Wednesday, August 22, 2012

"As the World Burns: Can an Integrated Monetary System Save Us?" - Review of The Tierra Solution

Ethan Goffman, associate editor of the open-access journal for sustainable solutions, Sustainability: Science, Practice, & Policy, has written a thought-provoking review of Frans Verhagen's The Tierra Solution. You can read the original review, along with some enlightening articles about sustainability, here, but see what he has to say below.

Climate change requires an integrated global approach. Solutions cannot be isolated by borders, nor from our economic and social systems. Big thinking is needed. One recent book that thinks big is The Tierra Solution by sustainability sociologist Frans Verhagen, President of the International Institute of Monetary Transformation. The book recommends a global currency called the Tierra based on carbon. Given the severe challenge of climate change, such sweeping proposals are needed to create a larger vision and stimulate discussion. And clearly, a major shift in our monetary system is needed for a stable, sustainable planet. Still, the book is simplistic in its claims for a singular solution and understates the huge political challenges.
The Tierra would abandon our current floating currency, in which dollars, euros, renminbi, pesos, and other currency fluctuate relative to one another, oftentimes wildly so. While such volatility is economically stressful, Verhagen points out that the gold standard, the classical stable unit of currency, suffers from the artificial nature of gold, which itself ebbs and flows in price. As an international currency based on carbon, the Tierra would be both comprehensive and stable. It would also be tied to the environment, encouraging responsible behavior globally. As Verhagen explains, “[T]he proximity of a nation’s decarbonization level to the [Tierra] standard would determine the...value of its currency.”
Alas, the book leaves a hole as to how a transition to such a standard would take place. It does, however, describe a more complete system of which the Tierra is only one part, albeit the central one. Controlled by a global monetary institution, the Tierra would be a credit-based currency integrated with an exchange of wealthy countries’ ecological debts and poorer countries’ financial debt, and working alongside a carbon tax.
Read the rest of the review on the Sustainability blog, here. And don't forget to leave a comment here or there with your own thoughts on the issue!

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Left at East Gates's Peter Robbins on Truth Out Radio

Last Friday evening, author Peter Robbins did an interview with Richard Dolan of "Truth Out Radio" about the Rendlesham Forest incident, Britain's most well-known UFO occurrence and the subject of Robbins's book with Larry Warren, Left at East Gate. To listen to the whole three-hour show and the two-hour talk with Peter, check out the Truth Out Radio Archives. The newest shows are at the bottom. In addition, you can watch Peter's recent talk on the subject at Phoenix Mufon on July21st, below, for background information.

Thursday, August 16, 2012

“Occupy Wall Street succeeded in making the issue of the 99% versus the 1% big news,” says Schechter in Tehran Times

Danny Schechter, the News Dissector, and author of Occupy: Dissecting Occupy Wall Street, has been interviewed by the Iranian Tehran Times, covering multiple issues. From the role of the media in covering the Middle East, to their role in the run up to the wars in Iraq and  Afghanistan, to the White House and Wikileaks, and much more. Schecher is also frank in his views of Occupy Wall Street; yes, "it succeeded in making the issue of the 99% versus the 1 % big news in a media dominated culture" and no, "it hasn't succeeded in making change." You can read the complete interview online. If you're interested in reading more of Danny's ideas on Occupy and the media, check out his new books, Blogothon: Reflections and Revelations from the News Dissector, and Occupy, now also available as a NookBook.

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

New Book Release & Cosimo Book of the Month from Life Stories Expert Robert Atkinson

This month we'd like to announce a new title and our August Book of the Month, Mystic Journey: Getting to the Heart of Your Soul's Story, by Robert Atkinson. Mystic Journey is the exploration of who we are at our core and why we are deeply connected to all others on earth. Atkinson, an internationally recognized authority in helping people tell their life stories, explains how universal motifs, archetypes, and patterns tie us all together and emerge time and time again in individuals' life stories, to create one story that establishes who we are during life. Atkinson uses his extensive background in human development and religious studies to show how traditional archetypes and motifs, such as the hero story, shape our daily lives and develop within our own personal stories.

Mystic Journey explores life's greatest adventure, discovering who we are at our core by living consciously, as described in the world's oldest wisdom traditions. We all must explore the path of our soul, uncovering who we are in this life in order to determine who we will be in the next life (i.e. heaven, the great beyond, the afterlife, death). Atkinson uses a multi-faith approach to explain and describe the lifelong process of soul-making, leading to a personal and collective transformation. each chapter of Mystic Journey ends with an exercise to help readers tell their personal story, and each chapter explains not only the process of soul-making, but also how each individual's story connects to that of the whole.

Mystic Journey is an ideal book for those searching for inner peace, spiritual awareness, or who simply want to write down their story for others to read. Mystic Journey guides readers to use their life stories to solidify their identities, live with an eternal perspective in mind, and reclaim a common spiritual heritage. You can read the press release, along with praise and purchasing information, here. The book also received fantastic reviews from The New Maine Times book review and The Publishing Guru. Jean Houston, author of A Mythic Life and The Search for the Beloved, says of Mystic Journey, "In this exquisite exploration of the spiritual craft of soul-making, Robert Atkinson illumines the journey as well as the art and discipline that leads to spiritual transformation. To read this magnificent study is to remember our original birthright and commit again to following the path that leads us home to who and what we really are."

Robert Atkinson is the author of eight books, including several on personal storytelling. He is a professor of human development and religious studies, and the director of the Life Story Center at the University of Southern Maine.  He can be found online at, where you can read his tour schedule, find out more about the book, read Atkinson's blog, connect with him personally,and read a sample of the book. He also has an interactive blog, Remembering Who We Are, featuring 50 ways to tell your soul's story.

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

Modern Review of a Classic Victorian War Manual

We have some exciting news! In this month's issue of Survival  from The International Institute for Strategic Studies, David Betz has reviewed Small Wars: Their Principles and Practice, by Charles Callwell, one of our Cosimo Classics titles. The August to September volume of Survival is all about global politics and strategy, and Small Wars fits in perfectly.

From the American war in Vietnam to the Russian war in Afghanistan, the British occupation of Northern Ireland to the American occupation of Iraq, "small wars"--which include guerrilla warfare and other asymmetrical combat--have been a constant in the geopolitical arena of the post-WWII globe. But it was a contingency before the World Wars that demanded advanced preparation in the areas of strategy, logistics, and other military concerns. In the classic 1896 Small Wars, Anglo-Irish military writer Major General Sir Charles Callwell (1859-1928) drew on his service in the British army to create the first modern guide to the "small war." From the causes of small wars, which impacts how they will be fought, to the characteristics of guerrilla warfare to nitty-gritty details on the best tactics to employ over various terrain, it is a gripping instruction manual for deploying the "boldness and vigour" required to win a small war.

Betz's article is a frank and detailed review that merges past with present, that reviews which parts of Callwell's Small Wars are applicable in this day and age, and which are absolutely not. Both are a fascinating read, especially for those interested in both ancient and modern warfare. You can check out an excerpt of Betz's article here, or you can order this month's issue in print or for your iPad. Either way, you won't be disappointed.