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The 9/11 memorial and a monetary path forward

Post By gaia1 in TFD history


Within a half hour on September 11, 2009 four planes, two 767s and two 757s, took off from Boston, Washington D.C. and Newark with 19 highjackers and 232 passengers and 32 crew members on board. Within 2.5 hours of horror the world changed, particularly also due to response by the Bush Administration and the US Congress. We are remembering today the passengers, the crew members and the thousands of deaths, particularly around the twin trade towers in Manhattan, particularly in this 15th year of remembrance when the social, political and ecological impacts have become so much clearer. Denis Kucinich’s political reflections ( are part of such clarification and path to a believable future.

For me who watched the rising smoke of the towers from my breakfast table in my top level cooperative apartment in Rego Park, Queens, and who as an environmental internationalist was engaged in various educational and political (Green Party) activities at the time, the memorial made me think of the financial near-collapse in the fall of 2008 several hundred yards from ground zero and its social, political and ecological impacts. As a matter of fact this near financial collapse set me on a journey as a sustainability sociologist to find out the causes of this disaster and ways to proceed for both the USA and the world as a whole, taking into account the context of an ongoing looming climate catastrophe . From my privileged position of 24 years of formal education in divinity, international affairs and development sociology and with my  experience in three continents I felt obligated in the biblical sense of “Much is required to whom much is given. Luke 12: 48” to  seriously recognize the event, analyze its reasons, theorize about solutions and mobilize for solutions that could contribute to a long-term vision for a believable future.

Basic to my search for answers was the context of basing this intellectual journey on a justice framework that would integrate its social and ecological dimensions as reflected in the Earth charter and further refined in my concept of contextual sustainability which was and is the guiding principle of a small, but important educational organization, called Earth and  Peace Education International (

After four years of study, particularly of the basic elements of the unjust, unsustainable and, therefore, unstable international monetary system, and of discussions with some UN officials and members of several  NGO committees around the UN Headquarters that took place within the context of preparing for the Rio Earth +20 Summit, I came up with a proposal that would use a transformed international monetary system as a means to deal with the looming climate catastrophe. The conceptual, institutional, ethical and strategic dimensions of this carbon-based international monetary system are presented in Verhagen 2012 "The Tierra Solution: Resolving the climate crisis through monetary transformation" and updated at Because of its transformational character the Tierra system with its Fee and Dividend carbon-reduction methodology system I had difficulty finding an outstanding environmentalist to write the foreword to the book. However, Bill McKibben who was too busy to write the foreword, responded in May 2011 and stated:  The further into the global warming area we go, the more physics and politics narrows our possible paths of action. Here’s a very cogent and well-argued account of one of the remaining possibilities.”