Thomas Berry, author of The Dream of the Earth and co-author with Brian Swimme of The Universe Story, draws a grim portrait of the environmental catastrophe of our time. He believes that the political, economic, intellectual, and religious establishments of the modern Western world have fashioned an ethic that gives human beings permission to subvert and dominate the non-human world. This "deep cultural pathology," as Berry calls it, has resulted in an autism that cuts millions of people off from any intimacy with the natural world.

The worst part of the present environmental crisis is that our children will have to live with the dire consequences of overpopulation, the loss of precious topsoil, the extinction of many animal species, and the depletion of petroleum in about 50 years. Berry salutes the work of groups like World Watch and the ecologically attuned economics of Herman Daly. Perhaps the most critical need is for a revisioning of spirituality — one that will see Spirit in the non-human world and honor nature the way Native Americans do.