strong and closely spaced earthquakes. Three days later, when the island's two volcanic peaks erupted, cameramen were on location to film the eruption. The film footage captured its violence: plumes of smoke and ash extended miles into the sky from peaks on both sides of the city's bay.
Footage of the island, one year after the eruption, looked like film clips from a science fiction movie about the end of the world. An eerie moonlike landscape had replaced the lush, green, tropical paradise. A few old jalopies were seen moving along tracks in the volcanic dust. The stripped remains of palm trees and old buildings dotted the landscape of rolling mounds of ash. According to a geologist quoted in the documentary, California's Long Valley, located near Mammoth Mountain ski resort, is also a caldera and exhibits the signs of increasing seismic activity that this island had shown a few years before the eruption.
Although there is no reason to panic, I suggest that it is reasonable to consider and create a plan for the possibility of a significant earthquake happening in your neighborhood, even if you don't live in an area that is prone to earthquakes. And if you live in an area like the Pacific Coast, where significant volcanic eruptions and earthquakes are a real possibility, you should plan accordingly.
Only a few places will be safe, and it will be the end of modern society as we know it. The last of these cataclysms is considered to be the greatfloodas recorded in the Bible and the epic of Gilgamesh. Prophecies of many different tribes speak of a time when indigenous peoples will unite with white men who are "Indians in their heart" to revitalize the planet. In contrast to the deterministic view of a fixed future, there is the belief that the individual and collective actions of humankind are what determine our future. Most seers and visionaries, such as Edgar Cayce and Rolling Thunder, have stated that the future is constantly in a state offluxand that the collective consciousness of the planet has a powerful influence on the timing and magnitude of major future events.
Depending on your viewpoint, you might say that this is either the excuse or reason for the inaccuracy of the dates and magnitude of many psychic predictions. The following biblical selection indicates that even biblical prophecy is not cast in stone:. Quite a number of widely believed gloom-and-doom prophecies have never come to pass.
Before the year A. In the s, numerous Plains tribal members believed that their participation in the Ghost Dance would guarantee their survival and deliver them from the white man. Most Native American tribes have recorded prophecies and visions of a coming time of tribulation and cleansing of the planet, followed by a return to a long period of peace and harmony. A Hopi prophecy spoke of a "gourd of ashes, making the rivers boil and the fish turn up on their bellies" dropped upon the earth nuclear bombs? Hopi elders have addressed the United Nations General Assembly with their concerns.
According to their legends, we are nearing the end of the "fourth world. The sparing of the people of Nineveh indicates a biblical precedent for the belief in humankind's potential to change the course of the future. Some modern prophets are not so sanguine.
Thorn Hartmann, in The Prophet's Way, describes a chilling vision of the earth that he experienced upon waking from a sound sleep: In the air a few feet in front of me, a globe materialized, slowly spinning. The clouds turned a death-like yellow-gray, and the waters no longer sparkled blue but were a dull and putrid green-brown. A thought came into my mind as if a voice were speaking to me: "The Earth is a living thing.
It is infected. It jerked to one side, as if the spin were changing, and the blackened areas split open. The Earth shuddered again, and the black areas cracked and shattered into fragments, falling off into the air around the image and vanishing. The Earth was once again clear and clean, spinning gracefully, displaying oceans the color of lapis lazuli and land richly covered with green. The voice in my mind said, "The Earth has healed itself. I flipped it open to a random page toward the end and my eyes looked down at the words of the Book of Revelation :. Hartmann interpreted this vision as a warning Every major change, he believes, is "preceded by signs and markers.
We must do what we can. At night we must go to sleep knowing that we have done our best, and there is no more you can do than. I sincerely believe that there are solutions with positive outcomes for our planet. It is my hope that, as a race, we will develop the vision and commitment needed to find and implement these solutions. When societies are highly motivated, they can marshal giant forces to accomplish great things. The threat of Hitler motivated the world to rise up in unison against his efforts at world domination. If we could put humans on the moon, build the Panama Canal, and rebuild Europe after WWII, why can't we unite to create a viable planetary culture?
We can all take actions both to prepare for the future and to influence future outcomes. Martin Luther, the founder of the Protestant movement, was quoted as saying, "If I knew that the world was going to end tomorrow, I would still plant my apple tree today. A friend of mine once described insanity as "doing the same thing over and over again and expecting a different result.
As a race, we continue to do the same thing, over and over again, refusing to take seriously the results of past actions. It is clear that new and different actions must be taken on personal, communal, and global levels if we wish to provide a positive future for ourselves, our children, and our children's children. One might compare humanity's treatment of our planet to long-term alcoholics' treatment of their bodies.
At first, drinking is fun. They might suffer from the occasional hangover, but they are young and their bodies can take it. As time passes, the detrimental effects of years of heavy drinking creep up on them. Their faces age prematurely and they are often sick. Denial is their way of life.
One day, the alcoholic awakes in a. What does the alcoholic do? Does he listen to the wake-up call and finally motivate himself to positive action? What will the people of our world collectively choose for our future? Will we choose denial right up to the point where we are on our planetary deathbed? As with alcoholism, positive action to change the present situation is accomplished in steps.
The first step is to align our thinking with our goal—to emerge from denial and educate ourselves about the current global situation and prospects for the future. Our thinking needs to reflect personal empowerment, the realization that each of us is as powerful as the most powerful human being on this planet. We all have and can use our birthright of conscious awareness and free will. Each of us can make a difference. Our thinking also needs to reflect interconnectedness. Seeing all life as interconnected and sacred helps to dissipate greed—the urge to use, exploit, control, and dominate.
Directly experiencing nature—taking walks, camping, or hiking—helps to develop the sense of connection and reverence. Once our thinking is totally clear, we can act with conviction. Conscientiously conserving, recycling, and reusing resources and products will help to slow the process of planetary degradation. There is a sort of consumption "food chain," where some savings have far more positive impact than others. Consuming fewer goods and improving up-front process efficiencies have the most impact. Reusing goods has a middle impact. Recycling is a relatively easy and painless thing to do, requiring minimal changes in our consumer-oriented lifestyle, and it is usually better than throwing away.
However, recycling has the least positive impact of the three options since it is at the tail end of the consumption "food chain" and it takes additional energy and resources to recycle. Planet-friendly diet. Health and environmental impacts from the agribusiness production of meat range from massive destruction of rain forests for cattle grazing to methane pollution and the consumption of huge amounts of pesticides, oil, fertilizer, water, vegetable protein, and topsoil. Eating less meat benefits the planet.
Reaching out to like-minded people, to friends, neighbors, and colleagues can generate momentum for change. Great changes begin at the small, personal level before they can branch out to affect the wider world. Political action. We can join forces with others to promote recycling, clean air, and water, and the preservation of woodlands, wetlands, and forests. We can push for tax reforms and regulations that support planet-friendly practices and eliminate subsidies for businesses that "spend" our natural resources or otherwise hurt the environment.
Individually we make a statement by doing business only with planetfriendly companies and voting for candidates with a good environmental record. Personal independence and self-sufficiency. Developing self-sufficient living skills helps us prepare for the uncertainties of the future. Self-sufficient communities. There is a growing movement to create small communities based on principles of self-sufficiency and cooperation.
On the micro level, we are primarily concerned with planning for personal survival and the survival of our immediate families. This kind of planning involves evaluating local environmental hazards and storing emergency supplies and provisions to deal with these hazards. Does your area have the potential for hurricanes, tornadoes, or earthquakes? For the longer term, micro planning might include growing your own food and becoming energy self-sufficient. A middle level of planning extends your vision to the community. By banding together with likeminded people, an entirely self-sufficient community might be formed, or perhaps simply a network that.
There is strength in both the numbers and the diversity of abilities and resources that a community provides. The macro level encompasses a more global view. You may think that humanity is not capable of changing its current direction, that human beings have always been selfish and greedy and will never change. The historical record, however, shows us major shifts and changes. Think about it. What happened to slavery, cannibalism, and even human sacrifice? Once common in many parts of the world, they now exist as isolated cases of aberrant behavior.
It takes time for a conscious idea to grow to the point where it gains momentum. Sometimes an idea appears to avalanche through the universe, miraculously leaping across oceans and boundaries. This type of event, referred to as "remote shared learning," or "the hundredth monkey phenomenon," has shattered some traditional scientific concepts. The monkeys liked the sweet potatoes and tolerated the sand that clung to the outside. One day, a bright month-old female monkey named Imo figured out that she could wash the potatoes in the ocean to remove the gritty sand. She gradually taught this brand-new idea and behavior to other monkeys in their group.
By , all the young monkeys on the island were washing their potatoes, but only a few of the adults had managed to learn this behavior. Something startling was observed in the autumn of Suddenly, essentially all of the monkeys in this tribe were observed washing their potatoes, including the older ones who for years hadn't caught on to the behavior of the younger monkeys. Not only did the older monkeys on the island of Koshima start to wash their potatoes, but scientists observed that colonies of monkeys on the other islands and the mainland of Takasakiyama also started to wash their food in the ocean Keyes , It was proposed that when the knowledge was limited to a few monkeys, the behavior was passed on by observation and learning.
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But when a significant number of monkeys had learned this behavior—for the sake of simplicity they called it monkeys—it appeared that some critical mass of consciousness had been reached. The new awareness was transmitted mind to mind within the species without being limited by the physical parameters of time and space. The phenomenon of remote shared learning, or the hundredth monkey phenomenon, has also been demonstrated in a number of studies involving learned behavior in laboratory rats. This phenomenon gives evidence of our interconnectedness and lends credence to the belief that positive changes in human consciousness—species wide learning—can occur once a critical mass is reached.
A famous example of remote shared learning concerned the opening of milk bottles by wild birds in England. For nearly a hundred years, milk bottles had been left undisturbed at homeowners' doors. In it was recorded that a small bird had been seen opening the cardboard tops of milk bottles in Southampton, England. The first species of bird observed opening milk bottles was the blue tit. By , eleven different species of birds had begun opening milk bottles and this activity had spread to 89 English cities.
Then the most amazing thing happened. Blue tits in Sweden, Denmark, and Holland began attacking milk bottles. The behavior had leapt across borders and the ocean at a rate far too fast to have been passed from bird to bird as a learned behavior Hartmann , An equally famous example concerns a species of Japanese monkeys, Macaca Fuscata. In , scientists studying the behavior of these monkeys on the. According to my tradition, from the beginning of creation, every morning, when the sun comes up, we are each given four tasks by our Creator for that day.
First, I must learn at least one meaningful thing today. Second, I must teach at least one meaningful thing to another person. Third, I must do something for some. And, fourth, I must treat all living things with respect. This spreads these things throughout the world. Effective-Action The significant problems we face cannot be solved at the same level of thinking we were at when we created them. The hundredth monkey phenomenon offers hope that if enough people change their thinking and their actions, the world will follow suit. But, actions alone are not enough.
They must be effective actions. Stephen Covey, author of The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People, is one of the world's most popular business consultants, nonfiction authors, and inspirational speakers. Studying many of the most successful people on the planet, he has formulated their "habits" of success into simple principles that everyone, in all walks of life, can apply in their own lives. The first three habits for success form the foundation that the other habits rest upon.
Habit number one is to be "proactive" rather than "reactive. A proactive person may not always like her outer circumstances but knows that she can consciously choose her response. Covey cites the example of Victor Frankl, who survived several years of confinement in a Nazi concentration camp, which took the lives of almost all of his family.
In the midst of torture and physical degradation, Frankl realized that he had no control over what the guards did to his body, but that he did have control over his inner being and mind. No one. Through mental exercises, imagination, and discipline, he developed his internal power and became an inspiration to others, including some of the Nazi guards. Reactive people, on the other hand, are more like leaves blowing in the wind. They are often found in the role of victim or are alwaysfightingfiresin their personal life and at work. Proactive people try to plan ahead to avoid the fire.
Habit number two is to "begin with the end in mind. Builders must start with a vision in their minds of the building they wish to build. Next, they draw up the plans, typically modifying them a bit here and there. Finally, they build the structure, usually incorporating a few more changes into the process. To successfully navigate our future, it takes vision on all three levels, the micro, middle, and macro levels. Without a vision of the kind of world we hope to create in our future, we cannot plan an appropriate course of action to get us there. Habit number three is to "put first things first.
To be effective, we must devote significant chunks of time to our highest priorities and focus on one thing at a time to avoid becoming scattered and ineffective. This seems so obvious, yet can we honestly claim that we—or our leaders and governments—stick to this habit? Perhaps someday soon we will put our best minds and resources to good use for the benefit of all humanity. Most of us would do everything in our power to help one of our children battle a life-threatening illness. Can we not band together to do the same for our planet? Mother Theresa once said, "We cannot do great things, only small things with great love.
The time and place to start is now and with yourself. Remember, the journey of a thousand miles begins with the first step. It provides us clear insights about how we got to where we are and how we might influence where we are headed. It also offers great ideas and inspiration for finding our way to a positive, better future for our world.
Hunter Lovins. I wish Natural Capitalism were required reading for all engineers, businesspeople, and politicians. This book provides a blueprint for a worldwide business revolution that could go a long way toward providing a sustainable future for our children.
Natural Capitalism explores changes that could reduce our current use of resources the "natural capital" of the planet by factors on the order of 10 to 1, without reducing our standard of living, by applying existing technologies and redirecting the way we do business. A rational, well-documented book with many case examples, it was written by three well-respected members of the ecological movement, including founders of the Rocky Mountain Institute.
This book renews our sense of the possible and expands the dimensions of our collective intelligence, transforming our sense of the future from a curse to a blessing. This author takes a realistic look at where we are heading which does not look good and sees it as a wonderful challenge for mankind to wake up and do something really meaningful and worthwhile.
In Greek mythology, the god Apollo fell in love with Cassandra, bestowing upon her the gift of prophecy. When Cassandra did not return Apollo's love, he revenged himself by cursing Cassandra such that she would see misfortune before it came, but no one would heed her warnings. In spite of her clear vision and best efforts, all of her warnings were in vain. AtKisson sees the salvation of this world in focusing our attention on current Cassandra-like warnings and awakening to action to prevent ecological suicide from becoming our reality.
He challenges us to take the bull by the horns and truly transform our planet by accepting a sustainable future as the only viable option. Meadows, Dennis L. Published by Chelsea Green Publishing Co. Beyond the Limits shows us where we are headed and explores alternatives to change the course from collapse to sustainability.
Wilderness to urban and suburban survival primer
State of the World by Lester R. Brown, Christopher Flavin, and Hillary French. Published by W. Worldwatch Institute comes out with a new edition of their excellent State of the World every year. State of the World summarizes current trends and includes several excellent informative chapters, contributed by different Worldwatch staff members and guest authors, on topics concerning the state and future of the world. Fascinating and highly recommended! Brown, Michael Renner, and Brian Halweil. Each year Worldwatch Institute also releases a new volume of its Vital Signs series, which documents global trends in a broad variety of areas.
Vital Signs provides an excellent bird's-eye view of the state of the world via numerous brief articles on current trends and findings. Articles are heavily supported. Highly recommended! As environmentally concerned consumers, many times we are faced with the choice of products and actions that may or may not make a difference in environmental impact. Ever wonder if choosing paper or plastic bags really makes a difference?
What about cloth versus disposable diapers? These people have a lot more time and resources than you or I to determine the relative environmental impacts of a huge array of consumer habits and choices. Get this book to help you make informed decisions about your everyday habits and major purchases. Frightening, sobering, and illuminating. For those of you who are interested in nitty gritty details, scientific references, and the facts about this No. Published by Petroconsultants S.
Written by one of the world's foremost authorities on world oil resources, this book is a powerful awakening to the very real probability that we shall soon see an oil crisis of a magnitude and permanence that has never been seen before. The author, Dr. Colin J. Campbell, has been involved in all phases of worldwide oil exploration and management. He offers a clear, well-documented explanation of the basic geology of oil and why production is likely to decline sharply in the not-too-distant future. I suggest that you get this book to educate yourself about coming events that will severely affect our society.
Brown, Christopher Flavin, and Sandra Postel. Published by WW. The authors have assembled an excellent work on turning business-as-usual in new, sustainable directions. It is good companion reading with Natural Capitalism, though not quite as current. Reusing is a major step above recycling in the ecology efficiency "food chain. A sobering look at the world's water usage and growing irrigation crisis, Pillar of Sand points the way toward conservation efforts aimed at protecting rivers and vital ecosystems as we work to feed a projected world population of over 8 billion people by the year The End of Nature may convert you, or it may infuriate you.
But the world will never look the same to you after you've read it. Since it was written in , there is mounting evidence to support the real and present dangers of global warming and other major environmental threats. Published by H. Kramer Inc. This is a very powerful, engrossing, and eloquent book about the staggering social, ethical, environmental and health impacts of eating meat. Until reading this book, most people me included have no idea of the magnitude of the hidden costs for supporting a heavy meat diet.
This book has converted many people to vegetarianism who had not previously given it much thought. Published by New Society Publishers, P. Robert Theobald has been on the leading edge of fundamental change issues throughout his year. This provocative book urges us to redefine the current definitions of economic and political success that we might stem the tide of increasing consumption and move towards a sustainable future before it is too late. A Native American healer, teacher, and activist, Rolling Thunder is known to millions of people all over the world.
Rolling Thunder Speaks is a major legacy of his extraordinary life and the summation of his teachings in his own words. This is not as much a "how to" book as it is a book about Native American philosophy, spirituality, and living in harmony with the planet. It delves into sustainable living, visions of the future, healing with medicinal plants, and an earth-honoring spiritual message.
One Air One Mother Earth, by Corbin Harney. Published by Blue Dolphin Publishing, Inc. Box , Nevada City, CA Corbin Harney, the spiritual leader of the Western Shoshone Nation, writes about the future of our world and how we must care for it. He felt obliged by Spirit to become politically active to try to influence people to honor our planet before it is too late.
I recommend this book wholeheartedly. This is one of the better books on Indian prophecies, written by a well-known Indian healer and spiritual leader. Published by A. Press, 67th St. In the early s Edgar Cayce, the famous American psychic, predicted the stock market crash of , the devastation of WWII, and numerous accelerating earth changes that would lead to a shift of the earth's poles sometime around the new millennium.
Geologist William Hutton compares predictions in the Cayce psychic readings with the latest geophysical research findings, and points to patterns predicted by Cayce, as early as the s, which appear to be coming true. An interesting look at biblical prophecies, the prophecies of Nostradamus and Edgar Cayce, and the visions of Mother Mary. For a more traditional gloom-and-doom look at biblical prophecy, consider one of Hal Lindsey's books. This volume is a giant collection of predictions for what may be in store for humankind in the year and beyond.
Beginning some 8, years B. W, Washington, D. The web site contains lots of information and links to other informative sites. Check out WI's books and web site for some accurate and enlightening information on the state of the world. WI is dedicated to fostering the evolution of an environmentally sustainable society—one in which human needs are met in ways that do not threaten the health of the natural environment or the prospects of future generations.
The Institute seeks to achieve this goal through the conduct of interdisciplinary nonpartisan research on emerging global environmental issues, the results of which are widely disseminated throughout the world. Rocky Mountain Institute is a nonprofit research and educational foundation with a vision across boundaries. Its mission is to foster the efficient and sustainable use of resources as a path to global security. The Institute creates, and helps individuals and private sector businesses to practice, new solutions to old problems—mainly by harnessing the problem-solving power of market economics and of advanced techniques for resource efficiency.
These people are real movers and shakers in the movement to create a sustainable future for our planet. UCS is an independent nonprofit alliance of 50, concerned citizens and scientists across the country. They augment rigorous scientific analysis with innovative thinking and committed citizen advocacy to build a cleaner, healthier environment and a safer world. Search their web site for numerous welldocumented articles on environmental topics, including global warming. They publish a quarterly journal and unite scientists, engineers, and citizens as a positive political force for change.
The World Resources Institute's mission is to move human society to live in ways that protect the earth's environment and its capacity to provide for the needs and aspirations of current and future generations. This is one of the oldest and most popular organizations devoted to environmental education, awareness, and activism. Their web site search engine offers access to a tremendous volume of archived environmental information plus a multitude of links to other related sites.
EarthSave promotes environmental well-being and improved human health through positive food choices.
It raises awareness of the vast ecological destruction resulting from the unsustainable production of animal foods, promoting instead a delicious planet-friendly diet. The Forum advocates equitable, democratic, and ecologically sustainable economics. It was formed in response to the current worldwide drive toward a globalized economic system dominated by supranational corporate trade and banking institutions that are not accountable to democratic processes or national governments. These current trends toward globalization are neither historically inevitable nor desirable.
The goal of the IFG is twofold: expose the multiple effects of economic globalization in order to stimulate debate, and seek to reverse the globalization process by encouraging ideas and activities that revitalize local economies and communities and ensure long-term ecological stability. Alternative Energy Institute, Inc. Box , Tahoe City, CA ; phone: ; fax: ; web site: www. The Institute was organized to educate the public about the impending nonrenewable energy crisis, the search for solutions, and to improve the climate for development of new energy technologies.
They are a group of concerned people who believe solutions can be found when people are aware of the problems facing the world. They are focused on finding solutions and encouraging both citizens and public entities to act responsibly for the planet's future. Check out their web site for many informative reports and articles on world energy usage, coal, gas, oil, solar, current trends, new energy technologies, and so forth.
This is an excellent source for information and green links to other sites. Sign up for their informative Alternative Energy web-based newsletter it's free, and it is very good! It would be foolish to assume that there will not be significant disruptions in the supply of electricity to your local grid at some time in the not-too-distant future.
Remember, when electricity stops flowing, furnaces, cash registers, gasoline pumps, phones, and air conditioners all stop working, except for the rare facilities that are hooked up to a backup source of power. Without gas and electricity, most municipal water treatment and waste removal systems will soon shut down and emergency medical services are usually severely limited.
If temperatures are well below freezing, without a backup source of heat or winterized plumbing , toilet bowls and pipes can start to freeze and burst within a day or two after the power goes out. Disturbances such as floods, earthquakes, major storms, or terrorist acts may disrupt the distribution of electricity, food, fuel, goods, and services for significant periods of time. In , a severe ice storm in the northeast knocked out power for periods ranging from three days to several weeks, and many of the survivors of lapan's Kobe quake did not receive food or potable water until a week after the quake.
If a major hurricane or other natural disaster such as a severe earthquake were to strike your community, would you be well prepared? Before the magnitude 6. Japan's freeways and buildings are theoretically designed to handle much stronger quakes than the one that struck Kobe, yet most of Kobe's downtown freeways and tall buildings either fell down during the quake or had to be torn down afterwards because of structural damage.
This disaster was a harsh blow for hundreds of thousands of survivors who lost friends, family members, and most of their possessions. How well would you fare if you could not purchase any food, water, or gasoline for one week? What about a month or longer? No one really knows what the future will bring.
You can't plan for all possible scenarios, but a wise person plans for several of the most likely possibilities, and stores at least a few basic supplies for emergencies. This chapter helps readers to evaluate their own particular needs and goals, and offers guidance on planning for both short-term and long-term situations.
Have I taken precautions to protect my home? How many people do I wish to store supplies for? What about my friends, neighbors, or relatives? Do I have pets that I wish to feed and care for? Do I have small children or infants with special needs? Do I require prescription medications or are there any addictions I wish to provide for if distribution systems go down for a period of time?
Everyone should have enough food, water, and other emergency supplies to last for at least three days 72hour emergency kits , and preferably one to two weeks. I suggest making these preparations as soon as possible. It is hard to focus on this task when skies are blue and nothing is threatening, but it is usually too late once a disaster strikes or is close at hand.
When the tourists come to our town in the High Sierras, just the threat of a major winter storm is enough to send swarms of people to the local supermarkets, where they stock up on food. Once the highway over Donner Summit closes to trucks for one or two days, local market shelves are quickly stripped bare. Place hour emergency survival kits in your cars and convenient "grab kits" in your home.
Determine a local meeting place with a large open area, such as a park or school, where your household can gather if you are separated and do not have access to your home during emergencies. Make sure that all capable members of your family know how and where to shut off the water, gas, and electricity for your home in the event of an emergency.
Stash spare keys to your vehicles somewhere on each vehicle and place an additional supply. Store at least one week's supply of food for your household. Store a combination of water, water treatment chemicals, and water-purifying filters to provide for your household for at least a week see Chapter 5, Water, for more information on filters and purification. Keep a survival manual in each car with your hour kit. Get proper first aid and CPR training for all capable members of your family.
See the American Red Cross for first aid training and assistance with local emergency planning. Arrange for an out-of-state emergency contact to reach for coordination and communication. After an emergency, it may be easier to call long distance than locally, or your family may be separated and need an outside contact to communicate through. Locate your nearest emergency shelter call your local Red Cross for this information. Practice the route to the shelter, if it's not conveniently located. Make sure that you have smoke detectors in your home.
Change their batteries at least once each year. Store your important papers in one easily accessible location, preferably in a waterproof and flameproof box. Discuss your emergency preparedness plans with all members of your household. Keep the discussion light and positive. Please note that three days is a minimal time period and that you should have at least one or two weeks' supply of food stored in or around your home.
You may purchase ready-made hour kits from various survival supply outlets, or you can put together your own. Large families should probably divide up. One advantage to building your own kits is that you get to choose foods that you like. Remember that all foods have some kind of shelf life. Rotate stores and use them or lose them! Bug infested, rancid, or rotten food doesn't do anyone any good. Enough to provide one gallon per person per day see Chapter 5. Retort foil pouches can handle freezing in a car trunk, but most other water containers can't handle freezing without the potential for bursting.