Interesting Facts and References

“The woods are lovely, dark and deep, But I have promises to keep, And miles to go before I sleep, And miles to go before I sleep”

— Robert Frost

Interesting Facts:

1. While human population increased by a factor of 6 from 1800 to 2000, from 1 billion to 6.1 billion, human consumption increased by a factor of 64 from $400B to $25T.

2. The top 20% of humans were responsible for 83% of world resource consumption while the bottom 20% were responsible for 1.3%, circa the year 2000.

3. The top 1.3 billion people look like 83 billion people from the viewpoint of the bottom 1.3 billion people.

4. The average American home has nearly tripled in size since 1950 and yet there is $20B a year self-storage industry in America to store overflow “stuff” for Americans.

5. The top 500 million people are responsible for half the fossil-fuel based CO2 emissions in the world.

6. Two-thirds of the ice-free land area of the planet has been appropriated for human use, leaving one-third for wildlife.

7. Half the world’s forests have been destroyed, mainly in the past 50 years.

8. Three quarters of the marine fisheries have been overfished.

9. 90% of the predatory fish stocks in the ocean have disappeared, mostly eaten in the past 50 years.

10. Species extinctions are occurring at 100-1000 times the background rate.

11. The rate of species extinction is increasing by a factor of 10 every 20 years.

12. The tiger population in the wild has dwindled to 3% of its original strength in the course of the past 100 years.

13. The size of the world economy has more than quadrupled in the past 50 years.

14. Moore’s law states that the number of transistors that can be inexpensively placed in a semiconductor would double every 2 years.

15. If Moore’s law continued for 300 years, then a semiconductor device will contain more transistors than there are atoms in the solar system.

16. The rate of increase of CO2 in the atmosphere is now occurring 60 times faster than at any point in the past 650,000 years.

17. The rate of movement of isotherms is occurring an order of magnitude faster than the response rate of ecosystems.

18. The ocean is acidifying an order of magnitude faster than when a mass extinction occurred 55 million years ago.

19. The Earth has experienced a 0.8C (1.4F) rise in temperature over the past 200 years.

20. Humans use nearly one-third of the ice-free land area of the planet just for livestock production.

21. Half the land area of the US is used for livestock production.

22. The world’s 1.2 billion heads of cattle consume the equivalent of 8.7 billion human beings.

23. It requires 60 gallons of water to grow one pound of potatoes. It requires 12,000 gallons of water to grow one pound of beef. And, it requires 24,000 gallons of water to grow one pound of grass-fed beef.

24. Humans kill around 60 billion land animals for food each year.

25. Humans consume over 150 million tons of seafood each year.

26. Just over one-fourth of humanity are responsible for most of the consumption of animal foods.

27. It requires 100 Joules of embedded plant-based energy to produce less than 4 Joules worth of animal foods such as eggs, dairy and meat, for human consumption.

28. The average human being is consuming more energy in food than in fuel and shelter combined, when we take into account the embedded plant-based energy input to the animal agriculture systems.

29. The energy required for a vegan diet is one-fourth the energy required for the average world diet and one-seventh the energy required for the affluent diet.

30. The carbon footprint for typical dairy cheese exceeds the carbon footprint for certain meats like pork and chicken.

31. If humans stopped deforestation today, the world’s existing forests would sequester half the world’s fossil-fuel based CO2 emissions.

32. Half the indigenous cultures that existed 50 years ago are extinct as of today.

33. Of the top 100 economies in the world, 51 are corporations.

34. There are 600 billion large trees in the Amazon rainforest.

35. According to native cultures, the Amazon rainforest has more eyes than leaves.

36. It is estimated that there are 50 billion planets in the Milky way galaxy alone.

37. There are 100 billion to 500 billion galaxies in the observable universe.

38. Health care is a 2.5 trillion dollar a year industry in the US, growing by about 100 billion dollars each year.

39. According to Prof. Colin Campbell, 70-80% of the health care costs in the US can be eliminated if everyone switched to a whole-foods plant-based diet.

40. 2 billion people burn over 1.5 billion tons of firewood annually for cooking alone.

41. The average American child is subjected to around 3000 advertising messages every day.

42. Humans have amassed $195 Trillion in “wealth” with two-thirds of it in Western countries. The true wealth of the planet, the totality and diversity of Life, has been vastly diminished during the course of this “wealth” accumulation.

Interesting Articles:

1. Brian Morton, “Falser Words were never Spoken,” New York Times, August 29, 2011.

2. Joseph Biden, Jr., “China’s Rise isn’t our Demise,” New York Times, September 7, 2011.

3. Albert Einstein, “Why Socialism?” Monthly Review, May 1949.

4. Robert Goodland and Jeff Anhang, “Livestock and Climate Change: What if the Key Actors in Climate Change are Cows, Pigs and Chicken,” Nov. 2009.

5. Jaime Lincoln Kitman, “The Secret History of Lead,” Nation, 2000.

6. Lewis F. Powell Jr., “Confidential Memorandum: Attack of American Free Enterprise System,” August 1971.

7. James McWilliams, “Why Eating Meat is Not Personal,” Atlanta Journal and Constitution, November 2009.

8. Alexandra Horowitz and Ammon Shea, “Think You’re Smarter Than Animals? Maybe Not,” NY Times Sunday Review, August 20, 2011.

9. Joel Bakan, “The Kids Are Not Alright,” NY Times The Opinion Pages, August 21, 2011.

10. Joseph Stiglitz, “Of the 1%, by the 1%, for the 1%,” Vanity Fair, May 2011.

11. Occupy Wall Street, “Declaration of Occupy Wall Street,” Sep. 29, 2011.

12. Dianne Ackerman, “Evolution’s Gold Standard,” NY Times Opinion Pages, August 8, 2011.

13. Time Magazine, “Fighting to Save the Earth from Man,” Feb. 2, 1970.,9171,878179,00.html#ixzz1QnqE8fe5

14. Tom Friedman, “The Earth is Full,” NY Times Opinion Page, June 7, 2011.

15. Mark Bittman, “Some Animals Are More Equal Than Others,” NY Times Opinionator Column, March 15, 2011.

16. Paul Krugman, “Another Inside Job,” NY Times Opinion Pages, March 13, 2011.

17. Fred Pearce, “The Last Thing Our Hungry World Needs is More Food,” The Daily Mail, Feb. 6, 2011.

18. Eduardo Porter, “Why Superstars’ Pay Stifles Everyone Else,” NY Times Business Day, Dec. 25, 2010.

19. Neil McFarquhar, “African Farmers Displaced as Investors Move in,” NY Times Africa section, Dec. 21, 2010.

20. Amy Simmons, “Scientists Fear Mass Extinction As Oceans Choke,” ABC News, Dec. 1, 2010.

21. Joel Stein, “The Rise of the Power Vegans,” BusinessWeek Nov 4, 2010.

Interesting Books:

1. Anthony DeMello, “Awareness: The Perils and Opportunities of Reality,” Image Publishers, June 1990.

2. Paul Hawken, “Blessed Unrest: How the Largest Social Movement in History Is Restoring Grace, Justice, and Beauty to the World,” Penguin, April 2008.

3. Paul R. Ehrlich, “The Population Bomb,” Sierra Club and Ballantine Books, 1968.

4. Paramhansa Yogananda, “The Essence of the Bhagavad Gita,” Crystal Clarity Publishers, 2006.

5. P. Lal, “The Bhagavad Gita,” Lotus Collection Roli Books, 1994.

6. Edward O. Wilson, “The Creation: An Appeal to Save Life on Earth,” W. W. Norton and Company, 2006.

7. James Gustave Speth, “The Bridge at the Edge of the World: Capitalism, the Environment and Crossing from Crisis to Sustainability,” Yale University Press, March 2008.

8. Paul Gilding, “The Great Disruption: Why the Climate Crisis Will Bring On the End of Shopping and the Birth of a New World,” Bloomsbury Press, March 2011.

9. Alan Weisman, “The World Without Us,” Thomas Dunne Books, July 2007.

10. Jeremy Rifkin, “The Empathic Civilization: The Race to Global Consciousness in a World in Crisis,” Tarcher, Dec. 2009.

11. Dan Zarella, “Zarrella’s Hierarchy of Contagiousness: The Science, Design, and Engineering of Contagious Ideas,” The Domino Project, 2011.

12. UN Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, “The Fourth Assessment Report,” 2007.

13. Al Gore, “Earth in the Balance: Ecology and the Human Spirit,” Plume Publishers, January 1993.

14. Mark Lynas, “Six Degrees: Our Future on a Hotter Planet,” National Geographic, January 2008.

15. Sylvia A. Earle, “The World is Blue: How Our Fate and the Ocean’s Are One,” National Geographic, September 2009.

16. UN Report, “Livestock’s Long Shadow,” 2006.

17. Vernon Heywood, Ed., “Global Biodiversity Assessment,” 1995.

18. L. D. Danny Harvey, “Energy and the New Reality 1: Energy Efficiency and the Demand for Energy Services,” Routledge, 2010.

19. Stefan Wirsenius, “Human Use of Land and Organic Materials: Modeling the Turnover of Biomass in the Global Food System,” Chalmers University of Technology and Goteborg University, 2000.

20. William Leiss, “The Domination of Nature,” McGill Queens University Press, 1994.

21. Francis Bacon, “Novum Organum,” 1620.

22. Jonathan Safron Foer, “Eating Animals,” Little, Brown and Company, 2009.

23. Charles Eisenstein, “The Ascent of Humanity,” Panenthea Productions, March 2007.

24. Gro Harlem Brundtland, “Report of the World Commission on Environment and Development: Our Common Future,” 1987.

25. James McWilliams, “Just Food: Where Locavores Get It Wrong and How We Can Truly Eat Responsibly,” Little, Brown and Company, Aug. 2009.

26. Thomas M. Campbell II and T. Colin Campbell, “The China Study: The Most Comprehensive Study of Nutrition Ever Conducted and the Startling Implications for Diet, Weight Loss and Long-Term Health,” BenBella Books, 2004.

27. Douglass Carmichael, “GardenWorld Politics: American Values,”

28. Viktor Frankl, “Man’s Search for Meaning: An Introduction to Logotherapy,” Beacon Press, 1946.

29. McKay Jenkins, “What’s Gotten Into Us: Staying Healthy in a Toxic World,” Random House, 2011.

30. Brian McLaren, “Everything Must Change: Jesus, Global Crises, and a Revolution of Hope,” Thomas Nelson, 2007.

31. Jennifer Aaker, Andy Smith with Carlye Adler, “The Dragonfly Effect: Quick, Effective and Powerful Ways to use Social Media to Drive Social Change,” Jossey Bass, Sep. 2010.

32. Henry David Thoreau, “Walden,” Reprinted by Princeton University Press, 1989.

33. Wayne Pacelle, “The Bond: Our Kinship with Animals and our Call to Defend Them,” William Morrow, April 2011.

34. Kate Pickett and Richard Wilkinson, “The Spirit Level: Why Greater Equality Makes Societies Stronger,” Bloomsbury Press, Dec. 2009,

35. Sally G. Bingham, “Love God, Heal Earth: 21 Leading Religious Voices Speak Out on Our Sacred Duty to Protect the Environment,” St. Lynn’s Press, 2009.

36. Richard Heinberg and Daniel Lerch, Editors, “The Post Carbon Reader: Managing the 21st Century’s Sustainability Crises,” University of California Press, October 2010.

37. Dianne Dumanoski, “The End of the Long Summer: Why We Must Remake Our Civilization to Survive on a Volatile Earth,” Crown, July 2009.

38. Mark Hertsgaard, “HOT: Living Through the Next Fifty Years on Earth,” Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, 2011.

39. James Hansen, “Storms of My Grandchildren: The Truth About the Coming Climate Catastrophe and Our Last Chance to Save Humanity,” Bloomsbury, Dec. 2009.

40. Thorsten Veblen, “The Theory of the Leisure Class,” Penguin Classics, 1994.

41. Tyler Cowen, “The Great Stagnation: How America Ate All The Low-Hanging Fruit of Modern History, Got Sick, and Will (Eventually) Feel Better,” Dutton, Jan. 2011.

42. Raj Patel, “The Value of Nothing: How to Reshape Market Society and Redefine Democracy,” Picador, Jan. 2010.

43. Bill McKibben, “Eaarth: Making a Life on a Tough New Planet,” Times Books, April 2010.

44. Harriet A. Washington, “Deadly Monopolies: The Shocking Corporate Takeover of Life Itself–And the Consequences for Your Health and Our Medical Future,” Doubleday, October 2011.

45. Ellen Schultz, “Retirement Heist: How Companies Plunder and Profit from the Nest Eggs of American Workers,” Portfolio, Sep. 2011.

46. Edward O. Wilson “The Diversity of Life.” Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 1992, at

47. David Quammen, “The Song of the Dodo: Island Biogeography in an Age of Extinction,” Schribner, 1997.

Interesting Videos and Documentaries:

1. Jeremy Rifkin, “On Global Issues and Future of the Planet,” Interview with Een Vandaag,

2. Jaya Row, “Bhagavad Gita Chapters,”

3. BBC Documentaries, “The Century of the Self,”

4. Jill Bolte Taylor, “Stroke of Insight,”

5. Vice President Al Gore, “An Inconvenient Truth,”

6. Dan Miller, “A Really Inconvenient Truth,”

7. Stephen Schneider, “Stephen Schneider talks to 52 Climate Change Skeptics,”

8. Leonardo Di Caprio, “The Eleventh Hour,” 2007.

9. BBC Horizon, “Global Dimming,” 2005.

10. Wade Davis, “Endangered Cultures,” 2003.

11. Joaquin Phoenix, Narrator, “Earthlings,” 2005.

12. Prof. Antonio Donato Nobre, “Talk at TedXAmazonia,” Nov. 2010.

13. T. Colin Campbell, Ph. D., and Caldwell B. Esselstyn Jr., M.D., starring in, “Forks over Knives,” Monica Beach Media, 2011.

14. Don Hardy and Dana Nachmann, producers, “The Human Experiment,” KTF Films, 2011.

15. Dan Pink, “On the Surprising Science of Motivation,” TED talk, 2009.

16. Sir Ken Robinson, “Schools Kill Creativity,” TED talk, 2006,

17. Manfred Max-Neef, “Barefoot Economics, Poverty and Why The U.S. is Becoming an Underdeveloping Nation,” Democracy Now, Nov. 2010,

18. Thandie Newton, “Embracing Otherness, Embracing Myself,” TED talk, July 2011.

19. Jonathan Haidt, “When Compassion Leads to Sacrilege,” Stanford Center for Compassion and Altruism Research, April 2011.

20. Kelly McGonigal, “The Power of Self-Compassion,” Stanford Cener for Compassion and Altruism Research, Feb.2011.

21. Scene from “Animals are Beautiful People,” 1974.

22. Simon Sinek, “How Great Leaders Inspire Action,” Sep. 2009.

23. Jennifer Siebel Newsom et al., “Miss Representation,” 2011.

24. Vicki Abeles, “Race to Nowhere,” A Reel Link Films, 2010.

25. Adam Curtis, “The Trap: What Happened to Our Dream of Freedom?” BBC Documentaries,

26. Richard Attenborough, “Planet Earth: The Complete BBC Series,”

27. Edward Burtynsky, “Manufactured Landscapes,” 2006.

28. Edward Burtynsky, “Manufactured Landscapes,” TED Talk, 2005.

29. Aaron Scheibner, “A Delicate Balance,” Phoenix Films, 2010.

30. Annie Leonard, “The Story of Stuff.” and follow-ons.

31. Susan Linn, “Consuming Kids,”

32. Steve Jobs, “How to Live Before You Die,” Commencement Address at Stanford University, Stanford, CA, June 2005.

33. The Living Bridge in Meghalaya, India,

34. Wangari Mathaai, “I Will Be a Hummingbird,”

35. Sally Erickson and TImothy Scott Bennett, “What a Way to Go: Life at the End of the Empire,”

36. Solar Bottle Lights in the Phillippines,

37. Bittu Sahgal, “She’s Alive… Beautiful… Finite… Hurting… Worth Dying for.”

38. Sigourney Weaver, narrator, “ACID TEST: The Global Challenge of Ocean Acidification,” NRDC Documentary,

39. Matt Damon, Narrator, “Inside Job,” Sony Classics, 2010.

40. Toshiro Kanamori, Teacher, “Children Full of Life,”

41. Krista Tippett, “Reconnecting with Compassion,” TED talk, Nov. 2010.

42. Jeremy Jackson, “How We Wrecked the Ocean,” TED Talk, 2010.

43. PBS Documentary, “The Murder of Crows,”




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