Don Lattin’s “Changing Our Minds” Coming in April

Don Lattin’s “Changing Our Minds” Coming in April

Navigate the Resurgence in Psychedelic Research with Don Lattin

Don LattinThere’s a quiet revolution underway in our understanding of how psychedelic drugs work and how they can be used to treat depression, addiction and other disease. Meanwhile, from shamanic circles in the Amazon to underground tribes in cities across the U.S., a new generation of consciousness explorers have embraced sacred plant medicines as a means to promote psychological and spiritual growth.

The stories behind this cutting-edge medical research and religious exploration reveal the human side of a psychedelic renaissance. Bestselling author and journalist Don Lattin has been reporting for over forty years, in dozens of articles and four books that chronicle the socially and spiritually beneficial uses of psychedelic drugs and psychoactive plants. His new book, Changing Our Minds: Psychedelic Sacraments and the New Psychotherapy, is an engaging look at the stories and recent history as well as future prospects for using MDMA, psilocybin, and ayahuasca to treat mood disorders and promote spiritual well-being.

Lattin profiles neuroscientists, psychotherapists, volunteer research subjects, and ordinary people looking for safe and sane ways to cultivate psychedelic insight. At the end of the book, Don recounts his own journey to find an alternative treatment for depression, a trip that took him from a Swiss neuroscience lab to the South American jungle.

 

Advance Praise for Changing Our Minds

“Accurate, Comprehensive, and Powerful; If you want to understand the responsible use of psychedelics and feel its pulse, this book is for you.” —William A. Richards, Johns Hopkins School of Medicine, Author, Sacred Knowledge: Psychedelics and Religious Experiences

“Don Lattin’s Changing Our Minds is far and away the best book on psychedelic use and research available today… Lattin not only fully describes the important trends in research, but includes valuable back stories of the major researchers, and why they have given so much of their professional lives to such risky endeavors. Now, when people ask me, is there one book I can read about the multiple dimensions of current psychedelic research,, I can say, Changing Our Minds will give you everything you need.” —James Fadiman, PhD, author of The Psychedelic Explorer’s Guide: Safe, Therapeutic and Sacred Journeys

Changing Our Minds expertly explores the healing and spiritual journey catalyzed by psychedelic psychotherapy through the courageous voices of those who are pioneering the study of these treatments. An essential read for those interested in the expanding field of psychedelic research for therapeutic and spiritual uses, this volume lands at a crucial time during the re-emergence of psychedelic research as we approach the mainstream, scientific acceptance of psychedelic psychotherapy and the reintegration of the legal use of psychedelics into Western culture.”  —Rick Doblin, PhD, MAPS Founder & Executive Director

Author Events and Talks in California April/May:

SATURDAY, APRIL 22, 1:00-1:30 pm  —  In the Marketplace at the MAPS Conference. Find the Author, publisher and the whole Synergetic Press team at the MAPS Psychedelic Sciences 2017 Convention.  Admission is free to Psymposia Stage in the convention Marketplace. Oakland Marriott Convention Center, 1001 Broadway, Oakland. Click here for Psymposia Schedule in the Marketplace.

SATURDAY, MAY 6, 4 pm  —  Author reading and signing. Book Passage, 51 Tamal Vista Blvd, Corte Madera. http://www.bookpassage.com/event/don-lattin-changing-our-minds-corte-madera

TUESDAY, MAY 16, 7 pm  —  Reading and discussion about Changing Our Minds. Books, Inc. 1491 Shattuck Ave, Berkeley.  http://www.booksinc.net/event/don-lattin-books-inc-Berkeley

SATURDAY, MAY 20, 1:30 to 5:30 pm  —  Don Lattin will be among the panelists talking about Buddhism and psychedelics at an afternoon seminar at Spirit Rock Meditation Center in Marin County. Sliding scale: $75-$200.  https://www.spiritrock.org/CalendarDetails?EventID=4600

THURSDAY, MAY 30, 7-9 pm  —  Talk and discussion on “Telling Psychedelic Stories,” based on his trilogy of books that explore those realms. California Institute of Integral Studies, 1453 Mission Street, San Francisco. http://www.ciis.edu/public-programs-and-performances/public-programs-event-calendar/lattin-don-ss17

***

Don Lattin is an award-winning author and journalist. His five previously published books include The Harvard Psychedelic Club, a national bestseller that was awarded the California Book Award, Silver Medal, for nonfiction. His feature articles have been published in dozens of leading magazines and newspapers, including the New York Times and San Francisco Chronicle, where Lattin worked as a staff writer for twenty years.

NYC – Understanding Ayahuasca: From Indigenous Origins To Neo-Shamanism

NYC – Understanding Ayahuasca: From Indigenous Origins To Neo-Shamanism

ayaeventimageUnderstanding Ayahuasca: From Indigenous Origins To Neo-Shamanism

Synergetic Press Symposium and Salon in New York

 

Ayahuasca Visitation by Alex Grey, in Ayahuasca Reader

Ayahuasca Visitation by Alex Grey, in Ayahuasca Reader: Encounters with the Amazon’s Sacred Vine

 

Join the editors of the new Ayahuasca Reader with leading experts on ethnobotany and ayahuasca for an enlightening afternoon Symposium and stimulating evening Salon exploring plant medicine from multiple perspectives.

We’ll trace the cultural history of ayahuasca use, including traditional and neo-shamanic practices. We’ll also examine artistic and literary inspirations brought about by ayahuasca as a muse of the mystical mind.

The presentations over the course of the day will examine the therapeutic potential for profound healing, deepen our understanding of the scientific principles that lead to these outcomes, and frame the ecological context that supports the sacred vine of the Amazon.

The afternoon symposium will feed your mind and heart with compelling presentations and lively discussions, and the evening Salon will continue the journey with inspired spoken word, art, music and dance.

November 19, 2016

2:00 – 6:30 Symposium

8:00 – 11:00 Salon

(Registration opens at 2:00 PM)

The Alchemist’s Kitchen, 21 East 1st Street, New York City

Hosted by The Alchemist’s Kitchen with Synergetic Press

Symposium

2:00      Doors Open for Registration

ORIGINS

2:30      Steven F. White

2:50      Luis Eduardo Luna

3:15      Q & A

INSPIRATION

3:30      Alex and Allyson Grey

4:00      Q & A

4:15       Break

NEO-SHAMANISM

4:30       Allan Badiner

5:00       Ralph Metzner (via Skype)

5:30       Daniel Pinchbeck

5:50       Break

PRESERVATION

6:00       Discussion: Preserving Indigenous Cultures and Ecosystems

Allan Badiner as moderator, with Steven, Luis, Alex, Allyson, Daniel

6:30 Dinner (Food available from Alchemist’s Kitchen)

Salon

Rainforest Rhythms, Poetry and Mystery

8:00       Allan Badiner, Alex Grey, Estela Calderón, Luis Eduardo Luna, Steven F. White, Ralph Metzner (via Skype), The Bardo Blues

9:00        Michael Garfield

9:30        Skytree


Speakers

LUIS EDUARDO LUNA, co-editor of the Ayahuasca Reader, was born in the Colombian Amazon. He received his PhD from the Institute of Comparative Religion at Stockholm University. A Guggenheim Fellow and Fellow of the Linnean Society of London, he is also the author of Vegetalismo: Shamanism among the Mestizo Population of the Peruvian Amazon and, with Pablo Amaringo, Ayahuasca Visions: The Religious Iconography of a Peruvian Shaman, a project that grew from their work to establish the internationally-recognized USKO-AYAR Amazonian School of Painting in Pucallpa, Peru. From 1994–1998 he was a Professor in Anthropology at the Universidade Federal de Santa Catarina in Florianópolis, Brazil. He retired from the Swedish School of Economics in Helsinki in 2011. He is the Director of Wasiwaska, Research Center for the Study of Psychointegrator Plants, Visionary Art and Consciousness, based in Florianópolis, southern Brazil.

STEVEN F. WHITE, co-editor of the Ayahuasca Reader, received a BA in English from Williams College as well as MA and PhD degrees in Spanish from the University of Oregon. He received support from the National Endowment for the Arts and the Lannan Foundation and was the recipient of two Fulbright fellowships. He has lived and worked in many Latin American countries, an opportunity that enabled him to edit bilingual anthologies of poetry from Nicaragua, Chile and Brazil. He has been teaching at St. Lawrence University since 1987, and is one of the co-founders of its Caribbean and Latin American Studies program.

ALEX GREY, artist, poet, author, minister, is best loved for his paintings portraying multiple dimensions of reality, interweaving biological anatomy with psychic and spiritual energies. His books, Sacred Mirrors, The Mission of Art, Transfigurations, Art Psalms and Net of Being, trace thevisions and mystical experiences that shaped his spiritual creative life and address how art can evolve the cultural body through icons of interconnectedness. Co-founded with his wife, the artist Allyson Grey, Chapel of Sacred Mirrors, CoSM is an interfaith church celebrating creativity as a spiritual path. Alex has long been a practitioner of Buddhism and has taken a stand for cognitive liberty. More at www.alexgrey.com.

ALLYSON GREY was born in Baltimore and studied at the Museum School of Boston. Her watercolor and oil paintings are filled with a mystical unpronounceable alphabet and vivid spectral geometries of order and chaos. Grey’s abstract works employ densely measured grids coalescing into crystalline mandalaic imagery or shattering into fields of lush impasto color. The labor-intensive and spiritual quality of her paintings relates them to tantric art, Jain cosmological diagrams, and the science of chaos dynamics. Her work has been exhibited at Stux Gallery in New York City and the Museum of Fine Arts in Boston. www.allysongrey.com.

RALPH METZNER, PhD, is author of many books, practicing psychotherapist and Professor Emeritus at the California Institute of Integral Studies including a book coauthored with Ram Dass, Birth of a Psychedelic Culture (Synergetic Press). Dr. Metzner has been involved in consciousness research for over fifty years, including psychedelics, yoga, meditation, and shamanism. He is co-founder and president of the Green Earth Foundation, a non-profit educational organization devoted to healing and harmonizing the relationship between humans and the Earth.

ALLAN BADINER is the editor of Zig Zag Zen: Buddhism and Psychedelics (Synergetic Press), as well as two other books of collected essays, Dharma Gaia: A Harvest in Buddhism and Ecology (Parallax Press, 1991) and Mindfulness in the Marketplace: Compassionate Responses to Consumerism (Parallax, 2002). Allan is a contributing editor of Tricycle, and serves on the board of directors of Rainforest Action Network, Threshold Foundation and Project CBD. He has been a student of Zen Master Thich Nhat Hanh for more than 25 years.

DANIEL PINCHBECK is author of Breaking Open the Head and 2012: The Return of Quetzalcoatl. In May 2007, Pinchbeck launched Reality Sandwich. He is the executive producer of Postmodern Times, a series of web videos presented on the iClips Network, and co-founder of Evolver.net, an online social network. His life and work are featured in the documentary 2012: Time for Change, featuring interviews with Sting, David Lynch, Barbara Marx Hubbard, and others.

ESTHELA CALDERÓN was born in Telica, Nicaragua in 1970. She is the author of Soledad, which won the 2001 Juegos Florales Centroamericanos Belice y Panamá competition, Amor y conciencia (2004) and Soplo de corriente vital (2010), a pioneering collection of ethnobotanical poems. Her historical novel 8 caras de una moneda (2008) is about a family in Nicaragua during the years that led to the Sandinista revolution in 1979. She is the co-author of Culture and Customs of Nicaragua (2008) published by Greenwood Press. She is currently an Adjunct Instructor of Creative Writing at St. Lawrence University in the Department of Modern Languages.

MICHAEL GARFIELD writes music for the head and heart – intelligent, emotional performances that captivate attentive audiences and reward repeated listening.  Alternately tender and apocalyptic, simultaneously chill and energetic, his intensely technical yet vulnerable music reimagines folk and psychedelic rock alike, updating “solo artist with guitar” to suit an age of existential wonder, cybernetic systems, and emerging planetary consciousness. Michael’s music has been featured in the award-winning PBS documentary series Arts in Context, as well as on numerous podcasts (including Expanding Mind and The Psychedelic Salon).  Passionate about interdisciplinary collaboration, he frequently co-improvises with fire dancers, aerialists, live painters, and visual projectionists.

And Music with Skytree http://skytree.bandcamp.com

the Alchemist's Kitchen


 

The Alchemist’s Kitchen is a unique destination in the Bowery. Open daily as a botanical dispensary and a whole plant tonic bar that serves elixirs and gluten-free vegan food, we also offer a gateway into a conscious lifestyle and community through our wellness events and transformational workshops.

 


 And if you aren’t able to attend this event, you can still access one of the most in-depth resources for understanding ayahuasca with the new edition of the Ayahuasca Reader: Encounters with the Amazon’s Sacred Vine, edited by Luis Eduardo Luna and Steve F. White, available here:

Ayahuasca Reader: Encounters with the Amazon's Sacred Vine
A Miraculous Conversation: John Allen and Hans Ulrich Obrist

A Miraculous Conversation: John Allen and Hans Ulrich Obrist

Let’s begin with the beginning… that’s how this captivating conversation between two remarkable minds begins. As part of the Serpentine Gallery’s 2016 Miracle Marathon, Hans Ulrich Obrist speaks with John Allen and goes directly to the source of his life-changing epiphany about the biosphere.

[su_vimeo url=”https://vimeo.com/186148609″]

For a fifteen minute conversation, these two cover a lot of ground. From discussing Benoit Mandelbrot’s epiphany about fractals to Albert Hoffman’s discovery of LSD, John tells Hans about how he began understanding the biosphere through his discovery of humanity. When we understand that humanity is part of the biosphere, we understand that we are part of the overall unity of all the kingdoms of life.

According to Allen, the study of biospherics forms a separate line of planetary evolution. Biospherics studies the systems of the earth that support and include life. Buckminster Fuller influenced John to consider life from the perspective of total systems. Allen was inspired by Fuller to use synergy in bringing together technics, or advanced technology, with biospherics. The result was Biosphere 2, which made a model of the Earth’s biosphere (or Biosphere 1).

Sailing the Amazon River on RV Heraclitus, a ship that Allen helped to design and build

Sailing the Amazon River on RV Heraclitus, a ship that Allen helped to design and build. Photo from Me and the Biospheres: A Memoir from the Inventor of Biosphere 2.

John also discusses how he was influenced by Amazonian explorer and ethnobotanist, Richard Evans Schultes. Inspired by Schultes, Allen traveled the Amazon River by boat and drank ayahuasca with a traditional shaman. The experience changed his level of consciousness and communicated to him the objective truth of the biosphere.

One of the most poignant moments in the conversation is when Hans asks about miracles:

Hans Ulrich Obrist: What is a miracle to you?

John Allen: A unique, non-repeatable experience.

Our entire lives are made up of unique, non-repeatable experiences. Understanding our lives like this adds a miraculous quality to each moment. John goes on to say that all of modern life is based on miracles, but in modern life we have separated ourselves from the larger system of the biosphere. Instead of thinking about the environment, as something external that is around us, we can shift our thinking to a biospheric perspective, to seeing ourselves as part of the miraculous system of life.

In its eleventh year, the Serpentine Marathon series continued on its exploration of activism, art, anthropology, architecture, literature, music, philosophy, theology and science through a specific theme or topic of particular relevance in artists’ practice and in the wider contemporary context… the 2016 Miracle Marathon focused in on ritual, repetition and magical thinking to consider ways in which the imaginary can not only predict, but also play a part in affecting long-term futures.


You can hear more from John Allen in person at the Synergetic Symposium and Salon at the October Galley on 5 November. This Symposium and Salon on Understanding Ayahuasca brings together diverse perspectives on this sacred plant medicine from the Amazon. The event is celebrating the release of the new edition of Ayahuasca Reader: Encounters with the Amazon’s Sacred Vine, a collection of  shamanic stories, myths, research, songs, poems, and art that share the wisdom of ayahuasca.

You can get your tickets to the Symposium and Salon here, and you can get your copy of Ayahuasca Reader here.

  • John Allen, conceiver and co-founder of major projects bringing together ecology and technics around the planet
  • Jeremy Narby, an anthropologist who studies the worldwide revival of shamanic cultures
  • Martina Hoffmann, a visionary artist inspired by expanded states of consciousness
  • Françoise Barbira Freedman, a medical anthropologist promoting women’s health through shamanic plants
  • David Luke, a psychology professor focusing on transpersonal experiences and altered states of consciousness
  • Terry Wilson, who apprenticed under the accomplished shaman of the avant garde, Brion Gysin
  • Peter Moore, a mystical poet who brings together inner and outer worlds
  • with music by ELSTIR, blending Amazonian field recordings with ambient electronic sounds
ayaeventimageLondo
LONDON–Understanding Ayahuasca: From Indigenous Origins To Neo-Shamanism

LONDON–Understanding Ayahuasca: From Indigenous Origins To Neo-Shamanism

Ununderstandingayahuascaeventposterderstanding Ayahuasca: From Indigenous Origins To Neo-Shamanism

Synergetic Press Symposium and Salon in London

 

Presentations • Panel Discussions

Dinner • Visionary Art • Poetry

Live Music • Dancing

With presentations by:

Jeremy Narby * Martina Hoffmann
David Luke * Francoise Barbira Freedman
John Dolphin Allen * Terry Wilson
Peter Moore
Music by ELSTIR
24 Old Gloucester Street, London WC1N 3AL
Holborn/Russell Square
Saturday, 5 November 2016 2:30 – 10:30 PM
(Registration opens at 2:00 PM)

Join some of the leading authorities on cultural anthropology, psychology, ayahuasca and visionary art for an enlightening afternoon Symposium, Dinner and evening Salon. We’ll explore the cultural history, traditional and neo-shamanic practices, artistic and literary inspirations, therapeutic and ecological dimensions of the sacred plant medicine from the Amazon. The afternoon symposium will feed your mind and heart with compelling presentations and lively discussions, while the evening Salon will continue the journey with spoken word, art, music and dance.

Only a few tickets left!

2:30 – 10:30
£75
or you can choose
2:30 – 7:30 pm
£60
or
6:30 – 10:30
£40
£25
La Chacruna by Martina Hoffmann

La Chacruna by Martina Hoffmann

Programme:

Symposium

2:00 Registration
2:30 Welcome, Announcements & Introductions – Deborah Parrish Snyder & David Luke
2:45 David Luke – The Ecology, Cosmos and Consciousness of Ayahuasca
3:15 Francoise Barbira Freedman – Medicine from the Amazon and Preservation of Culture
4:00 Break
4:15 Martina Hoffmann – Art, Expanded States and Spirit Connection
5:00 Jeremy Narby – Ayahuasca as Antidote
5:45 Break
6:00 Panel Discussion with all speakers led by David Luke

Dinner

6:30-7:45 Catered Dinner in the Gallery

Salon

8:00 Welcome to the Salon with Dave Luke and the Cosmic Serpent
8:10 John Dolphin Allen – Biospheric Poetry
8:30 Terry Wilson – reading Perilous Passage
8:50 Peter Moore (Pen Dragon) – Poetry of Ancient Mysteries
9:15-10:30 Music by Elstir; Martina Hoffmann visuals

About the Speakers

Jeremy Narby, PhD, is an anthropologist and author of several books, including The Cosmic Serpent: DNA and the Origins of Knowledge and Intelligence in Nature. Narby has altered how we understand the Shamanic cultures and traditions that have undergone a worldwide revival in recent years. He has traveled the globe from the Amazon Basin to the Far East to probe what traditional healers and pioneering researchers understand about the intelligence present in all forms of life.
Françoise Barbira Freedman was born and raised in France before studying anthropology at Cambridge, England. She has had close ties with the Jakwash Lamista of Peruvian Amazonia ever since her doctoral fieldwork in the late 70s. Her pilot project of Yaku Mamay, near Iquitos, Peru, aims at applying the knowledge of shamanic plants to women’s health. Mother of four children, she teaches Medical Anthropology at Cambridge University and also coordinates Birthlight, a charitable trust to promote the enjoyable experience of pregnancy, birth and babies.
David Luke is Senior Lecturer in Psychology at the University of Greenwich where he teaches an undergraduate course on the Psychology of Exceptional Human Experience. His research focuses on transpersonal experiences, anomalous phenomena and altered states of consciousness, especially via psychedelics, having published more than 100 academic papers in this area, including five books, most recently Neurotransmissions: Essays on Psychedelics (2015). David is also director of the Ecology, Cosmos and Consciousness salon and is a cofounder and director of Breaking Convention: Multidisciplinary Conference on Psychedelic Consciousness.
Martina Hoffmann is a painter and sculptress. Her unique iconography has been greatly inspired by expanded states of consciousness; the realms of the imagination, meditation, shamanic work and the dream state. Much of her imagery has deep connection to the sacred feminine while her sculptural work is undeniably influenced by African energy. She studied art with Professor Kiefer (father of Anselm Kiefer) and sculpting at the Johann Wolfgang Goethe University in Frankfurt with Professor Spelmann. Her work is exhibited round the world.
John Dolphin Allen is author of Me and the Biospheres (Synergetic Press), poet, playwright who invented, conceived and co-founded the Biosphere 2 project – the world’s largest laboratory for global ecology ever built, setting a number of world records in human life support. He conceived and co-founded several other projects around the world pioneering in ecotechnics and exploration, including the Research Vessel Heraclitus, which has sailed over 250,000 nautical miles around the world, up the Amazon River for a two-year ethnobotanical expedition in the late 80s in collaboration with Professor Richard Evans Schultes, circumnavigating South America, and to Antarctica.
Terry Wilson, author of Perilous Passage, writes in this work of fiction of his apprenticeship under the tutelage of the legendary Brion Gysin, painter/writer/inventor and accomplished shaman of the avant guard. Terry’s work includes Dreams of Green Base and “D” Train.
Peter Moore (Pen Dragon) is a mystical poet whose work celebrates the essential unity of flesh and spirit, microcosm and macrocosm. Working broadly within the frame of an Avalonian Bardic tradition, his work seeks to translate the ancient mysteries of a rich cultural tradition into a darkly delightful, slyly erotic tapestry of contemporary storytelling with the capacity to enchant and astonish young and old alike.
Elstir is a 20 year old electronica producer. His music blends various influences, from ambient to downtempo. The first half of his musical process is spent with a recorder, walking around, capturing sounds such as the creaking of a chair, or a forest ambiance. The second half is about organising these, and layering them with electronics. The set that he is going to do at the October Gallery will also incorporate Amazonian field recordings and ayahuasquero songs, captured in the summer 2015.
Dinner is catered by the new chefs at October Gallery Café, serving up a delicious freshly prepared
meal, starting with French onion soup, choice of chicken or vegetarian main, and a delightful dessert.

Tickets available through Eventbrite here.


And if you aren’t able to attend this event, you can still access one of the most in-depth resources for understanding ayahuasca with the new edition of the Ayahuasca Reader: Encounters with the Amazon’s Sacred Vine, edited by Luis Eduardo Luna and Steve F. White, available here:

Ayahuasca Reader: Encounters with the Amazon's Sacred Vine
What’s Really Happening To Our Planet?

What’s Really Happening To Our Planet?

Tony Juniper, well-known British environmentalist and adviser to Prince Charles, understands what’s happening on our planet. While he’s been fighting for a more sustainable society, Tony has also been sharing information about the dramatic changes that have been happening on earth. In the following video, you can hear some of the numbers that can help you understand the changes that are going on today.

[su_youtube url=”https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-bpalQE7vyw” width=”640″ height=”360″]

10 Quick Facts About Climate Change from Tony Juniper

  1. Since 1950, the world’s population has tripled
  2. The number of cities with a population of over 10 million people was: one in 1950, ten in 1990, and is twenty-eight today
  3. Global energy demand is expected to double by 2030 compared to 1990 (with most new capacity coming from renewable sources)
  4. Only about 1/4 of the planet’s agricultural land is being used to grow crops, the rest is being used to raise animals
  5. About 97.5% of the planet’s total water resources is salt water, about 0.3% is liquid water at the surface, the rest is locked in groundwater and ice caps
  6. Since 1900, the consumption of construction materials, metals, ores, fossil fuels and biomass has increased tenfold
  7. Carbon dioxide concentrations in the planet’s atmosphere are higher now than at any point in at least the last 800,000 years
  8. Ten thousand years ago, 99.9% of vertebrate biomass was composed of wild animals; today, 96% of vertebrate biomass is made up of people and their domesticated animals
  9. The rate of animal and plant extinction taking place on the planet today is approaching a rate not seen on earth for 65 million years
  10. Since 1962, the area of protected habitat on the planet, in the form of national parks and nature reserves, has increased fourteen fold, to reach more than 33 million square kilometers

Understanding What the Planet Does for Us

Tony Juniper | What Has Nature Ever Done For Us?

As we try to understand what’s happening to the planet, we can also learn what the planet does for us. Take a more in depth look at the services that nature freely provides to humanity, many of which we don’t even realize.

In What Has Nature Ever Done for Us? British environmentalist Tony Juniper points out that we think everything nature does for us—providing water, pollinating plants, generating oxygen, recycling miracles in the soil and much more—is free, but it isn’t. Its economic value can, and has been, measured. And upon realizing what that value truly is we would stop treating our natural systems in a destructive manner. For example, in 2005 Hurricane Katrina cost the US $81 billion and the damage still remains. If the land around the levees hadn’t been redeveloped for shipping and aquaculture, at an estimated value of $100,000 to $450,000 per square mile of natural mangroves, then it is believed, much of the damage caused to the city would not have occurred.

During recent years, environmental debate worldwide has been dominated by climate change, carbon emissions and the greenhouse effect. But a number of academic, technical, political, business and NGO initiatives indicate the emergence of a new wave of environmental attention focused on “natural capital,” “ecosystem services” and “biodiversity,” things nature does for us.

What Has Nature Ever Done for Us? contains impactful stories imparting warnings about unfortunate occurrences such as a rabies epidemic that followed the disappearance of India’s vultures (drugs administered to cattle killed the birds, leaving uneaten carcasses that led to an explosion of wild dogs), as well as promising and enlightening tales of how birds protect fruit harvests, coral reefs shield coasts from storms, and rainforests absorb billions of tons of carbon released from automobiles and power stations. As a result of its immediacy, Tony Juniper’s book will entirely change the way you think about life, the planet and the economy.