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Contents Foreword by Joseph Chilton Pearce Introduction Part I We're Running Out of Ancient Sunlight We're Made Out of Sunlight Extracting More Sunlight--From Other Animals Extracting more sunlight--from the land When ancient sunlight got stored in the Earth Using ancient sunlight More ways to burn ancient sunlight So, how long will our savings hold out? How much fossil fuel do we have left? How Can Things Look So Good Yet Be So Bad? 1. Don't "pay as you go"--just live off your "startup capital" 2. The "Ponzi scheme" Our fossil fuel resources: startup capital or Ponzi scheme? And when the fuel runs out? Can we "grow our way out of it"? The crisis in our oceans Ancient diseases are re-emerging Things may look good simply because we don't see or hear what's happening Slavery and Freedom Glimpsing a Possible Future in Haiti and Other Hot Spots The Philippines: children hunting for garbage to eat Nepal: walking four hours to find the day's wood Western Africa: the wood was used up, erosion set in, now it's desert We notice rapid changes, not slow ones The Death of the Trees Trees The root system "water pump" Reseeded saplings can't pull the water down Trees for beef: slashing rainforests so Americans can have a 99-cent burger Deforesting removes roots, affecting groundwater and the water cycle Extinctions: Diversity Supports Survival Diversity supports survival, and we're losing it When systems are small, local, and widely scattered, they're relatively immune to failure Social diversity, too, is suffering Climate Changes The Garden of Eden and the Flood A New Ice Age? The Atlantic's undersea river Ancient tropical times Global Warming and the End of Civilization Consider where we are at this point A Visit to a Country that's Planning How to Survive: China Who will feed China? The Last Hours of (Cheap, Clean) Water Collapsing aquifers River waters at risk Drinking water unsafe? Water for profit Deforesting, Fighting for Fuel, and the Rise and Fall of Empires Can we save our civilization with alternatives to oil? A big economic hurdle: artificially low oil prices discourage investment Another hurdle: it takes oil to make non-oil technologies "Green" energy The selling of pseudo-green When fuel runs low, fighting starts Part II Younger and Older Cultures: How Did We Get Here? Historical perspective Social psychology The Power of Our Point of View: Older and Younger Cultures There's power in how we think about things Younger Culture Drugs of Control Balanced and fair lies? Information deficits We're not just asleep: we're intoxicated The sickness of "living in boxes" What it's like to be in touch with the world again Younger Culture Stories About How Things Are Today's "Younger Culture" view WÄtiko: gaining by consuming others' lives The Basis of Our Culture 1. "It's women's fault." 2. "The Creator made us all bad" (a uniquely younger-culture idea) 3. "The Creator is a forgetful bookkeeper" Consequences of the story that "everybody else is bad, too" Nuclear waste goes to war The present story: we're disconnected, separate Our view of "primitive" people Our culture's growth has similarities to cancer Assault by Younger Culture leaves one with limited choices Change the story What We Need to Remember "The Great Forgetting" The beauty of remembering What we must remember: The "Older Culture" view The birth of class differences and power structures How it happened The "slavery" (losing your freedom) of civilization Leisure time Depth of culture Modern-day slaves The Lives of Ancient People From the San and the Kogi: Value community and cooperation; we are part of the world, not separate from it From the Kayapo: sustainable agriculture Power vs. Cooperation in Social Structure: the City-state vs. Tribes Tribal and city-state cultural structures The structure of a tribal or democratic group Political independence Egalitarian structure Locally based, dependent on renewable local resources A sense of unique identity Respect for other tribes The structure of a non-democratic city-state culture Political domination Hierarchical, not egalitarian Trade- and conquest-based Exploitative evangelism and "absorptive" identity Warfare with other city-states How city-states might have started Tribal Populations But how do tribes control their population? "But our nations are so stable..." Anarchy or tribalism? The least toxic form of city-state The Robots Take Over The real robots But What About Darwin? Isn't the Victor Right? Part III What Can We Do About It? Transform ourselves Change our technologies Change how we think of and use science We can learn many of these lessons simply by reconnecting to the wisdom of our ancestors We can build communities that work Transforming culture by transforming politics The New Science The first person's view Physics discovers consciousness You do change the world every day Practice small acts of anonymous mercy Reconnect with God ... directly New Stories Are Necessary to Change the World The dominant story can and does get changed. Then reality changes Touching the Sacred Viewing the Past Achieve Presence Learn to Create Awareness Lessons from a Monk Re-empower Women The Secret of "Enough" The meaning of wealth The wealth of security But aren't they dirt-poor? Our poverty Respect Other Cultures and Communities Respecting the Sabbath for the land and Jubilee Older Culture Wealth Renounce the Destruction of Life Look into the Face of God Change the Focus of How We Use Technology Use our oil to not use oil The ultimate resource Living "off the grid" Conservation Turn Off the TV The Modern-Day Tribe: Intentional Community Intentional communities Get support and information from the growing community movement A visit to an "intentional community" Genetics Charismatic leadership and a shared vision A life's mission or work Shared survival concerns Reinventing Our Daily Life and Rituals Rituals don't go away, they merely change Intentional rituals Reinventing rituals Transforming Culture Through Politics The Younger Culture "new" conservatives The new feudalism The sacred archetype Taking Back America Don't get angry... But what about ideological "purity"? Now is the time to act Something Will Save Us True change is not a simple process The Something-Will-Save-Us Viewpoint Younger Cultures and Something-Will-Save-Us beliefs If we could just find the right lever Older Cultures and the Synergist world-view So what are the easy answers to difficult problems? We Have Much to Learn...and Even More to Remember Afterword Acknowledgments Recommended Reading
Library of Congress Subject Headings for this publication: Human ecology, Human ecology Philosophy, Environmental protection