Earth In The Balance: Ecology And The Human Spirit
Reader Part II The Search For Balance
For part of the explanation we must look to politics. Too often, politics and politicians have not served us well on environmental issues, but there is also a fundamental problem with the political system itself. Aside from its uninspired response to the environmental crisis, our political system itself has now been exploited, manhandled, and abused to the point that we are no longer making consistently intelligent choices about our course as a nation.
-- Self-Stewardship, page 167
Increasingly, we concentrate on form to the exclusion of substance. And since the substance of politics is hard choices, it is precisely the hard choices that are excluded wherever possible. They are hidden, neglected, postponed, and ignored. And the voters are distracted with all manner of clever and extremely powerful manufactured messages. Means become ends. Tactics prevail over principles. Too often, principles themselves become tactics, to be changed as the circumstances warrant.
-- Self-Stewardship, page 168
“Get it while you can; forget about the future” has been enshrined as the political ethic of the age. It is not so much the easy lies we tell each other as the hard truths that are never told at all. It has become too easy for those of us in public office to evade responsibility for the tough decisions that ought to be made but are instead ignored. As a result, there is astonishing irresponsibility in the face of grave and unprecedented crisis – both in the White House and in the Congress. It isn’t just the environment. Look at the budget, where we’re borrowing a billion dollars every twenty-four hours and in the process endangering the future for our children, yet nobody is doing anything about it. Why not? Because genuine political dialogue has been almost completely replaced by high-stakes competition for the ever shorter attention span of the electorate. The future whispers while the present shouts. Somehow, we have convinced ourselves that we care far less about what happens to our children than about avoiding the inconvenience and discomfort of paying our own bills. So instead of accepting responsibility for our choices, we simply dump huge mountains of both debt and pollution on future generations.
-- Self-Stewardship, page 170
And as voters lose faith in the ability of their elected leaders to make a difference, they inevitably lose faith in their own ability to make a difference. At that point, it becomes clear to everyone that the political system is simply not working.
Often, when a process or machine is not working as intended, it is because we have not yet learned how to operate it. But in this case we resist that conclusion. After all, we Americans have been the architects and pioneers of self-government. How could our system fail us? What could be wrong?
-- Self-Stewardship, page 170
Government, as a tool used to achieve social and political organization, may be considered a technology, and in that sense self-government is one of the most sophisticated technologies ever crafted. Indeed, the language used by the framers of the Constitution suggests an acute awareness of the almost hydraulic forces operating in society; in a way, the Constitution is a blueprint for an ingenious machine that uses pressure valves and compensating forces to achieve a dynamic balance between the needs of the individual and the needs of the community, between freedom and order, between passions and principles. This “machine” is a daring and wonderfully effective invention, and it represents the most important political technologies – a point best illustrated by the fact that despite today’s dizzying pace of change, a document written more than two hundred years ago is still universally recognized as the world’s most forward-looking charter for self-government.
-- Self-Stewardship, page 171
Now that the human community has developed into a truly global civilization, we have a choice; either we search for the means to steer the changes shaping our new common history or we will be steered by them – randomly and chaotically. Either we move toward the light or we move toward the darkness.
-- Self-Stewardship, page 173
The American people often give their leaders permission to take action by signaling agreement in principle while reserving the right to object strenuously to each and every specific sacrifice necessary to follow through.
-- Self-Stewardship, page 173
Men and women who care must be politically empowered to demand and help effect remedies to ecological problems where they live.
-- Self-Stewardship, page 179
One of the most deadly threats to the stewardship of democracy is a lack of leadership. Indeed, even though the resiliency of self-government is contrasted with the brittleness of dictatorships that rely on a single “strong man,” democracy is actually extremely vulnerable to a lack of leadership. Especially in times of rapid change, the ability of leaders to provide vision and to catalyze appropriate responses to dangers is critical.
-- Self-Stewardship, page 181
However, just as our eyes fail to see all but a narrow portion of the light spectrum, our economics fails to see – let alone measure – the full value of major parts of our world. Indeed, what we do see and measure is a very thin band within the full spectrum of the costs and benefits resulting from our economic choices. And in both cases, what is out of sight is out of mind.
Eco-nomics: Truth of Consequences
Much of what we don’t see with our economics involves the accelerating destruction of the environment. Many popular textbooks on economic theory fail even to address subjects as basic to our economic choices as pollution or the depletion of natural resources. Although these issues have been studied by many micro-economists in specific business contexts, they have generally not been integrated into economic theory. “There is no point of contact between macroeconomics and the environment,” says the World Bank economist Herman Daly, a leading student of the problem.
-- Eco-nomics: Truth or Consequences, page 183
Just as our current system of economics makes absurd and unrealistic assumptions about the information actually available to real people in the real world, it insists upon equally absurd assumptions that natural resources are limitless “free goods.”
This assumption stems in part from the fact that the system of national income accounts was established by John Maynard Keynes before the end of the colonial era, during which supplies of natural resources did indeed seem limitless. In fact, it is not entirely coincidental that much of the worst environmental devastation today is taking place in countries that have emerged from the colonial status only in the last generation. Patterns of abusive exploitation of the environment have a momentum that is difficult to reverse – especially if the prevailing economic assumptions were set in place by those who were primarily interested in removing the natural resources from these countries.
-- Eco-nomics: Truth or Consequences, page 186
Our current system of economics arbitrarily draws a circle of value around those things in our civilization we have decided to keep track of and measure. Then we discover that one of the easiest ways to artificially increase the value of things inside the circle is to do so at the expense of those things left outside of the circle. And here too, a direct and perverse ration emerges: the more pollution dumped into the river, the higher the short-term profits for the polluter and his shareholders; the faster the rain forest is burned, the quicker more pasture becomes available for cattle and the faster they can be turned into hamburgers. Our failure to measure environmental externalities is a kind of economic blindness, and its consequences can be staggering.
-- Eco-nomics: Truth or Consequences, page 189
We Are What We Use
It is not a coincidence that we have a crisis in education coinciding with our surfeit of information. Education is the recycling of knowledge, but we find it easier to generate new facts than to conserve and use the knowledge we already have. So when faced with the problem of ignorance, we immediately create more and more information without seeming to realize that while it may be valuable, it is no substitute for knowledge – much less wisdom. Indeed, by generating raw data in much larger quantities than ever before, we have begun to interfere with the process by which information eventually becomes knowledge. When it is allowed to run its normal course, the process actually resembles fermentation: information is first distilled into knowledge, which is then – sometimes fermented into wisdom. Now, however, so much more information is collected each day than ever before that the slow process by which it is converted to knowledge has been overwhelmed by an avalanche of new data.
-- We Are What We Use, page 201
What gets less attention, however, is the fact that how we communicate information can change us as we use it. Information technology, like any technology, mediates our relationship to whatever we describe with it, because in the process of trying to capture the full meaning of a real phenomenon in a symbolic representation, we leave some features out and, by selective inclusion, distort the significance of others. Of necessity, we configure our minds to the contours of the symbolic representation. All information technologies – words chiseled in stone, beautiful manuscripts copied by monks, the printing press, satellite television, and computer graphics sent by optical fiber – have expanded our ability to understand the world around us. But these technologies have also created distinctive patterns of distortion and have thus changed the way our minds receive, remember, and understand the world.
-- We Are What We Use, page 202
Whenever any technology is used to mediate our experience of the world, we gain power but we also lose something in the process. The increased productivity of assembly lines in factories, for example, required many employees to repeat the identical task over and over until they lose any feeling of connection to the creative process – and with it their sense of purpose.
Something like this has happened in our relationship to nature. The more we rely on technology to mediate our relationship to nature, the more we encounter the same trade-off: we have more power to process what we need from nature more conveniently for more people, but the sense of awe and reverence that used to be present in our relationship to nature is often left behind. This is a primary reason that so many people now view the natural world merely as a collection of resources; indeed, to some people nature is like a giant data bank that they can manipulate at will. But the cost of such perceptions is high, and much of our success in rescuing the global ecological system will depend upon whether we can find a new reverence for the environment as a whole – not just its parts.
Too many of us, however, display a reverence only for information and analysis. The environmental crisis is a case in point: many refuse to take it seriously simply because they have supreme confidence in our ability to cope with any challenge by defining it, gathering reams of information about it, breaking it down into manageable parts, and finally solving it. But how can we possibly hope to accomplish such a task? The amount of information – and exformation – about the crisis is now so overwhelming that conventional approaches to problem-solving simply won’t work. Furthermore, we have encouraged our best thinkers to concentrate their talents not on understanding the whole but on analyzing smaller and smaller parts.
-- We Are What We Use, page 203
We have also fallen victim to a kind of technological hubris, which tempers us to believe that our new powers may be unlimited. We dare to imagine that we will find technological solutions for every technologically induced problem. It is as if civilization stands in awe of its own technological prowess, entranced by the wondrous and unfamiliar power it never dreamed would be accessible to mortal man. In a modern version of the Greek myth, our hubris tempts us to appropriate for ourselves – not from the gods but from science and technology – awesome powers and to demand from nature godlike privileges to indulge our Olympian appetite for more. Technological hubris tempts us to lose sight of our place in the natural order and believe that we can achieve what ever we want.
And, far too often, our fascination with technology displaces what used to be a fascination with the wonder of nature. Like the young child who think bread originates on a store shelf, we begin to forget that technology acts upon nature to meet our needs. As the population increases and our desire for higher rates of consumption continues to grow, we ask civilization for more of everything we want while ignoring the stress and strain tearing at the fabric of every natural system. Because we feel closer to the supermarket than to the wheatfield, we pay far more attention to the bright colors of the plastic in which the bread is wrapped than we do to the strip mining of the topsoil in which the wheat was grown. Thus, as we focus our attention more and more on using technological processes to meet our needs, we numb the ability to feel our connections to the natural world.
-- We Are What We Use, page 206
In order to change the destructive pattern of our current relationship to the environment, we have to develop a new understanding of technology’s role in magnifying the harmful effects of once-benign impulses and activities. In many cases the technologies themselves need to be changed. For example, it makes little sense to continue manufacturing cars and trucks that get twenty miles per gallon and pump nineteen pounds of CO2 into the atmosphere per gallon. And in fact we need to make a strategic decision to accelerate the development of new technologies, like solar electricity production, which have less harmful effects on the environment. But in every case, success will require careful attention to the way we relate through technology to the environment, and a much greater awareness of the profound effect any powerful technology can have on that relationship.
-- We Are What We Use, page 207
I have often wondered whether a similarly harmful reaction in the political culture of the United Sates might be caused by the coexistence of television and print technology as rival system for communicating – and in the process organizing – political thought. Frequently, people who read about an event or idea in the newspaper come away with wildly different impressions from those of people who watched the same event or idea on the evening news. Each medium tends to create its own way of thinking, and each tends to frustrate the other. In the process, the country as a whole seems unable to define our objectives, much less move coherently toward them.
-- We Are What We Use, page 210
But almost most of us take them for granted, our senses are actually quite limited in their ability to provide information about the world. Even as they give us our primary sense of what the world is like, they limit our experience, channeling it into patterns that reflect only the information they can receive and process. As a result, we begin to believe that the limited information we receive represents the entirety of what exists, so we are usually surprised to find that something invisible to us is in an important part of our world, especially if it poses a serious threat to which we must respond.
-- We Are What We Use, page 211
For the last few thousand years, Western civilization has emphasized a distinctly male way of relating to the world and has organized itself around philosophical structures that devalue the distinctly female approach to life. For example, as the scientific and technological revolution has picked up speed, we have seemed to place a good deal more emphasis on technologies that extend and magnify abilities – such as fighting wars – historically associated more with males than females. At the same time, new ways to reduce our scandalously high rate of infant mortality have received far less attention. Indeed, our approach to technology itself has been shaped by this same perspective: devices take precedence over systems, ways to dominate nature receive more attention than ways to work with nature. Ultimately, part of the solution for the environmental crisis may well lie in our ability to achieve a better balance between the sexes, leavening the dominant male perspective with a healthier respect for female ways of experiencing the world.
-- We Are What We Use, page 212
A civilization that has, like an adolescent, acquired new powers but not the maturity to use them wisely also runs the risk of an unrealistic sense of immortality and a dulled perception of serious danger. Likewise, our hope as a civilization may well lie in our potential for adjusting to a healthy sense of ourselves as a truly global civilization, one with a mature sense of responsibility for creating a new and generative relationship between ourselves and the earth.
-- We Are What We Use, page 213
Feelings represent the essential link between mind and body or, to put it another way, the link between our intellect and the physical world. Because modern civilization assumes a profound separation between the two, we have found it necessary to create an elaborate set of cultural rules designed to encourage the fullest expression of thought while simultaneously stifling the expression of feelings and emotions.
-- Dysfunctional Civilization, page 218
Insisting on the supremacy of the neocortex exacts a high price, because the unnatural task for a disembodied mind is to somehow ignore the intense psychic pain the comes from the constant nagging awareness of what is missing: the experience of living in one’s body as a fully integrated physical and mental being. Life confronts everyone with personal or circumstantial problems, of course, and there are many varieties of psychic pain from which we wish to escape. But the cleavage between mind and body, intellect and nature, has created a kind of psychic pain at the very root of the modern mind, making it harder for anyone who is suffering from other psychological wounds to be healed.
Indeed, it is not unreasonable to suppose that members of a civilization that allows or encourages this cleavage will be relatively more vulnerable to those mental disorders characterized by a skewed relationship between thinking and feeling. This notion may seem improbably, since we are not used to looking for the cause of psychological problems in the broad patterns of modern civilization. But it is quite common for epidemiologists to trace the cause of physical disorders to patterns adopted by societies that place extra stress on especially vulnerable individuals. Consider, for example, how the pattern of modern civilization almost certainly explains the epidemic level of high blood pressure in those countries – like the United States – that have a diet very high in sodium. Although the precise causal relationship is still a mystery, epidemiologists conclude that the nearly ubiquitous tendency of modern civilization to add lots of salt to the food supply is responsible for a very high background level of hypertension. In the remaining pre-industrial cultures where the food supply is not processes and sodium consumption is low. Hypertension is virtually unknown, and it is considered normal for an elderly man’s blood pressure to be the same as that of an infant. In our society, we assume that it is natural for blood pressure to increase with age.
-- Dysfunctional Civilization, page 219
The cleavage in the modern world between mind and body, man and nature, has created a new kind of addiction: I believe that our civilization is, in effect, addicted to the consumption of the earth itself. This addictive relationship distracts us from the pain of what we have lost: a direct experience of our connection to the vividness, vibrancy, and aliveness of the rest of the natural world. The froth and frenzy of industrial civilization mask our deep loneliness for that communication with the world that can lift our spirits and fill our sense with the richness and immediacy of life itself.
-- Dysfunctional Civilization, page 220
We seem increasingly eager to lose ourselves in the forms of culture, society, technology, the media, and the rituals of production and consumption, but the price we pay is the loss of our spiritual lives.
-- Dysfunctional Civilization, page 221
But the promise is always false because the hunger for authenticity remains. In a healthy, balanced life, the noisy chatter of our discourse with the artificial world of our creation may distract us from the deeper rhythms of life, but it does not interrupt them. In the pathology of addiction, this dialogue becomes more than a noisy diversion; as their lives move further out of balance, addicts invest increasing amounts of energy in their relationship to the objects of their addiction. And once addicts focus on false communion with substitutes for life, the rhythm of their dull and deadening routine becomes increasingly incompatible, discordant, and dissonant with the natural harmony that entrains the music of life. As the dissonance grows more violent and the clashes more frequent, peaks of disharmony become manifest in successive crises, each one more destructive than the last.
-- Dysfunctional Civilization, page 222
So too our relationship to the earth may never be healed until we are willing to stop denying the destructive nature of the current pattern. Our seemingly compulsive need to control the natural world may have derived from a feeling of helplessness in the face of our deep and ancient fear of “Nature red in tooth and claw,” but this compulsion has driven us to the edge of disaster, for we have become so successful at controlling nature that we have lost our connection to it. And we must also recognize that a new fear is now deepening our addiction: even as we revel in our success at controlling nature, we have become increasingly frightened of the consequences, and that fear only drives us to ride this destructive cycle harder and faster.
-- Dysfunctional Civilization, page 225
Ironically, it is our very separation from the physical world that creates much of this pain, and it is because we are taught to live so separately from nature that we feel so utterly dependent upon our civilization, which has seemingly taken nature’s place in meeting all our needs. Just as the children in a dysfunctional family experience pain when their parents leads them to believe that something important is missing from their psyches, we surely experience a painful loss when we are led to believe that the connection to the natural world that is part of our birthright as a species is something unnatural, something to be rejected as a right of passage into the civilized world. As a result, we internalize the pain of our lost sense of connection to the natural world, we consume the earth and its resources as a way to distract ourselves from the pain, and we search insatiably for artificial substitutes to replace the experience of communion with the world that has been taken from us.
-- Dysfunctional Civilization, page 231
Each of these dysfunctional societies [Nazi - Germany, Mussolini -Italy, Stalin - Soviet Communism, Mao Zedong and Deng Xeoping - Chinese Communism, Saddam Hussein Iraq] has lacked the internal validation that can only come from the freely expressed consent of the governed. Each has demonstrated an insatiable need to thrust itself and its political philosophy onto neighboring societies. Each has oriented toward expansion through the forceful takeover of other countries. Moreover, each has fostered in its society a seamless web of shared assumptions that most people know are false but that no one dares to question. These societies reflect in macrocosm the pathology of dysfunctional as it has been observed in families. A developing child in a dysfunctional family search his parent’s s face for signals that he is whole and all is right with the world; when he finds no such approval, he begins to feel that something is wrong inside. And because he doubts his worth and authenticity, he begins controlling his inner experience – smothering spontaneity, masking emotion, diverting creativity into robotic routine, and distracting an awareness of all he is missing with an unconvincing replica of what he might have been. Similarly, when the leadership in a totalitarian society dares to look in the faces of its people for signals of what they really feel, it is seldom reassured that all is right with the world. On the contrary, the leadership begins to fear that something is wrong because its people do not – cannot – really express the consent of the governed. They stare back, trance like, their vacant sullenness suggesting the uneasiness and apprehension that is so pervasive among oppressed populations everywhere. Denied validation in the countenance of its citizens, the totalitarian ambition to find – by imposing itself on others – conclusive evidence of its inner value.
Typically, the totalitarian expansion begins with the takeover of a weak and relatively defenseless neighboring society. Hoping that this initial conquest will satiate the aggressor, other societies frequently mute their response, some because they fear they might be the next targets, others because they are sure they will not be. But if the totalitarian society is deeply dysfunctional, it will not be satisfied for long and will continue to feel a need to expand. Alas, this horrifying pattern is all too familiar: totalitarian expansions have directly caused the deaths of more than 100 million human beings in this century.
The phenomenon of modern totalitarianism is, of course, extremely complex and involves political, economic, and historical factors unique to each of its incarnations. But whatever its specific causes, the psychology of totalitarianism has always been characterized by a fear of disorientation within and a search for legitimacy without. The pathology of expansion so evident in modern totalitarian societies results from this dysfunctional pattern, and the sense of wholeness they seek cannot be restored as long as they refuse to confront the dishonesty, fear, and violence eating away at the hart of their national identity.
-- Dysfunctional Civilization, page 232
In studying the prospects for halting our destructive expansion, one is almost awestruck by our relentless and seemingly compulsive drive to dominate every part of the earth. Always, the unmet needs of civilization fuel the engine of aggression; never can these needs be truly satisfied. The invaded area is laid waste, its natural productivity is eviscerated, its resources are looted and quickly consumed – and all this destruction merely stokes our appetite for still more.
The weakest and most helpless members of the dysfunctional family become the victims of abuse at the hands of those responsible for providing nurture. In a similar fashion, we systematically abuse the most vulnerable and least defended areas of the natural world: the wetlands, the rain forests, the oceans. We also abuse other members of the human family, especially those who cannot speak for themselves. We tolerate the theft of land from indigenous peoples, the exploitation of areas inhabited by the poorest populations, and – worst of all – the violation of the rights of those who will come after us. As we strip-mine the earth at a completely unsustainable rate, we are making it impossible for our children’s children to have a standard of living even remotely similar to ours.
In philosophical terms, the future is, after all, a vulnerable and developing present, and unsustainable development is therefore what might be called a form of “future abuse.” Like a parent violating the personal boundaries of a vulnerable child, we violate the temporal boundaries of our rightful place in the chain of human generations. After all, the men and women of every generation must share the same earth – the only earth we have – and so we also share a responsibility to ensure that what one generation calls the future will be able to mature safely into what another generation will call the present. We are now, in effect, corruptly imposing our own dysfunctional design and discordant rhythms on future generations, and these persistent burdens will be terrible difficult to carry.
-- Dysfunctional Civilization, page 234
Environmentalism of the Spirit
But our willingness to adapt is an important part of the underlying problem. Do we have so much faith in our own adaptability that we will risk destroying the integrity of the entire global ecological system? If we try to adapt to the changes we are causing rather than prevent them in the first place, have we made an appropriate choice? Can we understand how much destruction this choice might finally cause?
Believing that we can adapt to just about anything is ultimately a kind of laziness, an arrogant faith in our ability to react in time to save our skin. But in my view this confidence in our quick reflexes is badly misplaced; indeed, a laziness in our spirit has estranged us from our true selves and from the quickness and vitality of the world at large. We have been so seduced by industrial civilization’s promise to make our lives comfortable that we allow the synthetic routines of modern life to soothe us in an inauthentic world of our own making. Life can be easy, we assure ourselves. We need not suffer the heat or the cold; we need not sow or reap or hunt and gather. We can heal the sick, fly through the air, light up the darkness, and be entertained in our living rooms by orchestras and clowns whenever we like. And as our needs and whims are sated, we watch electronic images of nature’s destruction, distant famine, and apocalyptic warnings, all with the bone weariness of the damned. “What can we do?” we ask ourselves, already convinced that the realistic answer is nothing.
With the future so open to doubt, we routinely choose to indulge our own generation at the expense of all who will follow. We enshrine the self as the unit of ethical account, separate and distinct not just form the natural world but even from a sense of obligation to others – not just others in future generations, but increasingly even to others in the same generation and not just those in distant lands, but increasingly evening our own communities. We do this not because we don’t care but because we don’t really live in our lives. We are monumentally distracted by a pervasive technological culture that appears to have a life of its own, one that insists on our full attention, continually seducing us and pulling us away from the opportunity to experience directly the true meaning of our own lives.
How can we shake loose this distraction? How can we direct our attention to more important matters when our attention has become a commodity to be bought and sold? Whenever a new source of human interest and desire is found, prospectors flock to stake their claim. Using every available tool – newspapers, movies, television, magazines, billboards, blimps, buttons, designer labels, junk faxes – they assault our attention from every side. Advertisers strip-mine it; politicians cover it; pollsters measure it; terrorists steal it as a weapon of war. As the amounts close to the surface are exhausted, the search for fresh supplies leads onto primal paths that run deep into our being, back through our evolutionary heritage, past thought and beyond emotion, to instinct – and a rich vein of primal fears and passions that are also now exploited as raw material in the colossal enterprise of mass distraction. The prospectors of attention fragment our experience of the world, carry away the spoils, and then, in an ultimate irony, accuses us of having short attention spans.
The way we experience the world is governed by a kind of inner ecology that relates perception, emotions, thinking, and choices to forces outside ourselves. We interpret our experience through multiple lenses that focus – and distort – the information we receive through our senses. But this ecology now threatens to fall badly out of balance because the cumulative impact of the changes brought by the scientific and technological revolution are potentially devastating to our sense of who we are and what our purpose in life might be. Indeed, it may now be necessary to foster a new “environmentalism of the spirit.” How do we, for example, conserve hope and minimize the quantity of corrosive fear we spill into our lives? How do we recycle the sense of wonder we felt as children, without adapting to it so completely that we ourselves behave like machines, lost in the levers and cogs, lonesome for the love of life, hungry for the thrill of directly experiencing the vivid intensity of the ever-changing moment?
No wonder we have become disconnected from the natural world – indeed, it’s remarkable we feel any connection to ourselves. And no wonder we have become resigned to the idea of a world without a future. The engines of distraction are gradually destroying the inner ecology of the human experience. Essential to the ecology is the balance between respect for the past and faith in the future, between a belief in the individual and a commitment to the community, between our love for the world and our fear of losing it – the balance, in other words, on which an environmentalism of the spirit depends.
-- Environmentalism of the Spirit, page 240
Earlier in this century, the Heisenberg Principle established that the very act of observing a natural phenomenon can change what is being observed. Although the initial theory was limited in practice to special cases in subatomic physics, the philosophical implications were and are staggering. It is not apparent that since Descartes reestablished the Platonic notion and began the scientific revolution, human civilization has been experiencing a kind of Heisenberg Principle writ large. The very act of intellectually separating oneself form the world in order to observe it changes the world that is being observed – simply because it is no longer connected to the observer in the same way. This is not a mere word game; the consequences are all too real.
-- Environmentalism of the Spirit, page 253
A civilization that believes itself to be separate from the world may pretend not to hear, but there is indeed a sound when a tree falls in the forest.
-- Environmentalism of the Spirit, page 258
Read on to part three of Earth in the Balance here!