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The Big Answer


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Earth in the Balance: Ecology and the Human Spirit

a book by Al Gore

(our site's book review)

This book defines Al Gore as the proper leader for the ecological movement, and perhaps for our country as well. He’s right on the money in trying to get us to think in the style of the new, ecological-holistic paradigm, trying to get us to see the earth as a biospherical system, and trying to help us to realize the tremendous impact we can have, for good or ill, on our children’s future as well as the future of all generations that follow us. Citing our disconnection from and alienation from our environment as the reason we are willing to poison the planet in a myriad of ways, he calls for a spiritual reassessment of what this alienation means. He advocates a long-range perspective on these matters, as the short-term American perspective on nearly everything from business to the environment is definitely part of the problem in this country, and reflects the inertia of the reductionistic-mechanistic paradigm holding us back from our rightful reception of the ecological-holistic perspective.

Gore calls for a spiritual reassessment of what our alienation from our environment means
Gore calls for a spiritual reassessment of what our alienation from our environment means

He’s totally on track when he points out that 98% of scientists concur with the seriousness of global warming, ozone layer thinning, pollution, and depletion of resources and about 2% say it’s exaggerated, but the media has gotten so cynical in its quest for controversy and ratings that they treat the whole issue as if there were really 50% of scientists behind each side of it and it’s just like the political issues which merely represent the polarized thinking of the Culture Wars. Less politely stated, The media are shirking their responsibility to humanity to report fact to inform us; instead of fact reporting, they're exploiting differences for their own selfish reason: greed.

The media are shirking their responsibility to humanity to report fact to inform us; instead of fact reporting, they're exploiting differences for their own selfish reason: greed
The media are shirking their responsibility to humanity to report fact to inform us; instead of fact reporting, they're exploiting differences for their own selfish reason: greed


Gore says people are unable to see the forest for the trees on the environment because they’re part of it, they’re in it, and it’s too omnipresent—like a fish noticing water—to seem like an urgent issue
Gore says people are unable to see the forest for the trees on the environment because they’re part of it, they’re in it, and it’s too omnipresent—like a fish noticing water—to seem like an urgent issue

He uses the expression of people not being able to see the forest for the trees on the environment because they’re part of it, they’re in it, and it’s too omnipresent—like a fish noticing water—to seem like an urgent issue. His perspective on the matter is presented in such wise, eloquent terms it’s hard to believe it’s coming from a politician. And then you realize Gore is a statesman first and a politician second. He’s read Fritjof Capra and understands the needed paradigm shift as deeply as anyone alive today. And yet the damn fool public elected Bush!

When an area of science is in the midst of a challenging transition (paradigm shift), baggage from the old paradigm often comes along for the ride
When an area of science is in the midst of a challenging transition (paradigm shift), baggage from the old paradigm often comes along for the ride


People can't see the forest for the trees about the environment because they’re part of it
People can't see the forest for the trees about the environment because they’re part of it

Since so few politicians show any understanding of human behavior, it’s almost shocking to run into—in his book—eloquent discussions of dysfunctional families, systems psychology, codependency, how immature parents have kids in order to get love, not to give love, the abuse cycle and how people pass down mistakes made with them to the next generation, how patterns of behavior and relationships are the culprits and not the individuals in families and how this means there’s lots of hope because patterns can be changed., etc. The good news and the bad news are both essentially the same fact of life: children are extremely vulnerable to good or bad influences especially in their earliest years. (It should be noted that MCs are absolutely designed to take the most possible advantage of the good news inherent in that statement and to preclude any real chance that the bad news in the statement will be given an opportunity to manifest. See Why Register for an MC?.)

Registering for MC search and match
Registering for MC search and match

He looks to the population explosion as one of the biggest threats to the environment and the future, because it not only stretches available resources beyond the breaking point, it also assures military actions as people fight over resources. He pushes birth control, education, infant mortality, literacy and better dealings with the environment as key mitigating factors here.

Gore says birth control is one of the key mitigating factors regarding threats to the environment and the future
Gore says birth control is one of the key mitigating factors regarding threats to the environment and the future

Putting People First, a book by Clinton and Gore, has the political messages you'd expect. Did Clinton and Gore really create the needed childcare network they promised? No, but they made a start. They worked with the Department of Defense and helped them improve their military childcare quality via their Child Development Program, and they have the most extensive childcare networks in the country. Then Clinton instructed the Secretary of Defense to share all the successes of this program with civilian agencies, so that they’d learn to improve their childcare—including the use of these network techniques. And this happened. So they deserve credit for this accomplishment which definitely makes a significant contribution to U.S. childcare.

Always faithful to the ecological-holistic paradigm (in his books and movie, anyway), Gore supports changing the definition of the GNP to include environmental costs and benefits. He proposes a similar redefinition of productivity. As the best systems thinker in all of politics, Gore deserves to spend the rest of his life in positions of leadership where he can do the most good. The reason for this is simple. In order to insure the survival of mankind, the most important kind of thinking that anyone can do at this juncture of history is the ecological-holistic type that can preclude us flushing the whole blessed shebang right down the toilet. Gore is a good man; he has integrity. The world could use a few million of him. Compare Gore to Bush or Obama. Gore is so much better one could just cry. Get the point?

Watch An Inconvenient Truth and you'll see what we mean. It is a 2006 Academy Award winning documentary film about Al Gore's campaign to educate citizens about global warming. This guy knows his stuff. He didn't just get off the boat.

Al Gore didn't just get off the boat
Al Gore didn't just get off the boat