Lumberjacks in Eden

Guest Commentary by Peter Hall


I am the steward of $3 billion of savings and investments. I am charged with the duty of protecting that capital and making it grow and I must try to understand not just short-term issues but the 'over-the-horizon' factors that affect its security.

I see a world with two faces - one imbued with the happy cheer of a good party; the other grim and frightening. The economic world, the world of humanity, is undergoing a huge boom as the industrial capitalist system spreads from Europe,North America and North East Asia to the rest of the world. But the physical world, the environment in which we make our lives, is in crisis, most clearly seen in huge losses of biodiversity and in climate change.

This essay is my attempt to puzzle out the conflict between these two worlds and their implications for the future. I have also found it impossible to resist the opportunity to proffer some solutions to the problems I see.

I have not provided footnotes to back up facts or assertions - this is not an academic work but the reflections of a participant in the drama. I do not have the academic and scientific qualifications that ideally would be applied to consideration of such important issues but I do have the responsibility of my position, a keen interest in history and, like you, a personal stake in its outcome.

pdf_sm_whLumberjacks in Eden (full article)