Synopses & Reviews
Today we know what no previous generation knew: the history of the universe and of the unfolding of life on Earth. Through the astonishing combined achievements of natural scientists worldwide, we now have a detailed account of how galaxies and stars, planets and living organisms, human beings and human consciousness came to be. And yet . . . we thirst for answers to questions that have haunted humanity from the very beginning. What is our place in the 14-billion-year history of the universe? What roles do we play in Earth's history? How do we connect with the intricate web of life on Earth?
In Journey of the Universe Brian Thomas Swimme and Mary Evelyn Tucker tell the epic story of the universe from an inspired new perspective, weaving the findings of modern science together with enduring wisdom found in the humanistic traditions of the West, China, India, and indigenous peoples. The authors explore cosmic evolution as a profoundly wondrous process based on creativity, connection, and interdependence, and they envision an unprecedented opportunity for the world's people to address the daunting ecological and social challenges of our times.
Journey of the Universe transforms how we understand our origins and envision our future. Though a little book, it tells a big storyone that inspires hope for a way in which Earth and its human civilizations could flourish together.
This book is part of a larger project that includes a documentary film, an educational DVD series, and a website. The film and the DVD series will be released in 2011. For more information, please consult the website, journeyoftheuniverse.org.
How serious are the threats to our environment? Here is one measure of the problem: if we continue to do exactly what we are doing, with no
growth in the human population or the world economy, the world in the latter part of this century will be unfit to live in. Of course human activities are not holding at current levels: they are accelerating, dramatically and so, too, is the pace of climate disruption, biotic impoverishment, and toxification. In this book Gus Speth, author of Red Sky at Morning
and a widely respected environmentalist, begins with the observation that the environmental community has grown in strength and sophistication, but the environment has continued to decline, to the point that we are now at the edge of catastrophe.
Speth contends that this situation is a severe indictment of the economic and political system we call modern capitalism. Our vital task is now to change the operating instructions for today’s destructive world economy before it is too late. The book is about how to do that.
The author of Red Sky at Morning would be the first to agree that we are in deep environmental trouble, but he offers hope that there is still time to avert global catastrophe. Gus Speth explores a wide variety of promising and even radical ideas for transforming modern capitalism so as to protect and restore the natural world.
About the Author
A conversation with Gus Speth
Q: What might surprise the readers of your new book?
A. Itand#8217;s no surprise to many people that we are facing momentous environmental challenges. But what few people realize is that we canand#8217;t solve these problems with more of the same approaches weand#8217;ve been using.
Despite the best efforts of environmentalists to work within the system, the system has not delivered. And so it is now time for the environmental communityand#151;indeed, everyoneand#151;to step outside the system and develop a deeper critique of what is going on.
We all live lives powerfully shaped by a complex system that rewards as well as destroys. That system is now giving rise to an undesirable realityand#151;environmentally, socially, and politically. If we want to transform that system for the better, we should stop being predictable and become agents of change.
Q: What have you concluded? Can we still make enough meaningful changes to reverse the damage?
A: My conclusion, after much searching and considerable reluctance, is that most environmental deterioration is a result of systemic failures of the capitalism that we have today. Real solutions will require transformative change in the key features of this contemporary capitalism. In this book Iand#8217;ve tried to identify these transformative changes.
The good news is that impressive thinking and some exemplary action have occurred on the issues at hand. Proposals abound, many of them very promising, and new movements for change, often driven by young people, are emerging. These developments offer genuine hope and begin to outline a bridge to the future.