The twentieth century is drawing to a chaotic close amidst portents of unprecedented change and upheaval. The unravelling of societies and civilizations and the destruction of nature march together linked a fact whose enormous significance is often lost. In Beginning Again, David Ehrenfeld has undertaken the difficult task of describing the present clearly enough to reveal the future. Out of his broad vision emerges a glimpse of a new nillennium: a vision of once frightening and comforting, a scene of great devastation and great rebuilding. Ehrenfeld ranges far and wide to present a coherent vision of our relationship with Nature - its many aspects and implications as our century opens into the next millenium. Whether he is writing about the problem of loyalty to organizations, rights versus obligations, our over managed society, the vanishing of established knowledge, the failure of experts, the triumph of dandelions, Dr Seuss, or the future of farming, he is always concerned with the intricate intervention between technology and nature. Throughout, Ehrenfeld never loses sight of our fatel love affair with the fantasy of control.
We now have no choice, he argues, but to transform the dream of control, of progress, from one of over-weaning hubris, love of consumption, and the idiot's goal of perpetual growth, to one based on 'the inventive imitation of nature', with its honesty, beauty, resilience, and durability.