Resources related to Gaia: Love for the Earth



















No, We Can't Have It All  by Derrick Jensen  4/23/10  - We can't have it all. The belief that we can is one of the things that has driven us to this awful place. If insanity could be defined as having lost functional connection with physical reality, to believe we can have it all -- to believe we can simultaneously dismantle a world and live on it; to believe we can perpetually use more energy than arrives from the sun; to believe we can take more than the world gives willingly; to believe a finite world can support infinite growth, much less infinite economic growth, where economic growth consists of converting ever larger numbers of living beings to dead objects -- is grotesquely insane. This insanity manifests partly as a potent disrespect for limits and for justice. It manifests in the pretension that neither limits nor justice exist. To pretend that civilization can exist without destroying its own landbase and the landbases and cultures of others is to be entirely ignorant of history, biology, thermodynamics, morality, and self-preservation. And it is to have paid absolutely no attention to the past six thousand years.


Post-human Earth: How the planet will recover from us  by Bob Holmes  9/20/09  - New evidence on how Earth recovers from extinction events and how long it may take. Immediately after a mass extinction, the fossil evidence suggests that ecosystems go into a state of shock for several million years. For the first few million years the speciation rate actually falls. That suggests a wounded biosphere. Extinction events don't just remove organisms from an ecosystem, leaving lots of opportunity for new species to diversify. Instead, what we think happens is that the niches themselves collapse, so you won't have new organisms emerging to occupy them. The niches themselves don't exist any more. Eventually, though, evolution wins the day, and after a few tens of millions of years biodiversity rebounds.


The Air Aware:  Mind and mood on a breathing planet  by David Abram 

9/09  - I suggest that mind is not at all a human possession, but is rather a property of the earthly biosphere—a property in which we, along with the other animals and the plants, all participate. Mind, in this sense, is very much like a medium in which we’re situated, like the ineffable air or atmosphere, from which we are simply unable to extricate ourselves without ceasing to exist. Everything we know or sense of ourselves is conditioned by this atmosphere. If we allow that mind is a biospheric quality, an attribute endemic to the wide sphere that surrounds and sustains us, we swiftly notice this consequence: each region—each topography, each uniquely patterned ecosystem—has its own particular awareness, its unique style of intelligence.


How We Talk About the Environment Has Everything to Do with Whether We'll Save It  by George Lakoff  5/20/09  - How the environment is understood by the American public is crucial: it vastly affects the future of our earth and every living being on it.  The technical term for understanding within the cognitive sciences is "framing." We think, mostly unconsciously, in terms of systems of structures called "frames."  All of our language is defined in terms of our frame-circuitry. Words activate that circuitry, and the more we hear the words, the stronger their frames get. But if our language does not fit our frame circuitry, it will not be understood, or will be misunderstood.  That is why it matters how we talk about our environment.


Healing or Stealing? - “You are brilliant, and the Earth is hiring…”  by Paul Hawken   5/17/09  - We have an economy that tells us that it is cheaper to destroy Earth in real time than to renew, restore, and sustain it. You can print money to bail out a bank but you can’t print life to bail out a planet. At present we are stealing the future, selling it in the present, and calling it gross domestic product. We can just as easily have an economy that is based on healing the future instead of stealing it. We can either create assets for the future or take the assets of the future. One is called restoration and the other exploitation. And whenever we exploit the Earth we exploit people and cause untold suffering. Working for the earth is not a way to get rich, it is a way to be rich.


Is The Earth's 6th Great Mass Extinction In Progress?  by Casey Kazan and Rebecca Sato  5/4/09  - A recent analysis, published in the journal Nature, shows that it takes 10 million years before biological diversity even begins to approach what existed before a die-off. Over 10,000 scientists in the World Conservation Union have compiled data showing that currently 51 per cent of known reptiles, 52 per cent of known insects, and 73 per cent of known flowering plants are in danger along with many mammals, birds and amphibians.  Research done by the American Museum of Natural History found that the vast majority of biologists believe that mass extinction poses a colossal threat to human existence, and is even a more serious environmental problem than one of its contributors - global warming. The research also found that the average person woefully underestimates the dangers of mass extinction. Since animals and plants exist in symbiotic relationships to one another, extinction of one species is likely to cause "co-extinctions". Some species directly affect the health of hundreds of other species. There is always some kind of domino effect. This compounding process occurs with frightening speed.


Earth Jurisprudence: Legal Rights for Gaia  by Susan Meeker-Lowry  4/12/09  - Earth Jurisprudence would be a system that takes human rights and needs into account but not at the expense of the whole. For we are embedded in the Earth and the Earth is embedded in the universe and the universe is embedded in the cosmos. There is no separation in reality and nothing we do or believe will change it. We have been able to create our human-centered legal system because we live in that bubble of illusion, the homosphere.


The New Age Of Extinction  by Bryan Walsh  4/1/09  - There are at least 8 million unique species of life on the planet, if not far more. Through our growing numbers, our thirst for natural resources and, most of all, climate change - which, by one reckoning, could help carry off 20% to 30% of all species before the end of the century - we're shaping an Earth that will be biologically impoverished.  We are animals too, dependent on this planet like every other form of life. The more species living in an ecosystem, the healthier and more productive it is, which matters for us.  When we pollute and deforest and make a mess of the ecological web, we're taking out mortgages on the Earth that we can't pay back - and those loans will come due.


A Manifesto for Earth  by Ted Mosquin and J. Stan Rowe  1/2004

A trusting attachment to the Ecosphere, an aesthetic empathy with surrounding Nature, a feeling of awe for the miracle of the Living Earth and its mysterious harmonies, is humanity's largely unrecognized heritage. Affectionately realized again, our connections with the natural world will begin to fill the gap in lives lived in the industrialized world. Important ecological purposes that civilization and urbanization have obscured will re-emerge. The goal is restoration of Earth's diversity and beauty, with our prodigal species once again a cooperative, responsible, ethical member.


Not-So-Lonely Planet  by Oliver Morton  12/23/08  - In its duration, as opposed to its diameter, the Earth demands to be measured on a cosmic scale. At more than four billion years old, it stretches a third of the way across the history of the universe, a third of the way back to the Big Bang itself. Many of the stars you can see on a clear winter’s night are younger than the planet beneath your feet. But the Earth has not merely endured; it has lived. For almost 90 percent of its history the planet has been inhabited, and shaped by life. The biological mechanisms that first operated in the dawn of life animate the creatures of the Earth to this day, forming an unbroken chain at least 3.8 billion years long. This unfailing, uninterrupted life demonstrates that the planet is far from fragile. Our civilization may be — is — out of balance with its environment; current human ways of life are frighteningly precarious. But to read the fragility of our way of life onto life itself is foolish.


20 Ways To Save Mother Earth  And Prevent Environmental Disaster  by Evo Morales  12/18/08  - Humankind is capable of saving the Earth if we recover the principles of solidarity, complementarity and harmony with nature in contraposition to the reign of competition, profits and rampant consumption of natural resources.


Lawyers Call For International Court For The Environment  by Louise Gray  11/28/08  - A former chairman of the Bar Council is calling for an international court for the environment to punish states that fail to protect wildlife and prevent climate change.  Stephen Hockman QC is proposing a body similar to the International Court of Justice in The Hague to be the supreme legal authority on issues regarding the environment.


Global-scale Changes in the Earth System 1750 – 2000  by New Scientist 10/08 – Graphs of resources taken from and waste products put into the biosphere as a result of the dramatic increase in human activity.


11 Solutions to Halting the Environmental Crisis  by Yifat Susskind,  10/31/07  - 11 solutions already being put into practice by innovative communities around the world. Many of these examples are small-scale and local. That's instructive because our best hope for sustainability may lie in local, small-scale models - where the majority of people can exercise agency and decision-making power – like some of those presented here.


Putting nature in Ecuador's constitution - L.A. Times Editorial

9/2/08  - In an experiment worth watching, Ecuador will ask voters to decide whether nature has rights. As crazy as it may seem, the movement to give nature legal rights didn't start in Ecuador's Amazon forest or its Galapagos Islands -- it started years ago in the United States, in cities and towns seeking to fight off coal mines, incinerators and factory farms.


The road to extinction  by Sarah Meyer  8/27/08  - Links to articles from summer 2008 on the converging ecological, economic, and political crises, with emphasis on climate change and species extinctions. 


Ecuadorian Assembly Approves Constitutional Rights for Nature July 10, 2008  - If adopted in the final constitution by the people, Ecuador would become the first country in the world to codify a new system of environmental protection based on rights.


The New Facts of Life: Connecting the Dots on Food, Health, and the Environment  by Fritjof Capra,  Summer 2008  - There are solutions to the major problems of our time; some of them even simple. But they require a radical shift in our perceptions, our thinking, our values. And, indeed, we are now at the beginning of such a fundamental change of worldview, a change of paradigms as radical as the Copernican Revolution. Systems thinking and ecological literacy are two key elements of the new paradigm, and very helpful for understanding the interconnections between food, health, and the environment, but also for understanding the profound transformation that is needed globally for humanity to survive.


Ecology and Community  by Fritjof Capra - The understanding of community is extremely important today, not only for our emotional and spiritual well-being, but for the future of our children and, in fact, for the survival of humanity.  As you well know, we are faced with a whole series of global environmental problems which are harming the biosphere and human life in alarming ways that may soon become irreversible. The great challenge of our time is to create sustainable communities; that is, social and cultural environments in which we can satisfy our needs without diminishing the chances of future generations.  In our attempts to build and nurture sustainable communities we can learn valuable lessons from ecosystems, which are sustainable communities of plants, animals, and microorganisms. In over four billion years of evolution, ecosystems have developed the most intricate and subtle ways of organizing themselves so as to maximize sustainability.


Ecological Principles  by Fritjof Capra  - Creating communities that are compatible with nature's processes for sustaining life requires basic ecological knowledge.  We need to teach our children — and our political and corporate leaders — fundamental facts of life:

      Matter cycles continually through the web of life.

      Most of the energy driving the ecological cycles flows from the sun.

      Diversity assures resilience.

      One species' waste is another species' food.

      Life did not take over the planet by combat but by networking.

Understanding these facts arises from understanding the patterns and processes by which nature sustains life. In its work with teachers and schools, the Center for Ecoliteracy has identified several of the most important of these. It has helped teachers identify places in the curriculum where students can learn about them.


Ecological Seeing: Walking in a Sacred Manner  by Charles Sullivan

5/13/08  - Over-consumption and waste and the endless economic expansion they cause are the governing principle of capitalism and over-population; and, like it or not, they fundamentally conflict with the natural order of things. This ideology is counter to the organizing principle of life and it has the effect of diminishing biodiversity and the ecological processes upon which all life depends.


Blind Date With Disaster   by David Suzuki   3/12/08  - We are constantly warned by scientists that our planet is in big trouble, so why can't we change direction? David Suzuki, one of the world's leading ecologists, on how humans have lost the vital skill of foresight.


The Future Of Life  by Edward O. Wilson  12/6/01  - As we peer forward into the 21st century, it will serve well to ask this question: What might we have overlooked about our place in history? What are we most at risk of forever losing, most likely toward the end of the century? The answer, I think, is this: much of life, the rest of life, or the creation if you will, a lot of our environmental security, and just as important, part of what it means to be human. Our relations with the rest of life can be put in a nutshell: scientists have found the biosphere (and this has been due in good part to work just in the last few decades) to be richer in diversity than ever before conceived. And that biodiversity, which took over three billion years to evolve, is being eroded at an accelerating rate by human activity. The loss will inflict a heavy price in wealth and security and spirit.


Is Humanity Suicidal?  by Edward O. Wilson  1993  - The human hand is not upon the biological homeostat. There is no way in sight to micromanage the natural ecosystems and the millions of species they contain. That feat might be accomplished by generations to come, but then it will be too late for the ecosystems and perhaps for us. Despite the seemingly bottomless nature of creation, humankind has been chipping away at its diversity, and Earth is destined to become an impoverished planet within a century if present trends continue.


Diversity, Health and Creativity:  Lessons for Living from New Science  by Brian Goodwin, Schumacher College


The Mystique Of The Earth - Thomas Berry interviewed by Caroline Webb  11/02  - Thomas Berry's vision for an Earth Democracy 
recognizes the unity between humans and the planet.


The Spirituality of the Earth  by Thomas Berry  1990  - I speak of the earth as subject, not as object. I am concerned with the maternal principle out of which we were born and whence we derive all that we are and all that we have. In our totality we are born of the earth. We are earthlings. The earth is our origin, our nourishment, our support, our guide.


The Plan  by William Kötke


Mother of All: An Introduction to Bioregionalism  by Kirkpatrick Sale


Earth I Love: Nature is the real source of our wealth  by Satish Kumar


Real Wealth: Redefining Abundance in an Era of Limits  by Sarah van Gelder


Six steps to “getting” the global ecological crisis  by John Feeney


Scientific Facts on Ecosystem Change - Excerpts

Based on A Report of the Millennium Ecosystem Assessment


World ClockOf human births and deaths, species extinctions, forests cut and replanted, oil pumped, CO2 emissions, military expenditures, etc.


Breathing Earth – A world map that displays the carbon dioxide emission levels of every country in the world, as well as their birth and death rates, all in real time.





Center for Ecoliteracy, Essays The Center for Ecoliteracy offers concise essays presenting the perspectives of leading thinkers, educators, and policy makers. Contributors probe the connections between environmental issues and public policy, the interdependence of human and ecological communities, and education for sustainability. Many essays have been written specifically for the Center and new essays are added regularly. This is a rich resource for essays by a multitude of Dharmagaians on sustainability and community. 


Living Systems  – Joanna Macy’s essays on living systems principles - The greatest revolution of our time is in the way we see the world. The mechanistic paradigm underlying the Industrial Growth Society gives way to the realization that we belong to a living, self-organizing cosmos. General systems theory, emerging from the life sciences, brings fresh evidence to confirm ancient, indigenous teachings: the Earth is alive, mind is pervasive, all beings are our relations. This realization changes everything. It changes our perceptions of who we are and what we need, and how we can trustfully act together for a decent, noble future.


Alliance for Wild Ethics, Essays by David Abram and friends


Thomas Berry and the Earth Community  -  The Earth Community website presents the far-reaching vision of American writer Thomas Berry, a leading ecological and ethical thinker, about the role of humanity within nature and about our relationship with the Earth and the Universe.


Center for Earth Jurisprudence  - CEJ’s mission is to re-envision law and governance in ways that support and protect the health and well being of the Earth community as a whole. CEJ seeks to develop a philosophy and practice of law that respect the rights of the natural world and recognize humans as an integral member of the Earth community.


Ecospheric Ethics – A web anthology of ecological, philosophical, spiritual, economic and cultural articles, editorials and reviews exploring the values of the planetary Ecosphere, its ecosystems, communities and wild species - as the natural and time-tested source of a new and compelling "Earth Ethic" for humanity. 


Eco-Ethics International Union Humanity can survive only with a new concept of ethics: eco-ethics. The roots of eco-ethics are not revelation, faith and philosophy, but scientific research, knowledge and compatibility between nature and humanity.  The subject of eco-ethics is not a single species but communities of different, co-existing forms of life.


The Current Mass Extinction - Mass Extinction Underway - The Web's Most Comprehensive Source of Information


The Extinction Website!


Green Facts Glossary


Global Footprint Network


Environment 360: Opinion, Analysis, Reporting, Debate




New Solutions Reports from The Community Solution  


Future Primitive




The Ecologist Online


The Sky, From Above - Some of the best photographs of Earth's skies, taken from above - over 200 miles.  Most are from Image Science & Analysis Laboratory, NASA Johnson Space Center.


The Gateway to Astronaut Photography of Earth hosts the best and most complete online collection of astronaut photographs of the Earth.


WiserEarth serves the people who are transforming the world. It is a community directory and networking forum that maps and connects non-governmental organizations and individuals addressing the central issues of our day: climate change, poverty, the environment, peace, water, hunger, social justice, conservation, human rights and more. Content is created and edited by people like you.





Home: A documentary film by Yann Arthus-Bertrand 2009 – We are living in exceptional times. Scientists tell us that we have 10 years to change the way we live, avert the depletion of natural resources and the catastrophic evolution of the Earth's climate.  The stakes are high for us and our children. Everyone should take part in the effort, and HOME has been conceived to take a message of mobilization out to every human being.  For this purpose, HOME is a free, non-profit film, and perhaps the most stunning film yet produced about the history of Earth and the challenges we face now.


Earth 2100 - (June 2008) In an unprecedented television and internet event, ABC News is asking you to help answer the most important question of our time — What will our world be like over the next one hundred years if we don’t act now to save our troubled planet?


Fritjof Capra, The Systems View of Life  9:45


Thomas Berry and the Earth CommunityVideo interview of Thomas Berry  and slide show with voiceover reading from Berry’s The Dream of the Earth and The Great Work.  


GAIAloguesAudio interviews

Severn Suzuki speaking at Earth Summit Rio, 1992A child’s view of ‘losing our future.’


The Current Moment with Brian Swimme


Pale Blue Dot with Carl Sagan


The BioDaVersity CodeAnimated cartoon on the web of life


Call of Life: Facing the Mass Extinction3-min. video by Species Alliance


The Dodo's Guide to Surviving Extinction8 parts

The history of extinctions on Earth.  Can the Dodo help us to help ourselves stop destroying life on earth?


The Story of Stuff by Annie Leonard – An informative little movie about the insanity of our economic system and its effects on Earth.


Turning Prayer into Action - an innovative 1-hour TV program connecting the mission of the Bioneers with the wisdom of the Council of 13 Indigenous Grandmothers in a live dialogue via two-way satellite feed between Dharamsala, India and Northern California.  


Earth Spirit Action - Vandana Shiva, Starhawk, Matthew Fox, Ruth Rosenhek and John Seed speak about Deep Ecology, Living Democracy and Revolution in Consciousness in a fast moving discussion of the type of change that needs to take place for a Sustainable Future. An inspirational, stimulating film including nature footage and a colourful array of global action shots.


Frans Lanting: A lyrical view of life on EarthNature photographer Frans Lanting tells the story of life on our planet, from its eruptive beginnings to its present diversity, via a lyrical collection of photographs set to a soundtrack from Philip Glass.  2/05


Janine Benyus: 12 sustainable design ideas from nature

With 3.8 billion years of research and development on its side, nature has already solved problems that human designers and engineers still struggle with. In this inspiring talk, Janine Benyus provides fascinating examples of biomimicry -- the way humans mimic nature in the products we build and the systems we implement. And because the champion adapters in the natural world are, by definition, those that can survive without destroying the environment that sustains them, biomimicry can contribute to the long-term health of our planet.





Planet EarthA BBC television series, directed by Alastair Fothergill and narrated by Sir David Attenborough, about our planet’s best-loved, wildest and most elusive creatures and places, captured in breathtaking images in the Earth’s most extreme habitats. Shot entirely in high-definition film, with revolutionary new aerial photography.


Six Degrees Could Change the World - By the year 2100, many scientists believe that the Earth's average temperature could rise by as much as six degrees Celsius. In a compelling investigation, National Geographic leads a degree-by-degree journey to explore what each rising—and critical—degree could mean for the future of our people and planet.


Life after People - Welcome to Earth:  population 0  (2 hrs.)


Green Planet Films





"Planet Earth": The Photographs  by Alastair Fothergill


Earth: The Power of the Planet  by Iain Stewart, John Lynch


The Dream of the Earth, 2006; The Great Work: our Way into the Future, 2000;  Evening Thoughts: Reflecting on Earth as Sacred Community, 2006 — by Thomas Berry


The Spell of the Sensuous: Perception and Language in a More-than-Human World  by David Abram


Nature and the Human Soul: Cultivating Wholeness and Community in a Fragmented World  by Bill Plotkin


Earthdance: Living Systems in Evolution by Elisabet Sahtouris


The World Without Us  by Alan Weisman 


World as Lover, World as Self: A Guide to Living Fully in Turbulent times  by Joanna Macy


Garden Planet: The Present Phase Change of The Human Species  by William H. Kotke


Limits to Growth: The 30-Year Update by Donella H. Meadows, Jorgen Randers, Dennis L. Meadows




The Tetons, WY © Suzanne Duarte

The rapid changes in our attitude toward the Earth are also a source of hope. Until recently, we thoughtlessly consumed its resources as if there were no end to them. Now not only individuals but also governments are seeking a new ecological order. . . . This blue planet of ours is the most delightful habitat we know. Its life is our life, its future our future. Now Mother Nature is telling us to cooperate. . . . Our mother is teaching us a lesson in universal responsibility.  HH Dalai Lama    



The ‘world’ is what we've done to the Earth: a veneer of lines and borders, roads and buildings, pavement, clearcuts and mines.  The world is the veneer; the Earth is the core. . . .  The veneer threatens to cut us off completely from the Earth and its magic.  Our survival depends on finding access to the knowledge in our biological core and not on our continually expanding veneer. . . survival of our species will depend on our ability to go deep into our core to find the way.  But the work will be done on the veneer; can we change the way we choose to function in contemporary society?  — Brooke Williams


Everything is food and everything is excrement in the cyclic flow system. There is no waste. This is the process of creating soil that plants can live on. It requires three hundred to one thousand years to create each new inch of topsoil in optimum ecosystems. — William H. Kötke


A thing is right when it tends to preserve the integrity, stability, and beauty of the biotic community. It is wrong when it tends otherwise. — Aldo Leopold


A trusting attachment to the Ecosphere, an aesthetic empathy with surrounding Nature, a feeling of awe for the miracle of the Living Earth and its mysterious harmonies, is humanity's largely unrecognized heritage. Affectionately realized again, our connections with the natural world will begin to fill the gap in lives lived in the industrialized world. Important ecological purposes that civilization and urbanization have obscured will re-emerge. The goal is restoration of Earth's diversity and beauty, with our prodigal species once again a cooperative, responsible, ethical member.  A Manifesto for Earth








  © 2010 Suzanne Duarte