Author: Frans C. Verhagen, PhD  
Publisher: Cosimo Books
ISBN: 978-1-61640-688-2


Doctor Verhagen, author of The Terra Solution, studied International Business with a concentration in Africa at Columbia University, obtained his PhD in International Development with a concentration in sociology/U.S. NGO’s and TNC’s. (2012, p.349) His background ranges from teaching environmental policies to architects/engineers to being an energy/sustainability sociologist who helped to develop the socially oriented Earth science curricula for the New York Board of Education to working with the U.N. Headquarters on issues of climate change and sustainable development. He is founder of the Queens Green Party (1989), the Riverside Church Ecology Task Force (1990), International Institute for Monetary Transformation (2008), co-founder of the Ecolinguistics Commission of the International Applied Linguistics Association (1990-1993), Earth and Peace Education International. (p.350)

Doctor Verhagen proposes a three point system for changing from where we are now to an ecological/political/economical credit based, fractional reserve, carbon based, banking system. (2012, Forward) This system he says would “…change the drivers in the economy…[such that] we can find a way to live fairly and equitably on this planet.” I totally concur.

James Richards says (2012, Introduction) say that “…the fate of the dollar equals the fate of the international monetary system.” He suggests that we “…more or less unilaterally, should return to the gold standard—not the pure or historical gold standard, but a flexible gold standard.” His conclusion comes from studying the apex of three global issues: a flagging international monetary system, the approach of eminent climate change, and haphazard international development that creates a two caste class system. Richards says this “flexible gold standard” would “…provide
the world with ample credit and liquidity without causing sovereign debt and inflation.”

In order to adequately understand why this proposal makes the most sense for this scenario Verhagen offers insight into the climate crisis based on four major dimensions: physical, political, economic, and social. (2012, p.4) He states that with regard to the world economies “…we are all in debt to one another.” (p.5)

Physically there are three things that life on earth is dependent upon: “…the flowing of energy, the webbing of life, and the cycling of matter.” (2012, p.11) Carbon is critical to the cycling of matter. Economically there are direct and indirect costs. (p.13) Politically is somewhat self-evident. Socially there are many crisis that cab be linked to global warming, i.e. floods, hot/cold waves, hurricanes, fires, and draughts. (p.14)

There are many reasons why the diplomacy of global warming has not been successful according to Verhagen, not the least of which has been “…conflicting approaches..”. (2012, p.16) He goes on the list the various conferences and accords and what have been the outcomes of each. Toward the end of this educational read he props up the reasons, objections, and responses to each of these major dimensions.

I enjoyed this book immensely and wish some of the world governing bodies would read and heed the truths and wisdoms imparted here so that the world would be a better and safer place for all of us to live.     

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