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


Desert or Paradise

Desert or Paradise

By Sepp Holzer

Sepp Holzer farms steep mountainsides in Austria 5,000 feet above sea level. His farm is an intricate network of terraces, raised beds, ponds, and waterways, well covered with productive fruit trees and other vegetation, in dramatic contrast to his neighbors' spruce monocultures. Fans of Sepp Holzer have come from all over the world to see the productivity of his farm, a veritable permaculture paradise. His first book, Sepp Holzer's Permaculture, offers a detailed guide to what Holzer has achieved on his farm. Many readers might have wondered-but how can we achieve this on a global scale? Luckily, his newest book, Desert or Paradise, examines Holzer's core philosophy for increasing food production, earth health, and reconnecting mankind with nature, applied to reforestation and water conservation across the world.

Through years of consultation with other countries, Holzer has developed a core philosophy for reconnecting mankind with nature even in arid or otherwise "lost-cause" regions. He details a process he calls "Grundierung," a term from painting meaning "base coat," which goes into great detail the importance of water, and Desert or Paradise offers his concept and guide to construction of large water reservoirs in arid, rainfall-dependent regions with examples from Greece, Turkey, Spain, and Portugal. Holzer describes the ecological and economic benefits of these changes, as well as the use of a variety of plant and animal species for further integration and regeneration of the surrounding areas, including reasons for reforestation and the cause and use of forest fires.

Holzer also outlines his ten points of sustainable self-reliance and how these methods can help feed the world, such as the need to regulate the water budget, eliminate factory livestock farming, bring more fallow or unused areas into production, enlarge crop areas by using terracing and Holzer-style raised beds, regionalize instead of globalize, fight for land reform and engage in community building, go back to the ancient farming wisdom, and change the educational system. Also included are Holzer's ideas on beekeeping, humane slaughtering, nature spirits, the loss of roots in our society in general, and in politics especially.

Available in: Paperback

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Desert or Paradise

Sepp Holzer

Paperback $29.95

The Earth Care Manual

The Earth Care Manual

By Patrick Whitefield

The long-awaited exploration of permaculture specifically for cooler Northern Hemisphere climates is finally here! Already regarded as the definitive book on the subject, The Earth Care Manual is accessible to the curious novice as much as it is essential for the knowledgeable practitioner.

Permaculture started out in the 1970s as a sustainable alternative to modern agriculture, taking its inspiration from natural ecosystems. It has always placed an emphasis on gardening, but since then it has expanded to include many other aspects, from community design to energy use. It can be seen as an overall framework that puts a diversity of green ideas into perspective. Its aims are low work, high output, and genuine sustainability.

Available in: Hardcover

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The Earth Care Manual

Patrick Whitefield

Hardcover $75.00

Nuclear Roulette

Nuclear Roulette

By Gar Smith

Nuclear power is not clean, cheap, or safe. With Three Mile Island, Chernobyl, and Fukushima, the nuclear industry's record of catastrophic failures now averages one major disaster every decade. After three US-designed plants exploded in Japan, many countries moved to abandon reactors for renewables. In the United States, however, powerful corporations and a compliant government still defend nuclear power-while promising billion-dollar bailouts to operators.

Each new disaster demonstrates that the nuclear industry and governments lie to "avoid panic," to preserve the myth of "safe, clean" nuclear power, and to sustain government subsidies. Tokyo and Washington both covered up Fukushima's radiation risks and-when confronted with damning evidence-simply raised the levels of "acceptable" risk to match the greater levels of exposure.

Nuclear Roulette dismantles the core arguments behind the nuclear-industrial complex's "Nuclear Renaissance." While some critiques are familiar-nuclear power is too costly, too dangerous, and too unstable-others are surprising: Nuclear Roulette exposes historic links to nuclear weapons, impacts on Indigenous lands and lives, and the ways in which the Nuclear Regulatory Commission too often takes its lead from industry, rewriting rules to keep failing plants in compliance. Nuclear Roulette cites NRC records showing how corporations routinely defer maintenance and lists resulting "near-misses" in the US, which average more than one per month.

Nuclear Roulette chronicles the problems of aging reactors, uncovers the costly challenge of decommissioning, explores the industry's greatest seismic risks-not on California's quake-prone coast but in the Midwest and Southeast-and explains how solar flares could black out power grids, causing the world's 400-plus reactors to self-destruct. This powerful exposé concludes with a roundup of proven and potential energy solutions that can replace nuclear technology with a "Renewable Renaissance," combined with conservation programs that can cleanse the air, and cool the planet.

Available in: Hardcover, Paperback

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Nuclear Roulette

Gar Smith, Jerry Mander, Ernest Callenbach

Paperback $19.95

Scientists under Attack

Scientists under Attack

By Bertram Verhaag

When scientist Arpad Pusztai reported that genetically modified (GM) foods caused serious health problems in rats, he was a hero at his prestigious UK institute -- for two days. But after two phone calls (apparently) from the Prime Minister's office, he was fired, gagged, and mercilessly attacked. When UC Berkely professor Ignacio Chapela discovered GM corn contamination in Mexico, he too faced a firestorm of distortion and denial that left him struggling to salvage his career. Find out how the biotech industry "engineers" the truth and what they are trying to hide from you. By Bertram Verhaag, with bonus film: Monster Salmon.

Available in: DVD

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Scientists under Attack

Bertram Verhaag

DVD $19.95