Our world is becoming more dangerous and degraded every day, and our efforts to change that are sadly inadequate. Division, violence, disenfranchisement, and ecological hubris combine to constitute a multi-faceted and serious threat to our future. There is a common feature behind these circumstances-often unseen or unacknowledged, even by the most respected of scientists and policy makers: limited thinking. Our planet is undergoing extreme and shocking changes due to humankind's footprint upon it. And, while most involved focus on one or several specific aspects of the problem (pollution, groundwater depletion, species diversity), many are so encased in their own specialties or interests that they fail to see the greater problem-that our fragmented ways of thinking and acting are failing to resolve the environmental and related political situations threatening the viability of life on this planet.
We must, and can, do better. However, this will require a new way of thinking.
It is in light of this that the editors of this book propose a new discipline, first suggested by the eminent political scientist John H. Herz, combining all relevant scientific disciplines with an overarching, unified, humanistic philosophy that will directly and positively influence the sustainability of life on Earth: Survival Research. Global Survival: The Challenge and its Implications for Thinking and Acting reprints, updated and with additions, the April/June 2003 issue of the journal World Futures outlining this revolutionary new way of thinking. In its pages, renowned academics and thinkers not only dissect the obstacles facing us, but also offer proposals for real change.
"Finally we have a book that focuses on the need for communications among disciplines in assessing the human prospect. It is one thing to see the various threats to our future, it is quite another to recognize that many of those threats are interacting in a way that makes the threat to the whole far greater than the sum of the parts."
—Lester Brown, President, Earth Policy Institute