This book also includes relevant parts (specific to Earthships) of a F.E.M.A. (Federal Emergency Management Agency) evaluation that researches many types of alternative building.
Michael Reynolds is a world leader in sustainable housing. For over forty years he has been designing and building homes that heat and cool themselves, are built from natural and recycled materials, produce their own electricity, collect their own water, treat their own sewage and grow their own food. He is the author of seven books, the initiator of 3 off-grid communities. The largest community, Greater World Earthship Community, currently has 60 totally off-grid homes with a plan for 130 total. He is subject of the documentary Garbage Warrior and travels with his team around the world demonstrating Earthship/sustainable principles. In 2006, he spearheaded the New Mexico Sustainable Development Testing Site Act which was signed into law by Governor Bill Richardson. Recent international projects include: a teahouse in the Netherlands, a sustainable home in Nicaragua, an eco resort in Jamaica, hurricane relief in Mexico, tsunami relief in India, a residence in France and demonstrations in England, Scotland, Norway, Spain, Japan, Bolivia, Bonaire and Honduras. In July 2010, Michael Reynolds took a small team to build a earthquake relief structure in Port au Prince. He will be returning this January to install independent power and water systems. In 2010 Taos County approved the world's first Sustainable Development Testing Site where he is currently experimenting with advanced methods of carbon-zero housing for disaster relief and economically autonomous communities. Most recently he has completed a school in Sierra Leone in October, 2011.
This global consciousness inspires space travellers who then provide emotional and spiritual observations. Their views from outer space awaken them to a grand realization that all who share our planet make up a single community. They think this viewpoint will help unite the nations of the world in order to build a peaceful future for the present generation and the ones that follow.
Many poets, philosophers, and writers have criticized the artificial borders that separate people preoccupied with the notion of nationhood. Despite the visions and hopes of astronauts, poets, writers, and visionaries, the reality is that nations are continuously at war with one another, and poverty and hunger prevail in many places throughout the world, including the United States.
So far, no astronaut arriving back on Earth with this new social consciousness has pro- posed to transcend the world's limitations with a world where no national boundaries exist. Each remains loyal to his/her particular nation-state, and doesn’t venture beyond patriotism - "my country, right or wrong" – because doing so may risk their positions.
Most problems we face in the world today are of our own making. We must accept that the future depends upon us. Interventions by mythical or divine characters in white robes descending from the clouds, or by visitors from other worlds, are illusions that cannot solve the problems of our modern world. The future of the world is our responsibility and depends upon decisions we make today. We are our own salvation or damnation. The shape and solutions of the future depend totally on the collective effort of all people working together.
Although many of us feel we can prepare for our future by thinking, acting, and learning using present methods and values, nothing is farther from the truth – especially in today’s rapidly changing world. A newborn child enters a world not of his or her own making. Each succeeding generation inherits the values, accomplishments, hopes, successes, and failings of previous generations. And they inherit the results of the decisions made by those generations.
For the hundreds of thousands of years of human existence when technologies were simple or non-existent, this may have had little impact on human life and the earth that sustains it. Each generation of hunters and gatherers, then plowmen and pioneers, passed on tools to the next generation to help them survive. Change from one generation to the next was slow and hardly noticeable. In those days there was little understanding of science and how things worked, and explanations were not scientific.
This is no longer the case in today’s high-tech world where a change that affects millions may happen in a matter of seconds. A child born today inherits a world vastly different from that of its parent’s generation, let alone that from centuries ago. Previous generations left a legacy of, exploitation, occupation, and irrelevant values that present great challenges, but also opportunities to the people of today.
The application of scientific principles, for better or worse, accounts for every single advance that has improved people’s lives. Important documents and proclamations have been issued granting rights and privileges to members of societies, but at the heart of human progress – or destruction – is the rock-solid foundation of science.
For generations past it was impossible to direct the future much beyond the present moment, and forecasts of the future were based on non- scientific methods. Prophets and sages presented visions of the future based on dreams, hallucinations, religious fervor, divination of animal parts, crystal balls, etc. Some may even have been accurate, but this was more because of luck than because of any direct channel to the supernatural.