Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Amid Rio+20 UN Conference and Impending Climate Crisis, The Tierra Solution Delivers Answers

With the Rio+20 United Nations Conference on Sustainable Development happening this week in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, and the upcoming presidential election--where there is sure to be at least some focus on climate issues and a lot of focus on financial issues--this month's Book of the Month is both timely and relevant. The Tierra Solution, by sustainability sociologist Dr. Frans Verhagen, offers a solution to climate change through monetary transformation, essentially killing two birds with one stone.

Dr. Verhagen proposes to resolve to the current financial, economic, and monetary problems around the world with a credit-based financial system, governed by a Global Central Bank, that uses a carbon standard for a newly developed international monetary system with the Tierra as the unit of account--hence, the Tierra Solution.

Basically, Verhagen suggests that by simply holding businesses and governments accountable for the carbon-based energy they use, and basing money exchange on that energy, we can create a cleaner environment and solve the global financial crisis. Separated into two distinct parts, The Tierra Solution first describes the current climate crisis and methods of carbon reduction that already exist (and why they are not ideal). He also lays out the history and present structure of the international monetary system. Then, Verhagen describes the Tierra Fee & Dividend System, why it is the best solution for our ravaged economies, how it will improve the climate and monetary systems, and how it should be implemented.

Hazel Henderson, evolutionary economist and president of Ethical Markets Media, commented that The Tierra Solution is, "a visionary and immensely practical approach to reforming today's bubble finance and taming its global casino. Verhagen... illuminates the win-win solutions possible when we combine monetary transformation with low-carbon, renewable resource strategies and equitable approaches to sustainable development."

In his Foreword, Felix Dodds, executive director of the Stakeholder Forum, said, "This book is an important contribution because it provides some serious ideas for how we can ensure that there is international monetary justice that takes account of social, environmental, and procedural justice and intergenerational principles in the international monetary system."

This is not a light-hearted read.

But it is essential for those in finance and governements (or who want to influence those areas) to understand how our current systems are failing and why we need something new. Verhagen describes it as needing to "repair the present global monetary, financial, and economic systems that enrich the few, impoverish the many, and imperil the planet."

If you're interested in the official press release, you can read it here. Dr. Frans Verhagen is a sustainability sociologist with a Ph.D. in the sociology of international development from Columbia University. he founded the Queens Green party, the Riverside Church Ecology Task Force, and the Ecolinguistics Commission. He has worked around the world and online teaching environmental policies and sustainability.He is online at

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