Like so many of you, I have spent my life witnessing the decline of the natural environment of this spectacularly beautiful planet with a deep sense of frustration at the seeming inability of mankind to protect the world on which he depends for his very survival. This wilful neglect has gone unchecked for so long that it is even changing the climate, creating an existential threat to humankind.
At the same time, I have always believed passionately in science and in the inimitable workings of evolution. Charles Darwin – a fellow free-thinker from another century who achieved heights of revelation I could only dream of – has been my idol. If scientific discoveries have led us to this place, can science not show us the way out, I asked myself? So some twenty years ago I began to investigate why this extraordinary dichotomy should exist, to enquire what underlying evolutionary reasons could bring the most intelligent entity on the planet to rush so unremittingly towards his own decline and possible destruction in the full knowledge of what he is doing. I began to view it as a phenomenon - one that, like all other things in the Universe, must have a rational, scientific explanation.
It was a fascinating and absorbing journey. Over the years my studies brought me to the writings of inspiring scientists, thinkers and authors such as Dawkins, Lewin, Morgan, Attenborough, Leakey, Carson, Gould, Wills, Wilson, Sacks, Jones, Stern, West-Eberhard, Rattray-Taylor, Sahlins and others, as well as countless papers and articles, and through this I developed a revealing perspective on the conflicts of the human-planetary interface. A powerful certainty came to me – one that not only greatly surprised, but also deeply inspired me. It came not all at once, but in stages, elusive at times, until one day I at last fully grasped the truth - that the only possible way out of our great 21st century quandary comes not from mankind – but from Nature.
This book is therefore not some fiendishly cunning plan of my own to save the world – to rescue humanity from its own suicidal tendencies – far from it. It is Nature’s. It has been developed over billions of years, producing all the great wonders of Life that so amaze us, including of course ourselves. Junglenomics is merely an instrument to explain how Nature’s blueprint can – indeed must - be applied to the economic world without delay to guide it to safer waters, just as it nears the reefs.
So why should you read this book? Because it contains a new and important truth about our economic world and a science-based manifesto for change at a time of great need for it. Why should you believe this? Because I come to this greatest issue of our time not only with many years of private study and thought, but also armed with a lifetime of experience in business and investment markets, a close affinity with the natural world and the cycle of the seasons, an unswerving belief in Darwin and in the ubiquity of natural processes, and a passion for the subject that is absolute and unconditional. I wholeheartedly share Jane Goodall’s belief that “every individual has a role to play. Every individual makes a difference”. This is why I have spent two decades searching for answers to the two most pressing questions of our age: why despite our great intelligence do we, the human race, destroy the natural world? And how can we re-establish our presence within the ancient natural rhythms of life on Earth?
As I think, and therefore write, in plain English, this book is largely free from what Alex Evans called “the arid jargon… owned by a priesthood of experts” (1). Yet it is not simplistic. I harbour no illusions that there is a magic pill to solve the world’s environmental problems. Yet neither is it complex, for I will show that there is a clearly recognisable thread running through our history and current affairs that if traced leads to certain logical conclusions, hard on the heels of which come clear solutions. I will bring together all the chief conservation issues under one banner, with one encompassing solution – Ecosystem Economics – Junglenomics.
This book is for all those who, like me, care deeply enough about our planet that they are prepared to spend precious time understanding the underlying nature of our problems in order to find solutions to them. That way they can add informed voices to the clamour for fundamental change* that must soon come if dire environmental consequences are to be avoided (*this is now beginning, thanks mainly to Greta Thunberg); that way can the many forces of conservation also unite to help the world move into the new age of human relationships with the natural world that is so urgently needed.
I believe it is for each one of us in every country to impress on those that control national economic levers the urgent need to adopt Nature’s ecosystem strategies to rapidly reform all environmentally destructive markets, so that together we can help usher in a brighter, safer future for this precious, irreplaceable Earth.
Yet the only way this book can succeed in its ambitions is if you the reader help to spread its message. So I very much hope that you – wherever you may live in the world, for we are all in this together - will review it kindly and recommend it widely. It would be amazing if you would adopt it as your own, so please sign up here on the website. Apart from updates and press releases you will receive a copy of the Junglenomics "Manifesto for a Planet-Saving Economic Revolution"