In the past we did not need to be aware of processes such as the carbon cycle, which is essential for all life on the planet. It was self-regulating and affected little by human activity. But today, we are changing its workings in dangerous ways by burning fossil fuels and reducing the earth’s vegetation. It has taken us a long time to learn that we are also seriously reducing the number of species of both animals and plants on the planet. We do not feel our planet changing, and our responses to what is happening are halfhearted because we do not yet feel the consequences.

We are now living in an environment that is ever more rapidly going out of balance, but we have no natural mechanism that adequately alarms us about the dangers this entails. Our mental images of reality omit much of the data we need in order to understand this situation and deal with it safely. – Peter Seidel