We’re on the verge of losing the planet of our children and grandchildren.
Question: What inspired you to write "The Bridge at the Edge of the World: Capitalism, the Environment and Crossing from Crisis to Sustainability"?
Gus Speth: Real concern. Two things came together. One is that I spent a lot of time looking at the environmental trends and conditions. This is something that you can do in an academic environment, you have time to go reflect. And I've been in this field since 1970 and I thought I'd look back and see how we were doing. And what I found was that we're really-- despite this growing strength in the environmental community, the growing sophistication, the growing number of groups, here we find ourselves 40 years later on the verge of losing the planet, of really ruining this place for our children and grandchildren. The data point in the wrong directions. So that was one thing, the other conclusion that I came to, part of that, really, is that the way we are going about environmentalism, in our country today, is not going to suffice. We could double the efforts of the types of things that we do now in mainstream environmentalism and it would improve things marginally, but it would not carry the day, would not win where we need to win.