Back to the Earth Again

Photograph by Peter Solness for TIME

Wild Life David Alder, with Jazz, hopes to establish a wombat sanctuary and establish a local food-exchange network

The Gaia path is a bit overgrown. heading down the educational walk he's laid out on his bushland property in southwestern Sydney, Ted Trainer has to push aside unpruned greenery so a visitor can read the hand-lettered signs: gaia is the earth goddess. gaia sends the rain. "Know who Gaia is?" he says. "We don't treat Gaia very well."

Trainer, a sociologist at the University of New South Wales, believes that if we don't change our ways fast, the planet could be done for. But "people are not grasping the enormous reductions we've got...

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