Book Cover & Blurb

Book Cover & Blurb: Blinded by Progress


SAN DIEGO, CA — Blinded by Progress by Lee Van Ham walks us smack into tough questions about our survival on this planet … and finds possibilities within our reach!

More and more of us are daring to ask: Why do we Americans praise lifestyles and growth economics that require five planets? Why does this five-planet illusion grip us so tightly even though it defies common sense? Why do we continue to pursue economic growth as if it is economic health when we know it is ecologically suicidal? Are we that sinister? unconscious? Is it blind faith in technology? Are we simply addicted to “More?”

Blinded by Progress takes us into the ring to tussle with these urgent, life-defying questions … and come out empowered with new thoughts and actions. A whole new worldview is spelled out. Reading it releases that “ah-hah” feeling we get when truth breaks in on us and breaks us out of illusion. Read it alone or discuss it in a group.

The author discloses how he unwittingly came under the spell of MultiEarth living and then, as his consciousness shifted, how he began reshaping his life to OneEarth living—a project in process. Readers will follow along with the personal quest of the author, and come to new, life-giving decisions about their own MultiEarth vs. OneEarth choices.

Blinded by Progress makes special contributions to the global conversation on sustainability now underway. The author clearly delineates the contrasts between MultiEarth and OneEarth worldviews. The chapter on the religious devotion given to MultiEarth economics and practices contains perspectives and content typically left out of conversations on the themes treated in this book. The power that myth has to keep us practicing the illusionary MultiEarth worldview is revealed by using John Steinbeck’s magnum opus, East of Eden. That novel’s use of the Cain and Abel myth provides bold guidance for our own MultiEarth-OneEarth choices. The concluding distinction between MultiEarth and OneEarth progress shows us how we got into our illusionary bubble and leaves no doubt that we have the power to choose differently. The personal journey of the author weaves in and out of the chapters, serving to illustrate the book’s themes, the subtleties by which MultiEarth progress blinds us, and the power to choose OneEarth’s satisfying ways.

Lee Van Ham has been working on ecological economics since 2000. This work follows on three decades of experience in leading congregations where his writing and teaching gifts developed. In 2009, he met Michael Johnson; the two came together around their common interest in creating books and film on themes of ecology and economics. Johnson is an Emmy-award winning filmmaker who has begun work on a related documentary. Out of their relationship the OneEarth Project was born.

What Others Are Saying Blinded by Progress is a work of keen observation, a great deal of scholarship and an abiding care for living beings. There were many paths that we might have taken in the past that would have led to a better world than the one we inhabit. Lee Van Ham’s writing delineates a path going forward that does not repeat the illusions of progress. I hope it opens many eyes. —Paul Hawken, entrepreneur, environmentalist, and author of Blessed Unrest   and Natural Capitalism

Lee has written a book that is a hair-on-fire call to action to free ourselves from our folly of only looking at Me and moving us to We…Pronto. —Will Marre’, Founder, The American Dream Project

Blinded by Progress is an eye-opening look at our current economic and social system that is both heart-centered and intellectually accurate. It’s one-of-a-kind perspective, based on deep research as well as first-hand experience, takes the reader quickly to the very foundation of what is wrong with our current world situation in order to fix it. —Nikki Lyn Pugh, published author and journalist and 2011 USD Women Peacemaker Project Selected Peace Writer

About the book: Blinded by Progress by Lee Van Ham ISBN: 978-0991155408 Publisher: OneEarth Publishing Date of publish: December 2013 Pages: 234 S.R.P.: $12.95

About the author: In 1999, Lee Van Ham joined others in forming Jubilee Economics, a nonprofit focused in OneEarth living. Born to a tenant-farming family in Iowa, he pastored in the Midwest for 32 years before switching to work explicitly on the interplay between justice, ecology, economics, and spirituality. He and his spouse, Juanita, were part of the intentional community, Peaceweavings, in Chicago, before relocating to San Diego in 2002. They have grown children and five grandchildren. He desires to add to the conversations and actions that are moving civilization from empire to a living community with all of Creation.

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