Climate – A New Story

Elemente der Naturwissenschaft 113, 2020, S. 82-84 | DOI: 10.18756/edn.113.82


Charles Eisenstein: Climate – A New Story. ISBN: 978-1-62317-248-0. Random House, New York 2018. 320 pages, CHF 24.90.

Deep intuitions of the heart, complemented by thorough research, sound intellectual thinking, and a fine sense for the power of language make this a truly inspiring book. Charles Eisenstein’s analysis of the environmental and climate crisis goes deeper than identifying culprits such as industrial agriculture and atmospheric carbon. He penetrates to what he sees as the root cause: the entrenched materialistic mindset of modern western humanity. He characterizes this mindset as one which creates separation: the separation of the human being from the world, the separation of the Earth – a living, breathing being comprised of an infinite web of dynamic interrelationships – into finite material resources to be mined and monetized. But by showing how this mentality inevitably leads to the destruction and degradation of our environment, Eisenstein opens a way for us to conceive of a new consciousness characterized by interbeing: by the realization that all things are interconnected and worthy of our love and respect, a consciousness capable of bringing healing to our planet. How we meet the mounting social and environmental crises of our time, Eisenstein argues, will depend upon whether we are able to achieve the transition to a consciousness that recognizes the deeper reality of interbeing:

“[...] the consciousness of interbeing is dawning in the dominant civilization. What we do to the Other, we do to ourselves. This will be the defining understanding of the next civilization – if there is a next civilization.” (p. 23)