September 27, 2009

David Boyle at launch of Brixton Pound

Dear Friends,

David Boyle is one of the senior staff at the New Economics Foundation in London and well known for his writings on local currencies. He is part of the NEF team working with the E. F. Schumacher Society to form the New Economics Institute in North America.

David gave the following address last week at the launch of the Brixton Pound.

Best wishes,
Staff of the E. F. Schumacher Society

David Boyle’s speech at the launch of the Brixton Pound

“One of my first experiences of currencies along the lines of the Brixton pound was in Ithaca in upstate New York, where they have had an amazing printed currency for the last 15 years. You can get loans in it. The biggest loan was for $36,000. Not bad for a local currency. Some of the notes are printed on paper made from Angora rabbit fur, which is an innovative solution to the problem of counterfeiting which has not yet struck the Bank of England. But I met a man there who had been mugged in Manhattan. The mugger searched through his wallet and said, hey what are these?. He brandished a pile of Ithaca notes.

My friend explained that they were a way to keep local economies moving, and the mugger was fascinated. Wow, he said. You’re right about the world: money doesn’t work for people like us, does it. And of course it doesn’t work very well. It works beautifully for a very few, for whom it is endlessly elastic and flexible and forgiving. When Robert Maxwell fell off his yacht, he owed twice as much as Zimbabwe. But he had a yacht.

For the rest of us, it is very concrete. We have to pay what little we borrow back according to the rules. Because otherwise, well its moral jeopardy, isn’t it. We might learn bad habits. We might get perverted somehow from the straight and narrow. Then there wouldn’t be enough to bail out Citibank again! But then Americans, it seems to me, understand these things better than we do. Their new kinds of money caused the War of Independence in the first place. Benjamin Franklin with his printing machine. They had 5,000 depression currencies in the 1930s which luterally kept people alive through the Great Depression. Some of them were made of wood, which is a bit bizarre.

We have Captain Mainwraing. Or we did. In fact, that whole tradition of dull, careful bank managers has been swept away in this country. When American investigators began looking into the subprime mortgages which cause the great bank crash of 2008, they looked down the list of borrowers and – on the very first page – they found one paid to someone called M. Mouse.
Other cartoon characters followed. When you start shelling out mortgages willy nilly to anyone, whether they can afford it or not, because they are considered risk free to the bankers – that’s what happens. That’s the opposite of the kind of money we need, and the opposite of the imaginative self-help money we are launching today.

Worse than that. It is a kind of lie. A kind of theft. There used to be 144 breweries in New York a hundred years ago. Now there are six. There used to be ten thousand local papers in this country then. Now there are about a few hundred. We are experiencing a money system that is driving out this diversity because it is monocultural. It makes everywhere the same. One kind of measuring stick. One kind of business. Monoculture money systems drive out other cultures, other species, other languages, other opinions, other forms of wealth. We can see this everywhere.

The great harbours and rivers that have bustled for a thousand years. Empty. The farming communities and fields of the world covered with weeds. Even the great corporations – whatever else we may think of them – shedding all the real work until they are just shells that just do financial services. There’s a great silence descending on the world. It’s a kind of death. The very opposite of life creating, and that’s why I am so excited about the Brixton pound.

There’s a kind of thrill about it, it seems to me. You hold those notes and you say, Can you do this? Can we just print it then? It seems too simple. Aren’t there laws against it? The answer is you have to make sure you’re not claiming it is a bank of England pound, a promise to pay the bearer on demand pound. In fact, the organiser of the Liberty Dollar in the States, who mints sterling silver coins he calls dollars, has just been arrested. Ten years, the Isle of Wight County Council were prosecuted for minting their own coins. But they would have been fine if they hadn’t called them euros.

So no, it IS legal to print your own. You can use what you like as money after all, if someone will accept it. We still have that freedom at least. But there’s still a moment of breathlessness when you hold these things in your hand. As if you were somehow touching the stuff of life. And in a way you are. Because money is like blood. It circulates around us, and when it disappears somewhere – because of some squall on Wall Street – our lives seize up a little.

And let’s stay with the idea of lifeblood for a moment. Before William Harvey announced his theory about how blood works in 1616, most people thought it was made in the liver and the heart and swallowed up by the other organs. Harvey showed that it was the circulation of the blood that really mattered. If nothing circulates, the patient dies. It’s the same with economics, and local economies. If the money goes round, or any medium of exchange, the place lives. If it doesn’t, it dies.
It doesn’t matter really how much money there is in total.

But economics hasn’t reached William Harvey yet. It still adds up the bottom line, and if doesn’t work, they get the scalpel out and bleed the patient. So money is life, and we can make our own. That’s why I say those Brixton pound notes are alive. It is a small liberation to use one. A bit like the moment Gandhi made salt for the first time. a symbolic moment of revolt, using the stuff of life. So every time we use one of these notes, it seems to me – and we are going to have to use them if this is going to work – it is a moment of liberation.

To run our own lives. To set us free just a little bit from dependence on the government or Tesco. Or are they the same thing these days? To make Brixton a place, knitted together, with its own money and its own life, not just a tube station with housing attached. I don’t pretend it’s going to be easy. I don’t pretend there are no great issues to face, and decisions to make. I don’t pretend we can possibly get there in one leap. There are going to be disappointments and frustrations along the way.

But every time we invest in this money and take it out of our pockets, to exchange it for something – looking the shopkeeper in the eye as we do so – we are shaping our futures. We are clawing back just a little control over that great global money system that swirls above us like the gods. It may be a bit of paper now. But it is a small lever with which we can move the world. Good luck to it.

Washington Post on BerkShares and Brixton Pound

Dear Friends,

Today's "Washington Post" credits BerkShares local currency with inspiring launch of the Brixton Pound as a citizen-driven economic development tool in London's poorest neighborhood.

E. F. Schumacher Society staff

When Going Gets Tough, Local Currency Gets Going

By Karla Adam
Special to the Washington Post
Sunday, September 27, 2009

LONDON -- Throughout Britain, people are hanging on to their hard-earned pounds, scrimping and saving as they ride out the recession.

But in a few communities, people are taking a different tack: printing their own money and spending it. No, the queen's image on the iconic British pound isn't being counterfeited. Instead, some communities are producing their own scrips -- some of the latest have painter Vincent van Gogh's face on them -- which can be used much like cash at participating businesses.

The latest community to do so is Brixton, the second area in Britain this month that introduced its own currency. With an initial run of 40,000 notes in various denominations, it is the most ambitious project here of its kind so far.

Sometimes called Britain's Harlem, the Brixton is a multiethnic area in south London with a large African Caribbean population and a vibrant atmosphere. The kind of mind-set seen in this bustling and close-knit community is crucial for any local currency plan to work, say economists, adding that like any other form of exchange, the success of the Brixton pound will hinge on the continued confidence and willingness among people to use it.

The first Brixton pound entered into circulation last week when Christopher Wellbelove, mayor of Lambeth, the borough that encompasses Brixton, waved a sepia-toned one-pound note in the air at a town hall meeting where it was unveiled and used it to buy a box of tomatoes. (He got a good deal, said many at the scene.)

"It's a modern-day IOU," said Bruce Weber, a London Business School professor who teaches a course on alternative currencies.

History offers many examples of people developing alternative currencies in tough times. After the financial meltdown in Argentina in 2001, for instance, bartering clubs sprung up nationwide. When Germany was hit by hyperinflation in the early 1920s, many towns issued special money that was not recognized as legal tender but was widely accepted by businesses.

People can buy Brixton pounds with standard British currency -- a pound for a pound -- at a half-dozen local outlets. The incentive for consumers, beyond an altruistic desire to support local businesses, is that many restaurants and stores will offer a 10 percent discount to people using the currency. Those businesses, in turn, hope to build customer loyalty. They will make change for purchases using the Brixton currency to continue its circulation, though customers can insist on standard British money if they wish.

"It can stimulate the local economy," Weber said. "It gets done in tightknit communities where people feel they have a shared stake in things. It's a response to recession conditions. . . . If we issue a certain kind of currency amongst ourselves, maybe it keeps someone to do grocery shopping within the community."

Brixton pounds were launched by Transition Network, an environmental group that promotes low-carbon living and believes that by promoting local businesses people will travel less and reduce impact on the environment. Inspired by the BerkShares currency launched in western Massachusetts three years ago, Transition Network also has helped launch currencies in the town of Stroud this month and in Totnes and Lewes earlier.

The British are usually embarrassed to discuss money. But in Brixton, cash is the talk of the town, with residents curious to know which businesses will accept the new currency (participants include a local grocer, a pharmacy and a belly-dance instructor) and which ones will not (a popular movie theater and cafe.)

Ossie Bash-Taqi, 44, who is accepting the notes at his catering company, said he has more faith in the Brixton pound than he does in its official counterpart.

"In a community like this, if you break the chain, you'd have a lot of angry people. We all know each other, and you can't hide behind an empty bank counter," he said.

There is no law against using alternative currencies, be they pieces of paper or beaver pelts or seashells, as long as they are not passed off as official money. Tax authorities also have no problem with the currencies as merchants continue to account for all of their trade.

"There is still some apprehension," said Tim Nichols, project manager for the Brixton pound. "But there's also a lot of buzz, and we're hopeful it will strengthen the local economy."

Nichols said it cost about $16,000 to have the Brixton pounds printed and to pay for the public information campaign. Most of that was donated by local businesses. The notes bear pictures of significant Brixton residents, including van Gogh, who is said to have lived there in his early 20s, as well as watermarks and security measures that the organizers hope will prevent counterfeiting.

Any effect on the greater economy will be "probably nil," said Nick Mayhew, an expert on the history of currencies at Oxford University. The upshot of alternative currencies, he said, is mostly increased community spirit.

"It's a constant reminder to shop in Brixton," said Leon Rothera, 28, owner of a local restaurant called Honest Foods, the first business to sign up for the new currency. "But let's see what happens when the novelty wears off."

The Most Important Number in the World

Dear Friends,

Concept2 Rowing and the Craftsbury Green Nordic Racing Program are organizing a worldwide rowing/skiing challenge that will cover 350 million meters all before October 24. Volunteers in Panama City’s Parque Nacional Soberania gathered to plant 350 native species trees and almost doubled their target. Community members are gathering in Vancouver for a 350-person salsa dancing extravaganza. Five thousand school children in the Netherlands created a giacantic installation using their bodies as the medium, highlighting Holland’s trademark windmills, and featuring one important number - 350.

Why 350? It is the number leading scientists have indicated as the safe upper limit of carbon dioxide (measured in "Parts Per Million") in our atmosphere. We have already exceeded that limit. But renowned environmentalist and author, Bill McKibben is urging a world-wide effort to reverse the current course of climate change. His campaign is named and will culminate on October 24th with citizen actions in communities around the world.

It is not too late to join the campaign, lead an initiative in your community, or support an action already in progress. To see what others are doing, find projects near you, or learn more about the implications of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere, go to:

For two decades, Bill McKibben, has used his skills as a writer to enlighten readers about global warming and advocate for creative responses to the problem. His books include “Deep Economy” (2007), “Fight Global Warming Now: The Handbook for Taking Action in Your Community” (2007), and “The End of Nature” (1989). In 2007 he organized Step It Up -- the largest coordinated demonstration against global warming in American history.

Now he is organizing, an international campaign dedicated to building a movement to unite the world around solutions to the climate crisis--the solutions that justice demand. Its mission is to inspire the world to rise to the challenge of the climate crisis—to create a new sense of urgency and of possibility for our planet. In order to bring together the
public, media, and our political leaders behind the 350 goal, McKibben and friends are harnessing the power of the internet to coordinate the October 24th planetary day of action, six weeks before the world's leaders meet in Copenhagen to formulate a new global treaty on carbon emissions.

Events are scheduled at hundreds of iconic places around the world - from the Taj Mahal to the Great Barrier Reef – with local community efforts across 100 countries. The Day of Action will showcase the tremendous efforts of existing individuals, organizations and communities working to tackle climate change from the ground up, joining them together on a powerful platform borne of hard science and inspired activism.

Please join us on Saturday, October 17th in welcoming Bill McKibben at the 29th Annual E. F. Schumacher Lectures. He will be joined by speakers Benjamin Barber and Alisa Gravitz. The location is the First Congregational Church of Stockbridge, Massachusetts. Tickets are 25 BerkShares/Dollars (15 for members of the E. F. Schumacher Society, seniors, and students). We recommend registering in advance.

For more information on the event or to pre-register please visit:


Or call (413) 528-1737.

Best Wishes,
Susan Witt, Sarah Hearn, Stefan Apse, Kate Poole, and Jasmine Stine
Staff of the E. F. Schumacher Society

September 14, 2009

Transitioning to a New Economy

Dear Friends,

We are pleased to announce speakers for this year's Annual E. F. Schumacher Lecture program on October 17th in Stockbridge, Massachusetts and invite you to attend ( Bill McKibben, Benjamin Barber, and Alisa Gravitz have each made important contributions in articulating characteristics of a new economy.

Over the past year we have all watched in amazement as the old economy unraveled before us—banks failing, established corporations seeking bankruptcy protection, unemployment increasing, climate change progressing unabated, and governments nervously printing currency hoping to buy their way out of these problems. The urgency of shaping a new economy—one that is fair and sustainable, that functions within ecological limits, and takes into account people and cultures throughout the world—has never been clearer.

A successful transition to a new economy in which people and the earth have a higher priority than financial return will require a restructuring of institutions and governance frameworks; changes in values and behavior; hard decisions; and decisive actions on the part of individuals, communities, civil society, firms and governments throughout the world. If such a transition is to be successful, it will need to be rooted in robust systemic analysis, employ effective hard-hitting advocacy, and offer proven, practical solutions. In addition, it will require a coherent and encompassing narrative that is both compelling and accessible and that draws together the various components of a complex picture in such a way as to stimulate and support action at all levels.

Parts of the new economy are already known and underway.

In North America, Wendell Berry is our finest poet of a new vision, describing the mutual support at the heart of a community economics in his stories and essays about rural life. Jane Jacobs vividly paints the picture of vibrant, complex, import-replacing city regions as engines for diversified production in her “Cities and the Wealth of Nations.” David Morris’s Institute for Local Self Reliance is developing local and national ordinances that encourage rather than discourage small business development. Judy Wicks has united green entrepreneurs in regional Business Alliances for Local Living Economies. Peter Barnes reminds us that land and air and oceans and minerals are all part of the commons and as such their use should be limited, with income derived from their use distributed to all stakeholders. Gar Alperovitz has long articulated the benefits of distributed ownership and has promoted the tools for accomplishing such shared wealth. Winona LaDuke is re-inventing the economy of tribal nations by regathering lands lost to tribal control and reintroducing traditional production methods. Majora Carter and Van Jones understand that green jobs—retrofitting homes and workplaces to make them more energy efficient and restoring polluted sites—can help to renew our inner cities while providing dignified employment opportunities. Amory Lovins’s Rocky Mountain Institute is exploring technologies for a new economy and how to make such products economically viable. The Center for a New American Dream and Green America are teaching the individual and corporate consumer to change long-established patterns of buying to cause less impact on the Earth. Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) farmers are making the growing of food a visible process and educating a new generation about the importance of sourcing food locally. Wes Jackson’s Land Institute is challenging our agriculture system’s dependence on annual crops by breeding perennial grains; his is a 100-year vision. Woody Tasch’s Slow Money Institute and other innovative social investment groups are devising how to finance a new economy. The Transition Town movement is energizing discussions in town after town about what citizens can do to reduce dependency on global imports and return to using locally sourced goods. Local currencies such as BerkShares have captured the imaginations of activists and economists alike as an effective tool for keeping wealth circulating in a region and effecting greater economic self-determination.

Academic institutions such as the Ecological Economics program at the University of Maryland under Herman Daly, Robert Costanza’s Gund Institute at the University of Vermont, and Neva Goodwin’s Global Development and Environment Institute at Tufts University are reshaping the study of economics to factor in the social and environmental costs of production. Hazel Henderson, a pioneer thinker on green economics, continues to influence a younger generation to challenge existing financial systems and create change. Joseph Stiglitz is setting an example for fellow economists to rethink all established economic assumptions in order to forge a new economy. Gus Speth, Bill McKibben, David Boyle, Peter Victor, Benjamin Barber, Michael Shuman, David Korten, and Juliet Schor are among a growing list of authors writing about a new economy, and through their writing, building the imagination to get us there.

And there are others.

What is needed now is some entity to bring these various organizations and individuals together, to frame a common story, to tell it in multiple voices, to strategize the steps towards implementation, and to take collective action to achieve the transition.

We see a New Economics Institute as a collaborative, open, inclusive, value-added think tank working closely with existing organizations and research programs to:

1. Identify and fill gaps in knowledge;

2. Package together various presently isolated strands of work into a coherent and encompassing narrative;

3. Present these so as to achieve maximum impact on public and political debate, individual and business behavior, and public policy;

4. Support existing organizations by building the profile of a coherent new economics; and

5. Build a network of fellows from partnering organizations to engage in specific projects, research, or campaigns.

Building a New Economics Institute

In "Small Is Beautiful: Economics as if People Mattered" economist Fritz Schumacher drew from a broad palette to develop what he called "an economy of permanence." He wove together culture, society, ecology, scale, technology, and governance as necessary and related factors in shaping a new economy.

The E. F. Schumacher Society in the Berkshire region of western Massachusetts has a thirty year history of building on Schumacher's interdisciplinary approach to economics—stewarding his library and archives, providing a venue for new voices in the field, convening conferences, publishing papers, and transforming ideas into action through model economic programs in its home region. It is gaining extensive media recognition for its work on decentralizing and democratizing the institutions of land, labor, and capital.

In its twenty-two years of work similarly borne out of Schumacher's thinking, the New Economics Foundation (nef) in London (, has developed an impressive record of applied research and public policy initiatives at the local, national, and international level. nef is acknowledged by British media as the voice of a New Economics. Its diverse campaigns have gathered organizations together in common cause and have bettered the lives of people in small villages around the world and in the neighborhoods of bustling European cities.

The E. F. Schumacher Society and nef recognize that their combined fifty-year history of providing the theory and application of a new economics on both sides of the Atlantic, uniquely positions them to contribute to the building of a new initiative. Accepting this responsibility, the Schumacher Society is partnering with nef to form the New Economics Institute, a US based organization. We will keep you informed of developments.

A friend commented that what she likes about the proposed Institute is that it is addressing multiple issues from one root source—the transformation of our current economic system. That engages and inspires her, as it does us.

We welcome your comments and support.

Susan Witt, Sarah Hearn, Stefan Apse, Kate Poole, and Jasmine Stine
Staff of the E. F. Schumacher Society

September 2, 2009

When you damage the outer world, you damage the inner world

Dear Friends,

Father Thomas Berry first spoke for the Schumacher Society in 1984, then again in 1991, and finally in 2004.

An inspired student of Teilhard de Chardin, he was deeply in love with the planet itself, as a living being. Its visible signs of deterioration grieved him. Concerned, he thought at first to use his gift of speech to describe the scope of Earth's devastation, believing that such a picture would lead his listeners to acts of restoration.

But his approach, he admitted candidly, had the opposite effect. His audience grew depressed and disempowered.

So instead of a history of destruction, he began to describe a Universe that might be -- a future Ecozic Era in which human-earth relations were again in harmony. And this Universe Story moved his audience to new action. Neglected lands of monastaries and convents were put in fruitful production growing vegetables for the local region and creating sites for affordable housing. Groups met in church basements and Grange halls, in town meetings and UN gatherings to discuss their responsibilities to shape a healthier world for the children, because of Thomas Berry.

Thomas Berry passed away in June of this year, but the example he set also applies to those concerned to shape a new economy—one that is fair and sustainable, that functions within ecological limits, and takes into account people and cultures throughout the world. We could, with justice on our side, focus on what is wrong with the current economy. Or we could take another path and strive to come together, consumers and producers, in our neighborhoods, towns, and regions, to implement new ways of conducting economic life based on a vision of possibility and right conduct. Thomas Berry never tired of pointing to such small examples that add up to big results.

We are pleased to share Nic Tuff's 2006 interview with Father Berry (see below) as a small way of honoring his large influence on the life of the Schumacher Society and to declare openly, that we miss him.

Susan Witt, Sarah Hearn, Stefan Apse, Kate Poole, and Jasmine Stine
Staff of the E. F. Schumacher Society
140 Jug End Road
Great Barrington, MA 01230
(413) 528-1737
* * * * * * * * *
A Conversation with Thomas Berry by Nicholas Tuff [Abridged]
June 28th, 2006

NT: How does the Universe Story that you developed with Brian Swimme fit in with the cosmologies of other religions?

TB: The Universe Story is the [creation] story as understood by the scientific world. The scientific world has been able to identify the stages through which the Universe has passed in 4 ½ billion years.
There are several ways in which you can approach the telling of how the Universe came into being. The scientific story is the account that emerges from an examination of the Universe as it communicates to us at the present time. It is a technical story told by measurements and numbers. It tells us something about the mechanics of the Universe, but doesn’t say anything about meaning.

Cosmology means, “understanding the Universe.” The scientific story cannot help us understand the essential things, like meanings or values, but it can tell us the mechanics of how things function. It can help us with medicine. It can help us with communications. It can help us by giving us the means to travel. But it cannot guide us in how to use these instruments.

There is another way of understanding the Universe—the way in which we experience the wonder and the majesty and the awe. Language is our way of understanding the Universe. Science in this sense doesn’t give us a meaningful language. It gives us language as measurement, but not as meaning.

We’ve lost cosmology. We still have religion, but we’ve lost cosmology. When we got Science we lost cosmology, because science began to think that only science gives you the reality of things; everything else tends to be imagination or religious belief, whereas science has this precision and exactness. The sense of the Universe is really what is missing. Science needs to be a function within a cosmology. When science thinks it is a cosmology, science will destroy the planet. When science functions within an acceptable cosmology, it becomes wisdom. At the present time, we either say something is scientific or that it is religious. If we don’t resolve things as science, we say that they are religious.

NT: What is the biggest problem in education?

TB: What I am concerned with in education is establishing an appreciation of Universe as Universe.

Why do you want the children to walk in the woods? Why do you want them to experience the rain and the wind and the dawn and the sunset and the whole amazing flurry of existence. The reason is to awaken in the children a sense of who they are and the context in which their life unfolds. In this way, the integral relatedness of the Universe will be preserved.

The Universe is composed of three aspects: Identity, Diversity and Community. There is no particular value in sameness. Sameness doesn’t add anything. Sameness is a value simply to accommodate what exists, but there’s no enrichment… numerically, sure, but not as a mode of being. Children need to be educated about the three aspects. They need to learn that to be is to be unique. We must foster these ideas of identity, diversity, and community: people are not the same.

One of my main interests of late is law. Every being has rights. People have figured out human rights. Animals and birds and rocks and rivers also have rights. Everything has rights.

What do I mean that everything has rights? A tree needs tree rights. A bird needs bird rights. The rights of a tree are not appropriate for a bird. Everything has its rights by the same source: that which brought them in to being.

To say that something exists is true, but not the same. Persons need to learn how to be different, to develop their own individuality, and talents. Identity requires an inner core of meaning independent of everything else, but the differance needs to be bonded with relatedness. A person needs to be distinct, but also needs to identify with otherness to make community. And that’s education.

Humans need to develop as humans. They are different from other modes of being and need to be identified as different, but then they need to relate to other modes of being in a positive way that’s beneficial for everybody. So the child needs to relate to otherness in a positive way, so it creates community.

It is this sense of the Universe that is lost. We have so exaggerated the value of the human that instead of relating positively, we are relating negatively, in an exploitative way, to otherness.

NT: So would you say this is our greatest challenge?

TB: Our greatest challenge is to fulfill those three roles (Identity, Diversity and Community). We must face this greatest challenge not simply as individuals, but also as a species. Species need to relate to other species, and humans need to relate to the other modes of being, because we are nothing without everything else. If you damage the outer world, you damage the inner world. You can not succeed when you are harmful to the other species. It is a losing game if you are harmful to the surrounding world.

NT: This makes me think about how much indigenous communities have to offer us.

TB: Indigenous communities, at their best, are fulfilled [in these three roles]. Indigenous communities have this intimacy of relationship, and understand the roles that people play. Again, that’s the value of roles, of people being trained to fulfill a certain role. I think it is good that we aren’t overly fixated on specified roles in education, but on the other hand, it is regrettable that a person grows up with no particular skills to their larger life purpose.

NT: So offer them tools.

TB: Offer them tools, but also strengthen their vision, whereby they can fulfill their own inner spontaneities that they inherited with their life program.

NT: I am curious what you think about what is going on today [in 2006] in politics and with the wars in the Middle East?

TB: I think it belongs to an age of ultimate devastation… I believe I put it in my book, "A Dream of the Earth," that what is happening is that we are making the planet Earth uninhabitable by anything. We are just devastating planet Earth… and I don’t know of any other species that has had this effect on other species. There are conditions--physical, biological conditions that disturb the life systems of species--but the idea of something like this happening… I just don’t know.

What I say is that we have gone through three phases of life. The Paleozoic, the Old Life period, which terminated several hundred million years ago, 220 million years ago, when 95 percent species became extinct. The Middle Life Phase, the Mesozoic, which terminated 75 million years ago… that’s when the dinosaurs died out, when some 60 percent of all species became extinct. Then it was the Cenozoic, which was the recent life period. We are terminating the recent life period after some 75 million years, and, I suggest that we are entering an "Ecozoic Era." We are leaving one phase and entering another. We are entering the fourth biological age.
What I am suggesting is that we have to restore some kind of Human-Earth relations. It’s the only remedy I know. That is where the problem is. That is where the remedy is.