Well you know while he's doing that I want to try a little ... I have a little, ah, project for you, okay? I always like to kind of get a sense of who's in the room. I'm going to ask you two sets of propositions, and I want to find out ... what kind of minds we have here. You ready? Because it separates out on some very fundamentals, and we're going to go right to the fundamentals this afternoon. Proposition one, which makes more sense: the mind is a function of the brain, or the brain is a vehicle the mind uses to express itself. How many think one, that the mind is a function of the brain? How many think two, that the brain is something the mind ... ah, how many don't care because it's not on the exam? (laughs) We'll separate you out today. Let me give you another one. Forget about everything you read in the textbooks about Darwin's theory of evolution, forget about creationism ... experientially, which proposition makes more sense: proposition one, first there was the primeval soup; matter in motion. Dead, inanimate matter. And over a period of time, the atoms and molecules bombarded each other, and it gave rise to consciousness. Proposition two, first there was consciousness, and immaterial form, and from that matter derived. How many think one, first there was dead matter and it gave rise to consciousness ... we've got the hard scientists here. How many think two, first there was consciousness ... we've got the West coast, okay. (laughs) I understand Fritzoff was already here last night, okay ...
Our tale begins ... five centuries ago, and it's going to climax at the Earth Summit in Rio. It began rather inauspiciously, in Tudor England, in the fifteen hundreds, on the village commons. All of Medieval Europe was organized collectively. Sustainable agriculture. Generation after generation, the serfs, the landlords, they farmed the same lands, trod the same path, and they organized themselves communally in order to sustain their existence. It may not have been the best of all possible worlds, but it was a sustainable form of life for six centuries. Fifteen hundreds, Tudor England. The rising merchant class, a new group of bankers and the aristocrats, joined together and they said look, we've got a better use for the land: let's graze sheep, for the textile markets of the early industrial revolution. Do we graze sheep for textiles, for export, or do we grow grain to feed people? They went with the sheep. And first thousands, then tens of thousands, then millions of people were displaced off the commons, all over Europe, as they enclosed the land commons of the planet. And Sir Thomas Moore, the great schoolman of the Church said, rather prophetically, sheep devour people.
That began a journey. And for five hundred years, we have been enclosing commons after commons after commons on this beautiful, small, living planet. First we enclosed the land mass. Somewhere in this century, without much to do, we had enclosed every square meter of land on this planet short of Antarctica. And of course just recently as you know we passed a treaty to finally end it and keep [Antarctica] as a global commons, one last preserve from the ancient rites. Well we weren't content with just the land; first we enclosed the land, turned it into commodity, into utility, into private property that can be bartered and sold and negotiated in the marketplace, then we enclosed the great oceans commons ... into sea corridors. And now we have a law, the sea treaty, which allows each country to have sovereign use of two hundred miles out from the coastal waters, thirty-eight percent of the ocean, and ninety percent of everything that's worth anything in the ocean. Well, we went after the land, we went after the oceans, what was the next commons we enclosed? The atmosphere. Air corridors, airplane traffic. Now you can buy and sell and lease, what used to be the home of the gods. And after we got through enclosing the atmosphere, we went after the electromagnetic spectrum. Now you have to lease that spectrum, you have to buy it in the marketplace. And after we went after the spectrum and enclosed it and commodified it, turned it into private property for barter, we went after the gene pool in this decade. And now you can patent the microbes, you can patent the animals, you can patent the plants, you can literally enclose the biological commons of the Earth. And finally, we're moving on, outer space. For five centuries, Western tradition has been a history of global enclosure of the commons. The result: today's crisis. The Earth Summit in Rio. Global warming. Ozone depletion. Acid rains. Species extinction. Massive deforestation and desertification. These are global crises. We have had ... many environmental crises in history. But they have always been parochial. They have been localized. They have been limited in time and space. Now for the first time, we have a new genre of crises that are global in scale.
Global warming is not an accident or a scientific experiment gone awry, it's not just poor management, it is the bill for the entire industrial age. It is the debt writ large in the heavens. It's five hundred years of enclosure, compounded by the industrial experience and buttressed by the marketplace. And up there in the heavens is the entire inverse history of the age of modernity. Carbon dioxide, methane, chlorofluorocarbons, nitrous oxide. And now we're choking in our own gases. The sun hits the planet's surface, radiates heat back up, and the heat's not getting off. And our scientists tell us we may see ... a rise in temperature in your children's children's lifetime, of four to nine degrees fahrenheit. That doesn't sound too bad does it, what's your name? Never sit in the front row Richard, you always get picked on. Richard, if your temperature goes up four to nine degrees you're in big trouble aren't you? Because every species, Richard, lives in a very narrow temperature band. So does the Earth. The Earth is a living organism, I'm not using light poetic license here. We are learning in the reductionism of biochemistry, what every ancient civilization knew, before the age of enlightenment: this planet ... is ... a living organism. And this planet's temperature has not varied more than three degrees fahrenheit since the last ice age, eighteen thousand years ago. Now we're talking about a rise in temperature in one lifetime that separates your children from their children, that could eclipse an entire, geologic epoch in world history.
Sea water rise, three to five feet. Entire nations ceasing to exist. The Maldives off India. The Marshall Islands in the Pacific. The Caribbean Islands, we love to vacation there, there may even be no there there. Like the mythical Atlantis submerged under the great ocean depths. Imagine the United States in the year 2030. You could walk across the Mississippi river in August. Giant mud flats. Navigation ceases ten years earlier on that tributary. You go to Chicago's lakefront and you see palm trees right there on lake Michigan ... because it has the climate of Miami Beach. The Midwest is experiencing drought one out of every three years, threatening the food supply for millions of people in our country and around the world. A new generation of super hurricanes are battering our coastal cities from the Gulf all the way into Norfolk, Virginia ... they are fifty percent greater in intensity to the hurricanes we know today, more importantly they are forcing salt water in, inundating our freshwater lakes, streams and rivers. Contaminating our drinking water for our coastal populations.
The ozone hole is now so gaping, we are being subjected to massive doses of ultraviolet radiation, millions of additional skin cancers ... our immune systems and all the other creatures on the chain, are so compromised, read the paper this morning, so compromised from the UV, that we are now prone to traditional diseases we had eradicated long ago, and a whole new host of diseases that cross species boundaries, to which we know no antidote or cure.
Welcome to the greenhouse world. Welcome to the final climax of five hundred years of historical enclosure. The tombstone for the age of modernity. We're losing a species to extinction every sixty seconds. We'll lose fifteen percent of the plant and animal kingdom in nine years from now. That's massive ecocide, and we have no idea what the implications are. The spreading desertification, down from the sub-Sahara of Africa, in our western rangeland, and in Australia is now acute. In our western range, we've now lost twenty-five to fifty percent of the biomass.
Let me put global warming in a very personal perspective; let's take agriculture. Seventeen percent of all the agriculture is under irrigation. Here's the problem: where there is no rainfall now there may be significant rainfall in forty years from now. Where there is rainfall there may not be in forty years from now. How do we restructure the entire hydraulic system of the planet in one generation that separates your children from their children? Put it another way: anybody been to Yellowstone the last five years? Yellowstone? What's your name? Catherine, were you there in the summer? What, about seventy degrees, when you were there? Seventy? Well, in the Journal of Science, they did a computer model of what it may look like in forty years from now, we don't know, this is a projection, best modelling we have, and Catherine what they deduced is that the temperature range that is now in Yellowstone will have migrated way up into Canada in forty years from now. The trees ... cannot migrate fast enough ... to keep up with their own traditional temperature range, climate. Therefore the trees die, Catherine, and then, the microorganisms, the plants and the animals in that ecosystem, they perish. Magnify that one example ... to every biome ... on this Earth, and we begin to understand the magnitude of ... the global environmental crisis. And it's pretty personal, when I step on the accelerator, Jeremy Rifkin's CO2 molecules up into the heavens; every time I engage in a energy economic activity my name is written into the history books of the biosphere.
In less than one hundred years we human beings have affected the entire biochemistry of a planet. If you measure human accomplishments to date in terms of power, this is the single greatest accomplishment of the human race.
Somewhere in the 1990's, I believe, there's going to be a critical point reached. Where the accumulating environmental and human debt ... is going to be so acute that it will force ... a dialogue around the planet. More significant than any dialogue we've seen up until now. And when that happens, there's likely to be four responses by the human race. One, this isn't happening. Ever been in therapy? Avoidance behavior. We now call it the John Sunnunu effect. (laughs) It's always tough working with a crowd that's already committed ... alright. Number two, this is happening but I can't do anything about it. It is so overwhelming. Within that vacuum of cynicism and despair, we are likely to see very macabre religious and political movements emerge between now and the second millennium of the Christian era: it's coming. One, it isn't happening, two, I can't do anything about it, three, somewhere, somehow, someone at General Electric, General Dynamics, General Motors, they're going to come up with a quick fix. They're going to find a way to suck that CO2 right out of the atmosphere. They're going to plug that ozone hole. I see I don't have to deal too much with that one. Alright. And the final one, all equally likely, scenario four. Just possibly ... a leap of consciousness ... by an entire generation. Only the third time in history this will have happened. A leap of consciousness to a new conscious plateau, we begin to think of ourselves, not as a nation, not as a series of ethnic and religious groups, we begin to think of ourselves as a species ... housed among many other fellow travelers in the Earth kingdom. Now how do we ... (applause) ... how do we ... we've got a lot of work to do. How do we begin to think as a species? Now that kind of leaves a lot of people, come on, now we've really gone off the deep edge, we've got all sorts of historical conflicts that seem not to be resolvable, and you're talking about a leap of consciousness in one generation? How can an entire population start thinking as a species? It cannot be done, people say. Well, as the speaker said earlier, if someone were to come here three years ago and say you could buy, you could buy the Berlin Wall in Bloomingdale's for $9.95 a chunk ... (laughs) ... got it? A playwright the head of Czechoslovakia? Give me a break. Events are moving quite quickly. That means we have to give pause. We have to temper the euphoria, or our sense of frustration, with a deep sense of reflection about where we're heading.
How do we leap in consciousness to species politics, how do we go beyond the rhetoric? First of all, we can't have cheap grace. You know what cheap grace is? Any neo-orthodox Christian philosophers, theologians? Okay, I'll give you the cheap version of cheap grace, you ready? You go to a Jimmy Swaggart rally. The guy got caught again, didn't he? (laughs) You go to a Jimmy Swaggart rally, and afterwards you're so moved by his eloquence you say "I have been saved." And the next morning you go out there in the driveway and there's the BMW, you stick that little bumper sticker on the bumper "Honk If You Love Jesus." You don't fight the powers and principalities, you don't bear witness to the coming of the kingdom, we don't walk in the footsteps of Jesus, we don't minister to the poor, God forbid, we don't re-distribute our wealth and commit ourselves to Jubilee, we just honk, honk, honk if we love Jesus, you know people like that? (cheers, applause) ... alright, you know these people. Ha, ha, some of your friends ... okay. Cheap grace and the body politic. Is it tempting to isolate out these great environmental and human tragedies, as if they could be neatly addressed through legislative initiatives? Electing the right people to office. Committing ourselves to a covenant or charter. These crises cannot be dealt with or addressed until we are willing to do battle with the world view that gave rise to them. That's what's missing at the Summit at Rio. That's what's missing at the official Summit at Rio. I sat in a room, I shouldn't tell you this, but I'll let you in on this, I sat in a room ... for four days, three years ago, on the first little planning session on Rio. With Maurice Strong and about twenty-five people. Not one word at that meeting about changing world views.
A world view is a world view when you don't know it's a world view. A way of thinking that's so embedded into the psychology of a species or a culture that we never challenge it, we never question it, yet it's world views that dictate our policies ... that motivate our politicians, that underwrite our institutional foundation. Let me give you an example. Anybody here have a, ah, and keep thinking the global and human environmental crisis, anybody here have a digital watch? A digital watch. Okay, let me, what's you name? Shawn, let me see that watch, if that's the right one for me. Absolutely. Thank you. Alright. Keep thinking world views, and keep thinking global structures, now here's Shawn's watch, here's mine, what do you see on my dial that you don't have on Shawn's. Circle. You know if I were to come down here from another galaxy and I landed in this room at the Marriott, first stop, homo sapiens. Cute. But I don't know a thing about you, first thing I'd say is "show me your timepieces." If I know how you keep time, I'm going to know more about you ... than any other part of your social experience. Time is the most intimate part of our consciousness. Yet, it is the most important part of cementing social relationships. St. Augustine, the great schoolman of the church, once mused, "What is time? I know what it is," he said, "until you ask me." So I have a circle on my watch, and what's going on on the watch, we've got what else on that watch? Hands. And what are they doing? Which way? Good. (laughs) I had a student at a university two years ago who said "counterclockwise." (more laughs) My watch has a circle on it, the hands are going clockwise, and they relate to what? Right. The sun, the rotation of the Earth, the Circadian reference of the solar day, the last faint reminder that for eons of time, we measured time, in terms of our indebtedness to, the larger Earth rhythms that we are a part of. And if anyone ever asks you at a cocktail party "How do you know we're part of an organism?" Easy. Below our spatial reality, below the atoms, below the DNA, there is a temporal reality they have not even been able to understand. And in every species, there are biological clocks, more than we can ever count. And we're learning, that they are totally in synchronization, with the Circadian day, the lunar month, as in the menstruation cycles, the Circannual rhythms, men and women, all species, are totally temporally, rhythmically synchronized to the rotation of the Earth in the universe. An accident of history? Darwinian trial and error?
So. On my watch ... oh, I'm not going to keep picking on you people up here ... what's your name sir? Michael. On my watch you can see where the times come from, can't you. You can see fifty minutes past the hour, so there's history on there, right? You see a future on there? You can see where the time's going, and a present. So there's a lot of stuff going on on my watch. I've got a past, a present, a future, a circle relating to the Earth ... now let's take a look at Shawn's watch. You see any circle on this digital? Anything relating to our obligations to the rhythms and temporalities of the Earth? Can you see where the times come from? Is there a future reference? All you got on Shawn's watch is now, now, now, me, me, me. (laughs) I know, it was a gift, I got it. This is a pretty good metaphor for a generation growing up with the expediency of the marketplace. A generation whose mind was destroyed when they were two years old on Sesame Street. You parents thought you were doing a service to your children, didn't you? The worst thing that ever happened to your kids was Sesame Street. How many grew up on Sesame Street here? How many grew up on Mr. Rogers? Alright, it did take Mr. Rogers ten minutes to put on his sweater, and I don't understand that ... (laughs) ... because what happened with Sesame Street, it taught children to learn so quickly, that they were stimulated by the electronic pulses but did not have the ability to be reflective, and by the time they get to school, I work with teachers ... by the time they get to school, these kids are so hyped up, on the television sound bites and the computer and the sugar, that they do not have the patience to reflect ... to ponder. In my parent's generation, if someone was a ponderer, they thought that they may become ... a man of the cloth, they may become ... a great intellectual or philosopher. Today if we say this kid's a ponderer, some teacher's going to throw him or her in a developmental disability class! (laughs) Well, it's a little like a Woody Allen movie, either you get the lines or don't. Did you ever go into the Midwest, and you're in a movie theater, and fifty people are saying, "Is that funny? Is that funny?" They should be in Terminator II, not Woody Allen, they got the wrong genre ... okay. I don't mean that, I'm from the Midwest, let's be civilized here. God, it's starting to break down, it was so genteel before I came here! Is it me? I don't know. Alright.
If a civilization nails its time span to the moment, and loses a sense of history and the future, does that have any relationship to the global environmental crisis, enclosure, and the human crisis on the planet? Eliminate history, eliminate obligations, covenants, contracts. Eliminate history and my time is not spoken for; I can have pure power in a vacuum. That's what Big Brother did. He remade history every day to suit the expediency of the political moment. And our kids have a little saying, are there any people here under twenty? ... That should say something to us, we've got to get moving here, anyone under twenty? The young people have a saying, if they want to dismiss someone, they'll say "hey man, you're ... " What's the other one, "hey man you're ... " History. Because history doesn't exist for them. Eliminate history ... eliminate continuity ... between the generations. And narrow the time span ... can we then steward the future? Shawn? Where are you? Have you been born again? Shall we bury this out at the Marriott Hotel in a kind of ceremony? (applause) Thanks. Alright.
World views. Alright, I'm going to try something, with you folks. This is a little sleazy way to learn, but, I'm going to try it anyway. Are you ready? One dollar. One dollar. See if you can get this. If I were to say to you what value has emerged in the last ... how many have heard me speak in the last three ... four years? You can't play this. If I were to say what value has emerged in the last hundred years, out of obscurity, did not exist more than a 150 years ago, it is now the dominant value of our civilization, critical to our science, essential to our technology, motivates the marketplace, absolutely underlines our economic theory, and pushes most of our private and public life, what is that value? (many answers) Greed and sex? (laughs) That's close ... Ego ... Y'all missed it, you got pretty close, but you missed it. You ready? You're going to really regret that you didn't get this, because this is the simplest. There are two basic coordinates: time and space. If we want to know the problems of our world view, go deep into the temporal value, and deep into the spatial value, and then we'll be able to re-learn our participation in the universe, you ready? Here's the temporal coordinate of the modern world view. It is this word. Efficiency. How important is that? Have you ever had anyone ... efficiency is the prescription for disaster for this Earth. Efficiency is destroying the planet. Now you heard real crazy stuff, didn't you? That's how you know you're deep in a world view. No one's ever challenged that word for you before, have they? Efficiency. It developed in classical thermodynamics ... in the late nineteenth century ... and here's the definition: maximize your output, in the minimum time, using the minimum capital, labor, and energy in the process. You ready? Who popularized that term? Who was the intellectual? Frederick ... Taylor! Principles of Scientific Management, stop-watching the workers, and then what entrepreneur put the concept of efficiency on-line? Ford. Exactly. Efficiency. If I were to ask, could you come up with another way of defining productivity in the world ... why is efficiency a prescription for disaster? Maximize your output in the minimum time, using the minimum labor, energy and capital in the process. Find more efficient tools, in order to maximize the use of the Earth's resources faster and faster and faster in less and less time, with less labor, energy and capital, you got it? That is the opposite of sustainability, because the planet's timetable has no relationship to our production and social schedules. And if we continue to produce faster and faster in less time, the Earth cannot recycle the waste and restore the stock. Sustainability has become a cheap term. Let's start talking about what's below that. Anybody want to begin to talk about efficiency.
What's the alternative? How about we knock off this and put sufficiency. Minimize your output, in the appropriate time, taking into consideration the needs of the community and future generations. The, ah ... a lot of Washingtonians here, how many have visited the cathedral? Beautiful? Efficient? (laughs) Took ninety years to build that one. Little Italian stonemasons. It took time, labor, energy, and capital. But when you go over Washington in the jet, you see that building, it has being to it, not just becoming. It's not part of the information society, it has a sense of ontology, you got it? Downtown Washington, we put up these high-rises, they're all pre-fabs, seven weeks, seven floors. How long will those buildings last? How long will the cathedral last? See, one is efficient, the other is sufficient and sustainable. Many of you are world travelers, I see the veterans in this room, many people I've known over the years. You're world travelers, anybody been to Sienna? Sienna. Look at this! Is it beautiful? John, Sienna? And you go in there, and you got buildings that are a thousand years old, the streets are still cobbled, the sewer systems work, it was built with a lot of time, labor, energy, and capital. It was built sufficiently, and for sustainability. Ah, John, let me ask you, how many American suburbs do you think will be here in one thousand years from now? (nervous laughs)
Anybody here ever work at McDonald's? Let me see. Let me see. Anybody ever work at fast food here? Would you stand up for us for a minute, come on. All of you, stand up for a minute, help us out. Come on, don't be ... come on, there it is ... oh my God, can we have a moment of silence for these people? (laughs) Stand up, no no no, stay up, stay up, stay up, I want to talk to you, I want to talk to you. Can a hyper-efficient environment ever be a joyful, playful, empathetic, caring and nurturing setting? Did you feel ... who was at McDonald's here? What's your name? Come here. Jay. Did you feel that the essential you was allowed to blossom in that setting? (laughs, applause) Well, let's try this. When you think of MTV, do the following terms come to mind: loving, caring, empathetic, stewardship? Alright. Well, that's what we've got to re-think, we've got to re-think it. Efficiency. Would we ever treat anyone we cared for efficiently? I love you honey, so I'm going to maximize my output in the minimum time. (laughs) I'm not sure we want to get into that. (more laughs) Shame on you. And you know in the eighties, the yuppie parents had, ah, quality time. Mom and dad would be out at six in the morning for power breakfast, then they'd have power lunch and power dinner, and then they'd finish up with power pumping iron, and then they'd come back and there's little Joshua and Naomi sitting there ... they've been, ah, by themselves for about two hours, the nanny left ... it's funny they call them Joshua and Naomi now, you know, as we become increasingly less spiritual, we have to name all our kids after the bible, you know it's kind of a faint reminder ... and so they say Joshua and Naomi, come over here, let's have a little ... quality time ... tell me a little about yourself. (laughs) Does this have anything to do with the global environmental and human crisis? Is this the age of progress, twenty-five percent of our species ... I'll be more conservative, twenty percent of our species, is going to bed malnourished tonight. Never before in history have we seen this kind of tragedy. Progress has only been, as you know, I know the veterans in here, as you know and have preached for years, progress is only for that small, little group, in western Europe and the United States and Japan who have reaped the benefits at the expense of our fellows. And for twenty percent of our species, this has been the Dark Age. And if you go back to Paleolithic times, if you go back to Neolithic times, if you go back to antiquity and Medieval Europe, you will never see ... twenty percent of a human race going to bed hungry every night. That's why you people are in this room, and that's why you people have committed your lives to restructuring our world view, re-thinking our lifestyle, and rebuilding the institutional framework of the Earth. That's what this is all about. Now. Where do we proceed?
Francis Bacon, Rene Descartes, Isaac Newton, John Locke, Adam Smith, Carl Marx, Charles Darwin, the boys. (laughs) Alright, Sigmund Freud. Between 1620 and the late 1900's a handful of brilliant scholastics, philosophers, scholars, recreated a world view that you and I are living off of today, as we move into the Earth Summit ... and the twenty-first century. Francis Bacon led off the charge. He's the father of modern science. He's the father of modernity. How many have read the Novum Organum? Founding document of modernity. Let's see. I'm curious. Stand up, I would just like to see how many have actually read this book. Let's see. You know what, that's interesting, I'll bet you most of you are theologians or philosophers, most scientists I know, and I spend a lot of time with them, have never read their founding document. It's sort of like, what if you went to the family priest, and you said "Father, have you read the good book?" "No, but tell me a little about it." (laughs) Francis Bacon took on the ancient Greek scholars, and the Medieval schoolmen ... the church ... and he said look: the Greeks are always sitting around the bathhouse asking why. He said I'm not interested in why, I'm interested in ... how. Yes. What's your name? Shelly, help me out here, who was your, come on up here, who was your teacher in science, your first science teacher? Yeah, science, who was it, you remember a name? Mrs. Crockett? You remember one time Shelly, maybe this happened to you, she said "Shelly ... how many times do I have to tell you, Shelly ... keep you own opinions off the exam. Try and be objective. Prove it to me. Give me facts, Shelly." Do you remember this? What was Mrs. Crockett teaching Shelly? Objectivity. What's the ... scientific method, remember? What, seventh grade? That's when we used to get it, seventh grade, that's Francis Bacon, Shelly, he said we could detach ourselves from nature, and become neutral observers. Well, there we severed the relationship with the commons, didn't we ... intellectually speaking. And as neutral observers from the outside in we could force nature to do what we want it to do. Francis Bacon said "knowledge is ... power." The more power we amass over nature, the more control we exercise, the more progress we make, the more secure we become. That's the geopolitics of the modern era. The philosophy of geopolitics is based in the enlightenment tradition of the scientific method. How do we go beyond the scientific method? Well, look ... by the way, I must say the eco-feminist historians are a little right about Francis Bacon. This man was a misogynist. He said nature was his common little harlot. We've got to tame her excesses. These are exact words, we have to squeeze and mold her. This gentleman needed therapy, but Freud wasn't alive yet. (laughs)
So. Francis Bacon ... in personal relationships, the reason you can be amused by this, is because in this room is the age of therapeutic consciousness ... not the age of historicity. We've already passed by a whole page in world history. What does that mean? The age of historicity is our grandparents' generation. Let's say grandmother did something that you didn't like, and you asked grandmother to sit down, and you said "grandmother, now you just did something here that was pretty interesting, you were obviously acting out, and projecting some experience from your childhood that we ought to try and examine." And grandmother doesn't know what you're talking about, right? But every one of your children do, don't they? Because we now have two generations that can think about their own thinking ... can critique their own consciousness. The down side of that is narcissism. How do I think about how I feel about how I think today? The silver lining is we now have the ability, through therapeutic consciousness, to make a leap into a new consciousness in history, in a short period of time. In personal relationships, if we acted like Francis Bacon, say I used the scientific method in my personal relationships. I try to be a neutral observer, make my mate conform to the way I'd like her to be, squeeze and mold her, subject her, subdue her, will the relationship grow? (uneasy laughs) Why would it be any different in relationship to the world we relate to? We have a method of science ... that we would never use in our personal interactions, yet we use it to orchestrate our relationships to our fellow human beings, our fellow creatures, and the living Earth.
Rene Descartes. One night, according to his biography, he got the flu! He got the flu. And he hallucinated, and the next morning he said he had unlocked the secrets of the universe, it came to him in a moment ... all of the universe is orchestrated by one principle: mathematics. Give me extension and motion, he said, and I'll reconstruct the universe. He saw it as a giant ... clockwork ... mechanism. He reduced all quality to quantity, and placed mathematics as the underlying reality. What can't be reduced to mathematical, mechanical, statistical standards? All of the human feelings that bond us to relationships in the world. And you all know what I'm talking about, from your personal experience. Some of you younger people will remember this, here's the great signature of our age. It starts, for our generation, think about this: senior year in high school. Six hours of the most humiliating personal experience in your life, and at the end you look down at the paper, rather confused, and you see all these tubes. Now the kids have ovals. All these ovals. Is this sounding familiar? And the last twenty minutes, you didn't care, you were kind of in an existential vacuum, you said all "A." "A, A, A, A, A, A," well, wait a minute, maybe it was all "B, B" ... and before they took that SAT score, to get it computerized, you wanted to say something to them, but you couldn't, you wanted to say wait a minute, this isn't me. What's your name? Well, you know what I'm talking about ... oh, well, stand up, good, and you wanted to say wait a minute, I'm Susan Brian, and you say well wait a minute, I ah, there's some things I want to put in the tubes here ... I'm a nice person, I'm loyal to my friends, I'm good in crisis, I brake for animals on the road ... (laughs) You just took, the GRE's, am I right, it is kind of a ... it makes you feel a little dirty afterwards, the whole experience, and you participate in it, right? That's the system. Am I saying this just to entertain us? No. Keep thinking the global environmental and human crisis. What I'm talking about this afternoon is part of enclosure. We didn't just enclose the commons. Then we enclosed ourselves, from the collective. Then we enclosed our mind from our body. Then we enclosed our consciousness from animated life. What I'm talking about now, is how we move from enclosure to opening up all the commons. And then we can begin, after we understand that, to reframe the institutional relationships, the lifestyles: our world view.
So. Name me all the senses. Sight. Ah! First one up, yes. Then smell is the last one mentioned. I find that interesting, okay. Our world views are dictated by how we use our senses. Every culture uses its senses in different ways. Now, what is the most abstract of all the senses? The most detached sense. What? Sight ... is the most detached of the senses. What's a little more intimate than sight? Hearing. What's a little more intimate than hearing? Touch. Then smell, taste and smell, without smell you can't ... what's the most important sense for memory? Would your dog rather lose her sense of smell or sight? Which part of the sensory spectrum do we rely on almost exclusively for our world view? What does it say about a culture that has come to dominate by one part of the spectrum, the most detached, the most objective? In mythology and anthropology, sight ... is the sense of expropriation, of targeting, of aggression. It's essential, we need it, but it's only one sense. Taste, touch, and smell are the intimate senses, of bonding. Now, we used to be able ... you know, it's funny, when I was a kid you could go into the grocery store, check this out, you older people, and you could smell the different seasons, right? You could smell the tomato season, the corn season, right? Can you smell anything, anytime, in Safeway? When you pick up the flowers at Johnson's florist here in Washington, my wife and I did this morning, can you smell those flowers? They look more and more pretty, don't they? Because they're breeding for visual, you know that. And against smell. So we still kid ourselves, you know, every time I buy flowers for my wife, I say those roses really smell good, we're all in on a con job, she says, yeah, they really do ... you can't smell them at all. But they cost five bucks a flower, so we want to still think we can. We used to be able to detect ten thousand different odors, two hundred years ago. We're now down to two thousand. If I were to say to you we're going to lose eighty percent of our visual capacity in the next hundred years, would you be concerned about the future? What happens when you give up smell? Without smell, no memory. No memory traces, no sense of obligation, no mooring, no sense of being, no sense of continuity. And our children are quickly moving to another reality, not the Earth Summit, not the living Earth. They are quickly moving through MTV and the computers, they are moving into the world of virtual reality ... age of simulation. Totally divorced from anything that's alive and animate. Surrounded by the machines which give them a purely visual and somewhat auditory experience. In my grandparents generation, a majority of their experience every day was with things that were alive! They would shoulder their tasks. They didn't have all pavement, so there had to be soil for their feet at some point during the day. They touched living animals. How much of our children's experience today is with anything that's animate? They are with machines, they are with ... plastic. Am I saying go back in time, don't worry, I'm not. We're going to get to a post-modernity. But let's at least go through the experience of enclosure with each other.
Can we restore the planet ... rebuild our relationship to nature, if we continue to move more and more to a totally visual, simulated reality? Am I saying give up sight? No, with sight you have objective detachment, which we have to have. So if you go over a forest in a jet, your visual sense of the relationships are pretty interesting. But if we walk in that forest and we taste, touch, and smell our reality, we have a different sense of it. We need both. Aristotle wrote a little book, Nicomethian Ethics, he said ... balance between the extremes. Do we need efficiency? Yes. But it has to be balanced by sufficiency. Sometimes do we have to expropriate? Yes, but it has to be balanced by participation in community. Do we need visual? Yes, but it has to be balanced by the sensual. You know, it was Napoleon who wrote back to Josephine when he was on the Russian front, he said "Don't bathe, I'm coming home." (laughs) That one takes a little longer ...
Global environmental and human crisis. How do we get back in touch with all the commons? Mind. Body. Nature. Earth.
John Locke was the ultimate philosopher of the Enlightenment. John Locke was the great politician of the modern age, really, he said ... everything in nature is idle waste, unproductive, those trees are out there, unenclosed, they are not doing anything valuable for us, or to quote one great president, "If you've seen one Redwood tree ... " (laughs) We've got to keep these things alive in the memory, you know? You younger people ask the older people who that was later. Now. Everything in nature is idle waste, said Locke, I'm going to get over to you folks, everything in nature is idle waste until we harness it with technology to create valuable product. The faster we enclose nature, transform it, the more wealth we generate. That is the world view of the nations of the world, the governments going into the Earth Summit. But the world view of this leadership, many of you who have spent twenty-five years, is totally different. You believe that everything in nature is not idle waste, but value. Intrinsic value, and some thermodynamic or utility value. All we do with all of that value, God's creation, is we transform it into temporary products, goods, utilities, and what then happens to all of the things we create eventually? They end up back in nature as ... waste. Pooh- pooh. Entropy. Some of it's recyclable, some of it isn't. That's two different world views, isn't it? Waste into value, John Locke ... value to utility to waste, the new world view. If you believe, and I believe most people in this room believe it's world view [number] two, then can someone please explain to me, because no economist can, what is Gross National Product? Because those government leaders going into Rio, they think Gross National Product is the measure of the wealth we generate in goods and services each year. They're a little confused. Gross National Product is merely a measure of the temporary value we have created by using up the resources of this planet, and creating pollution in the process, and then even the temporary value becomes part of the waste stream. You never break even, you always lose. Second law, thermodynamics. Can you imagine any world leader saying, "Well, we want to greatly expand our GNP next year so we can use up more of the Earth's resources, and create more pollution." Every developing nation understands ... the bankruptcy of the trickle-down theory of economics. They see a United States with five percent of the world population gobbling up forty percent of the world's resources, and then calling it Gross National Product, and progress for humankind. What they know is it's simply using up the bounty at their expense. How do we begin thinking in terms of sustainable economics here in this country, not just overseas in development policy, we'll talk about it in a minute.
So. We call this the age of growth. The age of growth. Do we ever grow anything? Do we ever grow anything? I find that to be pretty interesting. Come over here. Ah, I'll see how far I can go ... yeah, yeah, yeah, these are the people that didn't want to commit themselves to me, early on. Would you help me here? What is your name? Sheila. Very nice, attractive woman, take a look, not one molecule in her face will be here in a year from now. Boy, nice and warm, my hands are freezing, aren't they? I've been stepping on her molecules now for about a hour. They're all over the room. This physical person from the neck up as you see will not be, her, physically, any of this, in about a year from now. What's your name, sir? Nice looking young man ... what's your name? Don? Do you know your whole body ... I know you, don't I? Do you know your whole body will be replaced in seven years from now, the arteries, the veins, the heart, the lungs, a totally new you. Look around at all of us! We're all going to be replaced in seven years from now! Wait a minute! How does the DNA know where to ah ... hang out? How does the DNA know where to go? They don't know that. So they don't ask the questions, and they don't want the kids to ask that question.
Everything in this room is borrowed. My shirt, will my shirt be a shirt in ten years from now? Where did it go? Will this room be a room in five hundred years from now? Where did it go? Will this pen ... well, this will be here for a while ... (laughs) Everything is borrowed. The fiber and fabric of our being. The accoutrements of civilization. The monuments we build to our own salvation. It's all borrowed! That's what economics is about. We continue to think that economics is an independent force and that the environment is an issue. What you know is that the ecosystem is the basic framework and the economy is just how we transform it for temporary value. We BORROW. It begins in nature, we borrow, it goes back to where it came from, the bible says, "from dust, to dust." We're relearning the ancient wisdom.
How come we never use the word "age of borrow?" Because when you borrow ... you've got to pay back. There's a lot of ethics in that word. Anybody here from the church? The church? We understand that. Borrow. Indebtedness. Relationship. Mutuality. Any ethics in the word "grow?" Amoral. What if I could wave a magic wand and every textbook in the world that your children use, we eliminate the age of growth, and we put in the age of borrow, the age of indebtedness. Would that change our relationship to the living Earth? Would we still have the global environmental and human crisis, if we thought in terms of indebtedness? These aren't very ... sometimes I'm embarrassed, I feel like Chauncy the gardener ... I do, because this is so embarrassingly obvious ... we shouldn't even have to talk about this. The age of borrow.
Well, okay. World views. I'd like ... you've been patient with me, I want to take the last few minutes to outline ... a world view that you've already created in the last twenty, twenty-five years, most of you. Just to try and give a general consensus of what the various groups in here have been putting together. Can we try that for a few minutes? A whole new world view.
A new philosophy of science. You ready? Let's go through every one of them, alright? A new philosophy of science. Francis Bacon said detachment, neutrality, objectivity, mold, squeeze, and direct: power. How about a new philosophy of science based on empathy, connection, relationship, context, community. Example. The old architect would build the Sears tower in Chicago. Power, detachment, isolation. That building uses more energy in twenty-four hours than the entire city of Rockford, Illinois. And there's 140,000 people in Rockford, Illinois. Is that building borrowing to the extent that it can pay back its debt to nature? Future generations? Our fellow travelers, the other creatures? Now the new architect, she doesn't want to build a Sears tower. She wants to build a passive solar home. A building so elegant in design, so unobtrusive, so integrated with the environment that you can barely distinguish where her building leaves off, and the temporal and spatial orientation of nature begins. She is out of the Frank Lloyd Wright tradition, he was ahead of his time. She wants architecture to be commensurate with the larger community of life. Is she any less scientific than ... the one that wants to build the passive solar home, is she any less scientific than the person who builds the Sears tower? Is she saying no to progress? Is she bringing us back to the stone age? Can one be in favor of science and still be respectfully critical of the limited narrow science we've engaged in during the enlightenment? Of course. We know that. We now have to take our knowledge and place it into a political setting. If we want to restore the planet, we need a science based on connection, relationship, context. Maybe we could have gone with Goethe ... we went with Bacon. It's not too late. We'll learn from our lessons.
So a new philosophy of science based on empathy, relationship, and community ... by the way, any biologists here? I already talked to you, anybody else? What's your name, sir? Bob. Bob, tell me if I'm right or wrong. Which is easier, splicing a gene, in a laboratory, or figuring out all the relationships in one pond of water. Exactly. If we want to turn on our children, and educate them to a new way of thinking that's more intellectually challenging, it's the science of relationship. We're into crude, primitive use of the mind!
So a new philosophy of science based on empathy and relationship, how about a new philosophy of technology? You know, there's a great myth of the twentieth century ... and that myth is that tools are neutral. When we leave here today, I hope we're all convinced, by the time we're done, that there's never been a neutral tool in history. This is balderdash, the idea that tools are neutral, they can be regulated for good or bad. I used to have friends, we'd have endless arguments, they would say, a nuclear power plant in a socialist utopia ... will perform better than in a capitalist marketplace, because it's controlled of, by, and for the people. No, no, other people in the room would say no, a nuclear power plant in a capitalist marketplace is going to have to perform better because it has to compete. It's going to have to be better. And then we got Three Mile Island and Chernobyl. It don't make a damn bit of difference where you put that nuclear power plant. What am I saying? Well. Tools are never neutral. What are tools? It's very important we understand this because up until three hundred years ago, we had a personal and transcendent God in western history, and then we retired her. Now, in times of crisis, we call upon what to save us? Science. Technology is our salvation. Strip the God, and what we find is that tools are merely transformers. They are appendages of our being. They allow us to inflate our mind and body so we can eclipse time and space. A bow and arrow gives you more power than your throwing arm. A locomotive, or jet, or car, more running power than my legs. A computer amplifies some forms of memory. Every tool we fashion is power. It inflates us in the world. Power is never neutral, because the minute it's exercised, there's always something being expropriated, and something being secured. Something becomes a victim, and something becomes ... a usurper. You with me?
So the question before the next generation after the Earth Summit, as we deal with the whole question of remodelling technology: how much power ... is appropriate. Are there technologies that we could conceive of or create that are so inherently powerful, that in the mere act of exercising those tools, we undermine our relationship to the scale of things. One technology in our lifetime: nuclear power plants. Amory Lovin said, I wish I'd said it, it's a great line, he said "It's like using an electric chain saw to cut butter." It's out-of-scale power. Genetic engineering? Parts of it may be out-of-scale. The jury's not in on that one. And there could be many more, nano-technologies are coming as well. So, how much power is appropriate? How do we develop tools ... that sustain, rather than drain the environment. Our tools are designed for efficiency, for expediency, for getting more output in less time: prescription for disaster. How do we develop a more sophisticated post-modern technology based on sustaining our relationships with the time frame and spatial orientation of the ecosystems? Sustainable agriculture, solar technologies, preventative health, that's just a few of the many new technologies we're going to have to develop.
So a new philosophy of science based on empathy, relationship, community. New philosophy of technology based on appropriate power, sustain rather than drain the environment. How about a new concept of progress? When I grew up, we thought of progress as more output, more output, and more output. Remember Weekly Reader? More output. We're all growing and growing and growing. How about this for progress: new initiatives that enhance the well-being of the community, steward the resources, protect the rights of future generations, and ensure that our fellow travelers, the other creatures, are appropriately taken care of, protected. Isn't that a lot more sophisticated than more production? (applause)
So, a new concept of science: empathy. New concept of technology: appropriate power and sustainability. New concept of progress: the rights of present and future generations. Now we've got to talk about something even deeper. Let's talk about security. We have a very bizarre way of defining security in the modern age! Let's get it down to a personal level, and then you can take it up to a geopolitical level. We define security as autonomy ... and mobility. Personally, and geopolitically. Our parents teach us from an early age the geopolitics of the Earth. They say to the sons and daughters of generation after generation, learn to be autonomous, and learn to have as much mobility, so your options aren't foreclosed. Right? Every other civilization I've heard of in history is dedicated to a different principle. Some of you might have seen the Legacy series on PBS? Totally different organizational framework. You see for our ancestors, only 200 years ago, security was grounded in the community, sacred geometry of place ... the commons. And they looked up to the heavens for eternal salvation. It was a vertical security, from the axis of the Earth, all the way into the cosmos. We define security as autonomy and mobility, and it's all bound up in one technology, and what is it? You want to understand the modern world, understand this tool. It's the basic tool of the modern age, and it's the most devastating tool in history. The auto ... mobile. It's autonomous. It's mobile. And when you're sixteen ... I couldn't wait. Because I could get behind that [steering wheel] and I had detachment, isolation, neutrality, control, power, I could be autonomous, and highly mobile. I could rule the world. Give up the automobile, move beyond the combustion engine, create a new world view ... restore the planet. Move into a new concept of security. What would it look like? Post-modernity. There's a saying, "Think globally, act locally." What does it mean? Re-establish the ground of our being, in philosophy. There is a saying in the civil rights and labor movement, a little song, some of have been through these struggles, I almost feel ... difficult getting in front of a group, many of whom are not just my peers, but have had twenty more years at this than I have, so, I apologize, I understand there's a debt to paid in this room, alright? I understand ... what has gone before me. But remember the civil rights and labor song? "We shall not, we shall not be moved." Many of you were on the front lines. Well, what does that mean? We understand that when one is grounded in the sacred geometry of place, when one actually has established a sense of community, all of the power that comes in from the margins can not break that ... central ... reality. That's the power of community. Re-grounding in the community. The multi-national corporations are ephemeral institutions. And that's what we're really dealing with in the 21st century, the nation-state, that's going to be a hostage of either the people, or the multi-nationals. And what we're talking out there is GATT. What we're talking about is the institutional arrangements that supersede the nation-state. [The nation-states are] an archaic institution, because they are still somewhat grounded in place, although nation-states are arbitrary, because they were created with market conditions in mind, as opposed to any kind of sacred reality. On the other hand, the multi-nationals have no place. They are not bounded by time or space. How do we fight that tremendous, global, institutional power of irresponsibility? Reclaim the ground of being. Re-establish the community. And then maybe we'll have time to look out into the heavens and beyond, just maybe.
So, a new philosophy of science: empathy. New concept of technology: sustainability. New concept of progress: future generations. New concept of security: retake the ground of being. Rethink knowledge. Knowledge. You and I grew up to think of knowledge, our teachers teach us that knowledge is how knowledge. It's technical knowledge. It's manipulative knowledge. We have the knowledge of exteriors. How, how, how. But we do not have the knowledge of interiors. Why ... why ... why. The Socratic tradition. Why don't we have it? Oh, in about third grade, most kids are still thinking. There's two types of kids in third grade, check out your own kids here, one goes "me, me, me," the other one goes "why, why, why?" Do you know these two types of kids? But you know the kid who says "why," the teacher keeps saying "Please, Marsha, sit down, you're disturbing the class. Marsha, I told you, ask that question later, sit down, you're disturbing the class, Marsha, sit down!" After twelve years of "Marsha sit down, you're disturbing the class," Marsha comes into college and she only has one question left: "Teacher, teacher, will this be ... [on the exam]. Exactly. I rest my case. So, a new concept of knowledge. There's not only technical knowledge, there is revelatory knowledge. And they both ... remember Aristotle, balance ... we need both, but they require a completely ... different way of using the mind. In technical knowledge, as we try to fashion new ways of relating in the world and global structures, we have to have control over our environment, to understand how questions. We have to control in order to get a result, you with me? But why knowledge requires a total surrender of the mind, one has to let go, and allow ... truth to be revealed in. We need both. As Aristotle said, when you choose one value at the expense of other values, you risk, in modern guise, pathology. We need technical knowledge. We need to control. But we also need to surrender our minds occasionally, reflect and ponder, maybe things will be revealed to us, that may be as important as the technical prescriptions we're working off of.
New concept of science: empathy. Technology: sustainability. Progress: future generations. New concept of security, grounded in the axis of being. New concept of knowledge, we ask the interior questions, we have reality revealed to us, not just something we take. Finally, let me take two last things, you've been very patient. I'm going to narrow this list, give you a few more minutes. Oh, okay, let's deal with ethics. And I'm going to deal with something we never talk about: evil. There's evil. There's evil. Anybody tells you there isn't evil, they're wrong, there's evil. The problem is, the reason we ... have not become impassioned about the Earth, is that our generations are still living off an antiquated code of ethics that can't possibly deal with the crisis. Why are our children not at the front line, yet? Because we have yet to introduce a new concept of morality. You see, Judeo-Christian theology is good to a point. It's hot evil. We're taught, if someone kills someone, go to jail, that's it. If somebody burgles someone, they're guilty. If someone commits a personal act, we have righteous indignation in the community. That's hot evil. But a new form of evil has emerged during the industrial moment, the enlightenment, the modern world, and we didn't catch up with our theology, it's cold evil. And if you look at Dante's twelve circles, the last circle of Hell is ... ice. It's the powers and principalities. Cold evil is evil that's mediated by so many institutional and technological layers that we have no sense of our relationship to the actions that we are responsible for. And therefore we can't muster up the righteous indignation and passion to commit ourselves to restore the right relationships with the Earth. Simple. And we were given two archetypes, not by God, but by fate, we were given Adolf Hitler, hot evil ... but we were also given ... Adolf Eichmann, cold evil. Ronald Reagan, better example. (applause) Alright, George Bush.
So. What do I mean by this? There were some snickers when we dealt with the hamburger, why would Jeremy Rifkin be dealing with beef? The guy's, I don't know, kind of a loose cannon, but ... cold evil. The next time your child has a quarter-pounder. About two percent of our beef comes from Central America, not much, but when they get that beef, that cattle, grazing on that Central American plain, they have to raze fifty-five square feet of tropical rain forest, and they burn it, and carbon goes into the heavens. 500 pounds of carbon for every quarter-pounder. And when they burn the trees, for that cow to graze, the rich diversity of biological life, of eons of history, are destroyed. And so that's why we're losing a species every sixty seconds. And when the beautiful songbirds of North America come down for the winter life on the tree canopies, there's no trees, and they die. That's why you don't hear the Baltimore Oriole anymore. And when you don't hear the Baltimore Oriole, you've got another problem: all the pests that it checked, they proliferate, we've got to use more pesticides, we contaminate the drinking water. Cattle ... cattle? There's 1.28 billion cows out there, that's cold evil. Not the cattle themselves, the industry. These cows are taking up 24 percent of the land mass of this Earth, and they weigh more than the human race. And we're raising cattle primarily so Europeans and Americans can live high up on a protein chain and literally consume the Earth into our bodies. That's the personal reality of using the Earth's resources. Let me tell you the figures. Cattle are the major source of deforestation in Central and South America. Not the only one, the major one. They're the major source of spreading desertification in the sub-Sahara. Goats and sheep play a part, but cattle are number one. They're the major source of environmental loss in the western range, twelve percent of the United States, and in Australia. They not only emit methane into the heavens, but, every time the trees burn for the pastures, CO2. The groundwater is contaminated by twice as much organic pollutants as industrial pollutants: run-off from the factory feedlots. And cattle, and other livestock, now consume seventy percent of all the grain produced in America, and one third of all the grain in the world. How can we continue ... if you want to talk about the great anthropological inequity of the 20th century, it hasn't even been discussed much in development circles. In fact, I've raised it a few times and people are nervous about it. How can we continue to grow feed, displace millions of people in Central and South America off the land where they used to grow corn, and beans, and now we're growing soy and sorghum for the European and American livestock market, so we can eat grain-fed meat. How many are willing to give up the hamburger? (applause) Okay, well, join the Beyond Beef campaign, we're going to launch this April, and we're going to go after the National Cattlemen's Association, we're going after Cargill, we're going to tie them up in the courts and the legislatures of this world. (more applause) Alright.
So. Now we know cold evil. Let me finish with politics. Getting too hot here, we've got to calm down. Politics. We're going to finish, you've been patient. Alright, politics. Kind of boring after evil, isn't it? Alright. The old politics is right-left, conservative-liberal, I guess we don't have capitalist-socialist much anymore ... but that's the old politics. Most of the younger people, and I think most of us, are finding those labels increasingly less challenging. They're not too interesting, are they? Because a new political spectrum is emerging as we turn the corner into the Earth Summit and the 21st century, and it has yet to be identified. The new politics isn't right-left. It's not conservative-liberal. The new politics has, on one side, rank utilitarianism. John Locke's prescription and dream run all the way to the end of the line. Enclose the land, enclose the ocean, enclose the atmosphere, the electromagnetic spectrum, the gene pool, enclose the whole Earth and turn it into utility, for short-term, market expediency manipulated by the global marketplace. That is one pole of the new politics. Utilitarianism. The other side of the spectrum, and there's a lot of distance in between: resacralizing our relationship to the creation, the Earth. Millions of years of evolutionary experience. Well, what does that mean? What does that mean? Some people, when they ... get up in the morning, they smell that bacon frying in the pan, it's a warm, cozy feeling to them. To me, it's burning flesh on the pot. What does that mean? Well, you know, pig's one of the three or four, what is it, right up there, parrots, pigs, dolphins, dogs, there are about five or six right up at the top there, in terms of consciousness, you know that. Why am I saying that? Is a pig just here for our utility purposes? There's something wrong in part of the environmental movement, a deep sickness. The environmental movement is split, you know this. On one side are the resource utilitarians, let's keep Sherwood forest stocked, for the hunters and the fishermen and for all of us. But on the other side of the environmental movement, there's a hundred year tradition of resacralizing our relationship to ... the rest of the kingdom.
So, what does it mean? You saw the movie The Gods Must Be Crazy? Great film. Remember the African bushman slaying the animal? And then he apologized to its family? And at first you kind of snicker, and then all of the sudden everyone's got a ... kind of an uneasy silence? He understood, that bushman, all of the critique of the modern world view. He understood his indebted relationship to scheme of things. Of course we have to expropriate. Anyone who tells you we don't expropriate doesn't understand the nature of it here. There may be a cruel reality to it, but there is expropriation. But isn't there a difference ... between a mutual sense of indebtedness, based on sufficiency ... and on the other hand reducing all of the Earth, and all of our fellow travelers, even our fellow human beings, to utility for short-term expediency? That was the lesson of the African bushman. A little two-minute segment that everyone in America remembered.
So. On one side of the spectrum, utter, total utilitarianism, and there can be some good environmentalists into utilitarianism, let's keep it all stocked for us. On the other side, re-sacralize our relationship to each other, fellow creatures, and the planet. Final message. For all of us. Buckminster Fuller, very ... brilliant man, wait ... don't clap ... until I tell you what I'm about to say ... he coined the term "Spaceship Earth." Time and place, maybe it made sense. Spaceships, though, it reminds me of this Biosphere II project. A spaceship is human-made, in its metaphor. It's hermetically sealed, it's cold, it's distant. There are two great metaphors for our kids: Spaceship Earth ... living organism. Gaia, they call it now. What are the metaphors they'll use? If they think of it as a spaceship, they're going to have a completely different sense. Autonomy, mobility. But if they think of it as a living organism they're going to think of themselves as participants in a community. So what we need to do is firmly establish ... the idea, long revered in history, of the Earth as a living organism.
Finally ... new science, new technology, new concept of progress, new ideas of ethics, new concepts of security, knowledge, and politics, how does it all add up? Third stage of human consciousness. I started, remember, saying there were two stages? Third stage. Owen Barfield. Ninety-two year old British barrister and philosopher. Not well known, written many books. How many know him? Interesting gentleman, isn't he? He said something that really caught my attention a few years ago. He said we've had two great stages of consciousness in human history, and of course it's always generalizations, but ... it rang true for me. First stage of human consciousness, hunter-gatherer ... consciousness. We had intimate participation with the natural order. We were a part of it. But we had no sense of self. We revered the generativity of nature, and we constantly cajoled it in order to ... be able to make ends meet. Second stage of history, we reduced nature from a generative force, including our own nature, to a ... productive force. And that's the great break in consciousness, from generativity ... to productivity. And in the process, we learned, from Neolithic agriculture until today, the end of the pyrotechnical era, the nuclear era, we learned how to detach ourselves from nature, control it from a distance, and in the process we developed a sense of "I" and "it." The self emerged in history. We became ... the captains of our fate. But in the process, we lost intimacy. We lost the sense of participation. We lost the early bonds of generativity. What's the third stage of consciousness? What brings our community into the Earth Summit? A transformation to a species understanding, which is ... a self-aware choice. By volition, not by fear as the early Paleolithic tribes, but a self-aware choice by volition, for a generation to reclaim a sense of participation with the community of life. We maintain our individuality, we don't go back to the pre-modern moment. We maintain our sense of self because that provides us with the opportunity, the challenge, the responsibility, to make decisions. And the decision we make is to reclaim our relationship to the generativeness of the creation. Self. Community. Future generations. Our children's world.
Well ... I hope that ... many of us in this room are getting on in age, I'm heading toward fifty, I see the older generation here, we have the warriors, I know, from the 50's. And there are a lot of people in this room that have been talking about the kinds of ideas going into the Earth Summit since 1946. Our generation has to ... now pass the mantle. We continue to fight for our causes ... we have to marry the next generation. What does that mean? My hope is this: we're going to see a marriage in the 1990's between two generations. The generation of the 50's and 60's, that created the moment for the new feminism, the new ecology, the civil rights movement, the human rights movement ... that generation is going find common bond with our sons and daughters. The generation of the 90's is the Green generation. The generation of biosphere politics, not geopolitics. The generation that can see itself, and perceive itself as a species. That's the work we laid, and that's the work other people laid before we were here. That's the revolutionary promise in the silver lining. So that when our children grow up, their children, I hope they look back, and they say "My mother and father had the courage, it takes courage, to critique the old way of thinking." With respect. I laugh and I was amused by Descartes and Bacon, but I have to tell you I actually respect the attempt ... by generation after generation of scholars to try and create a better world. I have no ill feeling [towards] them. I hope our children look back and they say "My parents ... critiqued the old way. They created a new ... we won't say vision, because it's so sight, a new experience for future generations, but our parents did more than that. I hope the kids look back and they say "My mother and father committed themselves to political action, they went on the front lines. They challenged the institutional powers. They took it upon themselves to make a better world. My parents helped restore the planet. My parents helped ... re-sacralize the right relationship with nature." So I hope our children look back and they say "My mother and father stood up ... for the sacredness of life ... and for the future well-being of all the creatures on this Earth." Thank you.