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53 Never Old
Jesse Anson Dawn
54 Voices of Hope
Audrey Hope
54 Ask Revs. Sandy & Kirk
Rev. Sandy & Kirk Moore
55 Pet Corner
Linda & Allen Anderson
39 RESOURCE DIRECTORY
56 CALENDAR OF EVENTS
58 CLASSIFIEDS
V
init Allen is the Exec-
utive director of the
sustainable World
Coalition, an environ-
mental organization
sponsored by Earth Island Insti-
tute producing events and edu-
cational materials to promote
actions that restore and main-
tain the health of the planet.
he is the publisher of the
Sustainable World Sourcebook,
a visually stunning guidebook
offering essential information
regarding the critical challenges
that we face today, as well as
providing realistic solutions to
our major global issues.
Endorsed by luminaries like
marianne Williamson and lynne
Twist, the Sustainable World
Sourcebook was a year-and-
a-half in the making, and con-
tains the coordinated work of
13 researchers.
Randy Peyser: What com-
pelled you to write the sustain-
able World sourcebook?
Vinit Allen: I was attending
the Johannesburg U.N. World
Summit in 2002 and realized
that we really didn't have suf-
ficient public awareness as to
the extent of our many global
crises, nor of the potential solu-
tions to them. It became clear
to me that without widespread
public awareness of these two
points, there would simply not
be an adequate response to save
the planet. This is no longer aca-
demic; we have very little time
to make dramatic changes or
else we face a devastating near
future.
I realized that promoting this
basic understanding of our ur-
gent common threats and provid-
ing a direction forward needed
to be my highest priority. I knew
that I had the ability to make a
powerful contribution because
I had experience in event pro-
duction. So I started my own
organization, the Sustainable
World Coalition and produced
the Sustainable World Sympo-
sium in San Francisco in 2004
and 2006.
Randy: What was the focus of
your Symposium?
Vinit: The focus of the Sym-
posium -- as well as for the Sus-
tainable World SourceBook is
to bring about the best solutions
regarding the big global issue
areas, which includes the envi-
ronment, energy, human society
and economy. It was my inten-
tion to motivate attendees, and
readers, to become engaged in
doing their part, whatever that
might be.
Randy: The sustainable World
sourcebook delineates the steps
each of us can take to decrease
our environmental footprint and
it is very easy to read. Can you
say more about the book?
Vinit: When we were creating
the content, we not only wanted
to provide a clear overview of
the major global issue areas con-
cerning the environment, ener-
gy, human society and economy,
but we also wanted to demon-
strate how these issues affect us
locally.
This SourceBook contains lots
of "What you can do" points and
concludes with a resource direc-
tory of 500 of the most useful
organizations for personal en-
gagement. All of the informa-
tion is presented in a concise
100-page, colorful magazine-
style format so that the material
is very user-friendly.
Randy: Where are we failing?
What is the most urgent need
that you see?
Vinit: This could be the most
important question of all for us...
how is it so clear that we are rap-
idly destroying the only planet
we have, and yet we still lack
the collective will to change our
ways?
I have written an article, Eco-
logical Avoidance Syndrome
(EAS), in which I analyzed this
phenomenon, this lack of ap-
propriate response, and I break
it down into 3 primary compo-
nents:
1. denial. Given the abun-
dance of published evidence
and scientific consensus, it is
amazing that many people still
claim issues like climate change
are not really a threat to our way
of life (and I would add, civiliza-
tion itself as we know it). Yet giv-
en the prominence of opposing
viewpoints presented in the me-
dia and the potential costs to us
if we were to get serious about
addressing it here in the U.S.,
perhaps this collective denial is
not so surprising after all.
2. distraction. Many people
are aware of the size and impor-
tance of the challenges we face,
yet are choosing to stay focused
on their personal day-to-day
concerns, distracting themselves
with entertainment and/or work
-- which have become familiar
comforts.
3. Cynicism. Given the scale
of the issues, it's not hard to un-
derstand why some would adopt
an attitude of hopelessness, fig-
uring that whatever they can do
will ultimately make no differ-
ence.
The most urgent need now, as
I see it, is to educate enough peo-
ple with the essentials of what
we're up against, both globally
and locally, and the specifics of
what we can do to make a differ-
ence. Once we have a compel-
ling vision of a world in which
everyone has the basics for a
decent life, and is surrounded
with love and respect, then we
will be motivated to contribute
whatever we can.
Randy: What are some steps
we can take as individuals to im-
prove the environment?
Vinit: Fortunately there are
several books now that list the
many things we can do to con-
Designing A World That Works
An Interview with
VINIT ALLEN
by Randy Peyser
(Continued on page 6)