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[cg] Book Review: Restoring the Earth: Visionary Solutions from theBioneers Bioneers

Hi, Folks!

Here's my latest book review for the local alternative health newspaper.
Read, post and quote as you wish -- just give me credit for doing it. (Since
no one is paying me, I'm going for fame rather than profit! ;-))


Restoring the Earth: Visionary Solutions from the Bioneers by Kenny Ausubel,
H.J. Kramer, Inc., 1997.  ISBN:  0-915811-76-6, $12.95.

Quietly, without headlines in the major media, change creeps across the
consciousness of those of us who try to follow an environmentally-aware path
in our lives.  I save heirloom seeds.  Kimberton Hills Camphill Village,
long a model of biodynamic agriculture, finds itself called to study (and
heal) the waters that surround it.  My family doctor seriously considers
herbal remedies when treating non-life-threatening (but still uncomfortable)
conditions.  Indian Creek Community Farm in Harleysville, PA sketches out
plans for a greenhouse heated not by fossil fuels or the uncertain sunlight
of Southeastern Pennsylvania, but the body heat and breath of chickens and

Personally, I had never thought about where these ideas originated Ė people
I trusted suggested them or papers were presented at conferences or
forwarded over the Internet and those among us who were more technically
proficient in the specific subject proclaimed them sound and so we tried
them.  But all ideas, especially those that solve particular problems,
originate and/or are refined by someone and itís those someones who are
attempting to restore the earth through the use of natural systems as
"biological pioneers" (shortened to "bioneers") that Ausubel gathered
together, first at the now-annual "Bioneers Conference" and then, for a
wider audience, in this book.

Youíve probably heard of at least one of the 14 Bioneers Ausubel chose to
profile in this book, and if youíre like me, youíve probably heard at least
two or three of the ideas presented.  But nowhere else will you find such a
complete chronology of that idea, practical suggestions for implementing the
idea in your own community and a complete resource list with information on
contacting the Bioneer in question, the organizations which support the idea
and publications which will help you learn more about it.

Youíll want to sign up with at least one of the organizations listed in the
resource section because as Ausubel insists, these ideas are
well-researched, practical and most importantly, work! Besides learning
about Vandana Shiva (native seed-saving), Jennifer Greene (flow forms to
clean water), Kat Harrison and Steven King (herbal medicine) and Anna Edey
(chicken-heated greenhouses), youíll read about wetlands that turn raw
sewage into clean drinking water, ecological taxes on industry that actually
spur economic investment, tour groups that visit the Amazon to learn from
native shamans, and investment funds that provide capital for socially
responsible businesses. (Although the website seems to have been constructed
after the book was published, you can now sign up for the Bioneer Conference
and online chats with the Bioneers themselves at http://www.bioneers.org.)

Change, especially environmentally-sound change, often happens below the
radar of our national media.  Read this book and rescue from obscurity these
vital and viable ideas that will not only brighten your own life, but
restore the planet to abundance for everyone.

Reviewed by Dorene Pasekoff, Coordinator
St. Johnís Organic Community Garden
Phoenixville, PA

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