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Journey to Earthland Paperback – September 1, 2016
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Journey to Earthland is a masterpiece, beautifully written and powerfully argued. --James Gustave Speth, environmentalist, author of The Bridge at the Edge of the World
A well-researched, rigorous, and deeply moving treatise by a theoretical physicist and seasoned visionary, and we need visionaries in these fraught times. The framework it builds for understanding and shaping our global moment offers the best hope for the future of this planet. --Stephen Kern, intellectual historian, author of The Culture of Time and Space
Reading Journey to Earthland is an extraordinary experience. Paul Raskin is a master navigator of the complexities of our world. He not only depicts a future that is convincingly portrayed as necessary and desirable, but also shows us that it is technically possible to achieve, although not presently politically feasible. To make this desired and desirable future a viable political project is his underlying mission. --Richard Falk, political theorist, author of (Re)Imagining Humane Global Governance
About the Author
Paul Raskin is the founding President of the Tellus Institute and founding Director of the Great Transition Initiative (GTI). Since 1976, Tellus has conducted thousands of projects throughout the world, working to advance justice and sustainability through scholarship, research, and partnership. Established in 2003, GTI publishes an online journal and mobilizes a distinguished international network to explore visions and strategies for a civilized future. In 1995, Dr. Raskin co-organized the Global Scenario Group, the forerunner of GTI, and served as lead author on its influential 2002 essay, Great Transition: The Promise and Lure of the Times Ahead. In support of these pursuits, he did pioneering research in integrated social-ecological scenario analysis, created widely used models (LEAP, WEAP, and PoleStar), served as lead author on high- profile sustainability assessments, and published extensively. Earlier in his career, he held faculty positions at the State University of New York at Albany and City College of New York. Dr. Raskin holds a PhD in Theoretical Physics from Columbia University.
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In an important sense, the book falls outside the typical genre of utopian writing because it is preoccupied with how to close this gap between what is possible and what is feasible, and in the process making the desirable future attainable. It is here, with a certain exuberance of expectations, that Raskin pins his hopes on the emergence of a robust global citizens movement that will challenge the status quo by mobilizing people around the world until a tipping point is reached, and a new political consciousness takes over enough of the centers power to facilitate transition to the humane future that he is proposing. There is no doubt in my mind that this book is a culminating expression of Raskin's own journey, as well as an indispensable gift to the rest of us, providing the best available set of conceptual tools to engage actively with human destiny and, especially, to see beyond the darkness resulting from present trends. In what is essentially an extended essay, Raskin sets forth concisely, with flourishes of intellectual elegance, all we need to know about what to do to achieve the desired future for an emergent planetary civilization.
This book is an excellent resource for stimulating a thoughtful contemplation and for classroom debates from a wide range of disciplinary perspectives: economics, sociology, anthropology, history, philosophy, political science and others. I would hope that it will stimulate further scenario work, focusing on the putative emergence of global citizens movement, on which the Great Transition fundamentally depends.