Chelsea Green Publishing

Dreaming the Future

Pages:240 pages
Size: 6 x 9 inch
Publisher:Chelsea Green Publishing
Paperback: 9781603584593
Pub. Date August 28, 2012

Dreaming the Future

Reimagining Civilization in the Age of Nature

By Kenny Ausubel
Foreword by David W. Orr

Availability: In Stock


Available Date:
August 28, 2012


Few would deny that we are entering a period of great change. Our environment is collapsing. Social disruption abounds. All around, it seems, we are experiencing breakdown. But out of this chaos comes the opportunity for breakthrough-the opportunity to reimagine our future.

In Dreaming the Future, Kenny Ausubel leads us into that possible new world and introduces us to the thinkers and doers who are-sometimes quietly, sometimes not-leading what he calls "a revolution from the heart of nature and the human heart."

In a collection of short, witty, poignant, even humorous essays, Ausubel tracks the big ideas, emerging trends, and game-changing developments of our time. He guides us through our watershed moment, showing how it's possible to emerge from a world where corporations are citizens, the gap between rich and poor is cavernous, and biodiversity and the climate are under assault and create a world where we take our cues from nature and focus on justice, equity, diversity, democracy, and peace.

Even those steeped in the realities of a world gone wrong and efforts to right it will find refreshing, even surprising, perspectives in Dreaming the Future. It will come as no surprise to readers that Ausubel is cofounder of Bioneers-which foreword author David W. Orr describes as "one part global part catalytic organization."


"Without doubt, Kenny Ausubel has one of the most glorious minds on the planet. Herein he has crafted a dazzling treasury of essays on the destiny of humanity and its place on earth, a rosary of startling truths. His ability to describe the cataclysmic loss of living systems contrasted with the luminous and untold rise of human awakening is unique among living writers and speakers. Read this for its brilliance, but read it also to find joy in the intricate reimagination of what it means to be a human being at this parlous moment in civilization."--Paul Hawken, author of Blessed Unrest; co-author, Natural Capitalism

"Kenny Ausubel is one of the planet's key people, a kind of hub for the new ideas that will, if we're smart, shape our future. He delivers them with the... brio and confidence that will help people overcome their fear and get to work!"--Bill McKibben, author of Eaarth; founder of

"Dreaming the Future proposes a path forward that is both profoundly radical and full of common sense. An excellent read for everyone who wants to build a better future-and for those looking to supplement the many dry technical tomes about today's environmental problems. Ausubel explores the political, cultural, and personal changes needed to chart a sustainable path forward, leaving readers delighted and hopeful.--Annie Leonard, author and host, The Story of Stuff; co-director, The Story of Stuff Project

"A brilliant new look at what it is to be human on a living planet. Kenny Ausubel has devoted his life to creating organizations that dream a new future. In this marvelous book he shares his vision in eloquent words that inspire us to take action. Read, enjoy, dream--and act!--John Perkins, author, Confessions of an Economic Hit Man and Hoodwinked

"This valuable book underscores that many of the solutions so desperately needed today have already been discovered by nature. In these challenging times, Kenny Ausubel has become a leader of leaders, blazing the trail so others can follow. He is a powerful voice for nature's undervalued ecological services-[reminding us] that nature has innate resources and solutions for solving the complexity of problems humans have created. Now is our time, and the world needs more voices like Kenny Ausubel's. Dreaming the Future is much more than a dream: this is a blueprint for survival.--Paul Stamets, author, Mycelium Running: How Mushrooms Can Help Save the World

Publisher's Weekly-
The essays in this collection reflect his thoughts and proposals on a wide variety of topics related to this general goal, ranging from the Gaia theory of Earth as a self-regulating system, to the ecological effects of medical technology, the similarity of modern politics and organized crime, and the difficulty of organizing grassroots resistance against corporate exploitation. Many of these pieces have been published previously over the last decade on websites like The Huffington Post and They are, however, still highly relevant, and the book is a convenient, readable, and informative corpus of Ausubel's work. His breezy, fast-paced writing style and his in-depth knowledge of environmental and political issues will inspire readers who share his values and his belief in the importance of shaping human behavior for the sake of environmental sustainability. A list of bibliographic sources for each essay provides guidance for readers who wish to do further research, but there are no footnotes for specific factual statements, which may limit the book's ability to persuade skeptical readers.


  • Winner - Nautilus Book Award, Gold Winner (Ecology/Environment)


Kenny Ausubel

Kenny Ausubel is an award-winning social entrepreneur, author, journalist and filmmaker. He is co-CEO and cofounder of Bioneers, a nonprofit dedicated to disseminating practical and visionary solutions for restoring Earth's imperiled ecosystems and healing our human communities. Ausubel launched the celebrated annual Bioneers Conference in 1990 with his Bioneers cofounder and wife, Nina Simons, and serves as executive producer of the Bioneers plenary series airing on Free Speech TV and Link TV. He acted as a central advisor to Leonardo DiCaprio's feature documentary The 11th Hour, and appears in the film. He also cofounded Seeds of Change--purveyors of organic, biodiverse heirloom seeds.

In addition to Dreaming the Future: Reimagining Civilization in the Age of Nature (2012), Ausubel has written three books--When Healing Becomes a Crime: The Amazing Story of the Hoxsey Cancer Clinics and the Return of Alternative Therapies (2000); The Bioneers: Declarations of Interdependence (1995) and Seeds of Change: The Living Treasure (1994).

He also founded and operates Inner Tan Productions, a feature film development company, has written two screenplays, and has also produced several documentary films about alternative medicine.

Kenny has served as executive producer and principal writer of the award-winning radio series Bioneers: Revolution from the Heart of Nature, heard in more than 200 communities across the U.S. and Canada, and more globally--reaching 70 million listeners worldwide.

He lives in the mountains outside Santa Fe, New Mexico with his wife and their two dogs.


An Unreasonable Woman

An Unreasonable Woman

By Diane Wilson

When Diane Wilson, fourth-generation shrimp-boat captain and mother of five, learns that she lives in the most polluted county in the United States, she decides to fight back. She launches a campaign against a multibillion-dollar corporation that has been covering up spills, silencing workers, flouting the EPA, and dumping lethal ethylene dichloride and vinyl chloride into the bays along her beloved Texas Gulf Coast. In an epic tale of bravery, Wilson takes her fight to the courts, to the gates of the chemical plant, and to the halls of power in Austin. Along the way she meets with scorn, bribery, character assassination, and death threats. Finally Wilson realizes that she must break the law to win justice: She resorts to nonviolent disobedience, direct action, and hunger strikes. Wilson's vivid South Texas dialogue resides somewhere between Alice Walker and William Faulkner, and her dazzling prose brings to mind the magic realism of Gabriel Garcia Marquez, replete with dreams and prophecies.

Available in: Paperback

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An Unreasonable Woman

Diane Wilson, Kenny Ausubel

Paperback $18.00


Family Values: It's Not a Crime (Bioneers Conference 2006)

Kenny Ausubel's Keynote at Bioneers by the Bay 2008


Defending Beef

Defending Beef

By Nicolette Hahn Niman

For decades it has been nearly universal dogma among environmentalists and health advocates that cattle and beef are public enemy number one.

But is the matter really so clear cut? Hardly, argues environmental lawyer turned rancher Nicolette Hahn Niman in her new book, Defending Beef.

The public has long been led to believe that livestock, especially cattle, erode soils, pollute air and water, damage riparian areas, and decimate wildlife populations.

In Defending Beef, Hahn Niman argues that cattle are not inherently bad for either the Earth or our own nutritional health. In fact, properly managed livestock play an essential role in maintaining grassland ecosystems by functioning as surrogates for herds of wild ruminants that once covered the globe. Hahn Niman argues that dispersed, grass-fed, small-scale farms can and should become the basis for American food production, replacing the factory farms that harm animals and the environment.

The author—a longtime vegetarian—goes on to dispel popular myths about how eating beef is bad for our bodies. She methodically evaluates health claims made against beef, demonstrating that such claims have proven false.  She shows how foods from cattle—milk and meat, particularly when raised entirely on grass—are healthful, extremely nutritious, and an irreplaceable part of the world’s food system.

Grounded in empirical scientific data and with living examples from around the world, Defending Beef builds a comprehensive argument that cattle can help to build carbon-sequestering soils to mitigate climate change, enhance biodiversity, help prevent desertification, and provide invaluable nutrition.

Defending Beef is simultaneously a book about big ideas and the author’s own personal tale—she starts out as a skeptical vegetarian and eventually becomes an enthusiastic participant in environmentally sustainable ranching.

While no single book can definitively answer the thorny question of how to feed the Earth’s growing population, Defending Beef makes the case that, whatever the world’s future food system looks like, cattle and beef can and must be part of the solution.

Available in: Paperback

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Defending Beef

Nicolette Hahn Niman

Paperback $19.95

Listening to the Land

Listening to the Land

By Derrick Jensen

In this far-ranging and heartening collection, Derrick Jensen gathers conversations with environmentalists, theologians, Native Americans, psychologists, and feminists, engaging some of our best minds in an exploration of more peaceful ways to live on Earth. Included here is Dave Foreman on biodiversity, Matthew Fox on Christianity and nature, Jerry Mander on technology, and Terry Tempest Williams on an erotic connection to the land. With intelligence and compassion, Listening to the Land moves from a look at the condition of the environment and the health of our spirit to a beautiful evocation of eros and a life based on love.

Available in: Paperback

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Listening to the Land

Derrick Jensen

Paperback $20.00

Limits to Growth - The 30-Year Update (Book & CD-ROM Bundle)

Limits to Growth - The 30-Year Update (Book & CD-ROM Bundle)

By Donella Meadows and Jorgen Randers and Dennis Meadows

In 1972 four young scientists at MIT wrote a book called The Limits to Growth that shocked the world and became an international best-seller. Using the World3 computer model, the authors looked into the future and sounded an alarm, for the first time showing the consequences of unchecked growth on a finite planet. Their book gained worldwide attention and became the cornerstone of a global debate on how to achieve a sustainable future.

Twenty years later the authors wrote Beyond the Limits, a follow-up volume that showed humanity was already overshooting Earth's limits. Beyond the Limits again provoked a national debate and galvanized the scientific and environmental academics leaders to incorporate Limits to Growth into the core environmental studies curriculum.

Now Limits to Growth: The 30-Year Update brings data on overshoot and global ecological collapse to the present moment. It provides a short course in the World3 computer model, types of growth, and the various kinds of overshoot likely to occur in the current century. While it remains to be seen whether public policy will respond effectively and in time to problems such as climate change, this book makes a compelling case for the vital need for a Sustainability Revolution.

The CD

This disc is intended for serious students of Limits to Growth: The 30-Year Update. It permits users to reproduce and examine the details of the ten scenarios published in the book. The CD can be run on most Macintosh and PC operating systems. With it you will be able to:

  • Reproduce the three graphs for each of the scenarios as they appear in the book
  • Graph the eleven individual parameters for each scenario
  • Create comparative plots to examine the behavior of one parameter under the assumptions for two or more scenarios
  • Print out 47 key variables in five-year increments from 1900 to 2100 for any of the scenarios

 The CD also includes:

  • Full model equations compatible with STELLA
  • Eighty-five JPEG files of the important book illustrations for use in lectures and classroom discussions

Available in: Mixed media product

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Limits to Growth - The 30-Year Update (Book & CD-ROM Bundle)

Jorgen Randers, Dennis Meadows, Donella Meadows

Mixed media product $42.50

Grass, Soil, Hope

Grass, Soil, Hope

By Courtney White

This book tackles an increasingly crucial question: What can we do about the seemingly intractable challenges confronting all of humanity today, including climate change, global hunger, water scarcity, environmental stress, and economic instability?

The quick answers are: Build topsoil. Fix creeks. Eat meat from pasture-raised animals.

Scientists maintain that a mere 2 percent increase in the carbon content of the planet’s soils could offset 100 percent of all greenhouse gas emissions going into the atmosphere. But how could this be accomplished? What would it cost? Is it even possible? 

Yes, says author Courtney White, it is not only possible, but essential for the long-term health and sustainability of our environment and our economy.

Right now, the only possibility of large-scale removal of greenhouse gases from the atmosphere is through plant photosynthesis and related land-based carbon sequestration activities. These include a range of already existing, low-tech, and proven practices: composting, no-till farming, climate-friendly livestock practices, conserving natural habitat, restoring degraded watersheds and rangelands, increasing biodiversity, and producing local food.

In Grass, Soil, Hope, the author shows how all these practical strategies can be bundled together into an economic and ecological whole, with the aim of reducing atmospheric CO2 while producing substantial co-benefits for all living things. Soil is a huge natural sink for carbon dioxide. If we can draw increasing amounts carbon out of the atmosphere and store it safely in the soil then we can significantly address all the multiple challenges that now appear so intractable.

Available in: Paperback

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Grass, Soil, Hope

Michael Pollan, Courtney White

Paperback $19.95