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Why the Year 2000 Problem is an Environmental Issue

by Tom Atlee
September, 1998
This article explores how
possible Y2K-triggered disruptions relate to
environmental and sustainability efforts. It finds dangers and
opportunities of immense importance.
(Except for a brief introduction, this article assumes
the reader is basically familiar with Y2K.
If you are not familiar with Y2K, please first read
Rachel's Environment & Health Weekly on Y2K and/or
The Year 2000: Social Chaos or Social Transformation)

Although the chances are you have heard of the Year 2000 technology problem, I will summarize it briefly here: Since many computer programs and files use two digit dates (98 for 1998), many computers will confuse the year 2000 (00) for 1900 (00), and will make mistakes or stop. Billions of dollars now being spent won't fix them all. Year 2000 problems with mainframes, PCs and microchips could disturb every facet of life -- from Wall Street to the water supply, from gas stations to grocery stores, from airplanes to electricity. Does this add up to inconvenience or catastrophe?

Most experts acknowledge that we can't dependably predict the extent of Y2K disruption. Most also agree that there is a *possibility* of extreme disruption -- global economic depression, failure of vital infrastructure (food, water, transportation, etc.), social unrest, governments folding, and so on. Some think such worst-case scenarios are highly unlikely, while others believe that preparing for such serious disruptions is mandatory. In any case, most experts would agree that a reasonable person could at least entertain the possibility of a Y2K catastrophe.

The position of this paper is that if there is even a slight possibility of systemic collapse from Y2K, those of us in the environmental/sustainability movement should examine the relevance of such a collapse -- and of people's *expectations* regarding Y2K -- to our movement's many concerns. We may not be able to predict the future, but we can educate ourselves about the possibilities in order to respond well to whatever happens.

Thought experiments about social futures are not unlike the mental explorations we all go through before a camping trip or the purchase of insurance. A little forethought can go a long way, even when most of the contingencies we've considered don't happen. This isn't a matter of worrying; it is a matter of being alert as we move into the future, of making prudent preparations and wise responses.

The fact that environmentalists have different judgments about the probable severity of Y2K can actually serve us well collectively, as a movement, just as biodiversity serves an ecosystem. Whatever happens, there will be enough diversity of responses among us to ensure that someone will have plans and resources prepared for what finally ends up happening.

I am writing this article because I consider major disruptions likely. Those who agree with me will hopefully find my analysis a good starting place for their own thinking. Those who disagree will at least become more aware of what motivates their Y2K-concerned colleagues.

In short, this is a call for all of us to pay due attention to Y2K, which is sure to be a significant event of our era, if only because so many people believe it will be. Whatever happens, Y2K will shape the context in which we all do our work. We can't afford to ignore it. It may even -- with our help -- make a positive difference in the world.


This paper will explore how Y2K disruptions present the environmental/ sustainability movement with both dangers and opportunities. Any effort to deal with the dangers or to take advantage of the opportunities will require well-considered, timely action. The runway to the year 2000 is short, and we would be wise to keep this in mind as we proceed.

But it isn't just physical time we need. Individually and collectively, our lives have a certain momentum ('business-as-usual'), a story we believe we are living, a pattern of habits -- and ego- and goal-investments -- that make it hard to change. And that's a problem. Because if Y2K challenges us to do anything, it challenges us to step out of our business-as-usual -- whatever that may be -- at least long enough to evaluate the extent of the problem and to notice the increasingly intense voices speaking up about it.

Those of us who decide that it IS a significant problem face the issue of finding others to join us in appropriately responding to it. As we attempt that, we find that everyone else has momentum in *their* lives, as well, and that engaging them in this giant undertaking is not easy. Hopefully we will learn ways to expedite people's progress from understanding to active response -- a challenge in all environmental work, that is particularly extreme in the case of Y2K.

We will also need to learn how to work together well with people we don't know well, under considerable pressure. A number of us will be focusing on this aspect of the problem, but that effort is tangential to the concerns of this paper, which will start by exploring the opportunities Y2K presents to us and then explore the dangers, as follows:


1) Conscious interconnectedness
2) Increasing localness
3) Increasing sustainability
4) Transforming the role of technology
5) Focusing on quality of life
6) Social equity
7) Spirituality

1) Ecosystemic degradation/destruction
2) Environmental toxicity
3) Noise pollution
4) Loss of global environmental research, monitoring and data distribution capabilities
5) Concentration of wealth/economic power


The vast majority of problems caused by Y2K will come about because we are artificially connected by and dependent on brittle (unsustainable) technological and economic systems in which we're embedded. The opportunities come from a different kind of connectedness -- the natural connectedness we have to each other and to nature, which awaits our aware, responsible engagement.

1) CONSCIOUS INTERCONNECTEDNESS - During the Y2K era, we can expect increased appreciation for interconnectedness and increased capacity for systems thinking. Most Americans live under an illusion of independence. That illusion will be broken to the extent the systemic supports for that independence are (or threaten to be) undermined. People who never wondered where their water, food and electricity came from may be jolted into a recognition that it has been coming from somewhere and they need to know whether that "somewhere" (grocery story, power plant, water facility) is Y2K-compliant. They'll wonder what they'll do if vital systems fail. Where will they get what they need? Some will not be able to make the shift in thinking and may turn, as our society conditions us to do, to the government. But the government may well have its hands full (assuming it is still functioning) and communities may have to do a good deal by/for themselves. People will have to come home to their connections to each other and nature, just to meet their basic needs. Even if they flee to another location, their questions will accompany them.
"Because Y2k, by its nature, forces people to ask basic questions about
their sustainability -- food, shelter, water, power, etc. -- there has
never, in my opinion, been a more important time to mobilize the
knowledge generated by the environmental movement so that people have
options to reach for when they begin to consider their own survival.
Just this last week I received an email from a woman who lives in Tucson
asking a very crucial question: Should she stay in Tucson if Y2k brings
about power disruption. In asking the question she pointed out that
Tucson has only a 48 hour water supply without power. Great
question to have to ask! Although it should have been asked long
ago, there is in the asking a crack in the facade of normalcy which has
weighed so heavily upon our planet's health. Y2K is forcing people
everywhere to ask fundamental questions about their lives and basic
structures in a way that none of us has been able to mobilize before."
-- David LaChapelle, Alaskan environmentalist

This new consciousness, and the urgency with which increasing numbers of people are asking questions related to their survival suggests that we may be able to make some rapid progress towards greater sustainability in communities. In this case, necessity is the mother of sustainability, and it is up to us to become the midwives.

Amory Lovins of the Rocky Mountain Institute says that, with the political will, we could create decentralized micro-grid sources of energy that would be far more secure from Y2K-related blackouts than our current national grid. John Jeavons of Ecology Action and Mike Levenston of City Farmer say that an urban food system could be in place by 2000 that could feed the cities if the Y2K crisis disrupted centralized food supply systems. Permaculture, community gardens, bio-intensive mini-farming and community-supported agriculture could all be promoted more successfully in a Y2K-aware social climate. Bicycles and barter, co-ops and co-housing, creek restoration and recycling-based businesses all could flourish. My point is that all these things and hundreds of others -- all of which are expanding slowly and with difficulty in existing programs -- could become the hottest options around within months. Are we prepared to channel people's concern in positive directions? Are we prepared to meet their demand for goods, services, and information? Are we prepared to lay the political, educational and entrepreneurial foundations for this Y2K-triggered breakthrough opportunity for building a sustainable society? Are we actually ready to invite millions of people into a more satisfying way of life than industrial civilization could ever give them?

In addition to "increasing consciousness of our interconnectedness" (noted above), I find it useful to reflect on a number of additional Y2K-related factors that set the stage for the kind of breakthrough I've described above.
"All sustainable development is local."
-- Ray Anderson, CEO of Interface, Inc.

2) INCREASING LOCALNESS - As noted above, if infrastructures fail, people will have to turn to the people, land and life around them. They will experience, by necessity, the essence of sustainable community, of bioregionalism, of indigenous cultures: The Reality of Place. In a Y2K crisis, many things may have to be done locally because there isn't enough gas to transport people or goods very far. Organic agriculture may become more widespread simply because there aren't chemical fertilizers and pesticides. Recycling, reuse and reduced consumption would become more common simply because goods may be more scarce and precious than they were before. Local economics and local waste management may become as natural as walking and biking, all because people don't have any choice. In a broad crisis such as America's Great Depression or Cuba's embargo shortages, people move naturally (if reluctantly) towards bioregionalism. If we advocates of sustainability take the initiative, we can change that reluctant bioregionalism into an eager, active bioregionalism filled with possibilities. Our initiatives could provide communities with the means to make "becoming local" a positive experience -- preparing the knowhow, conditions and resources needed for people to learn, work and succeed together -- including building the strong local relationships to which people can turn in a crisis. Now is a promising time to invoke a nationwide focus on the needs and resources of local communities.

Interestingly, there is a strong, thoroughly grassroots and self-organized Y2K community preparedness movement already sprouting up in scores of communities around the country. Many, but not all of these people, are thinking in terms of sustainability. Since it is clear to them that individual solutions to Y2K will not succeed, they're finding ways to work together for community welfare. They could (and would!) use a lot of what we have to offer, if we offered it. This is not a time to be hiding our candles under the bushels of our existing programs, when there are multitudes calling out for our light. Are we flexible enough to take advantage of this emerging opportunity?

Increased localness would partly come from failed infrastructure in general, and partly from specific Y2K problems with international trade. Ships, oil rigs and trains are vulnerable to Y2K failures of embedded chips; Arab countries and Venezuela are way behind in their Y2K remediation work; and air traffic control systems and airports are extremely Y2K bugged. It is not unrealistic to expect that the long-distance trade, exploitation, mining, etc., that we have struggled against for so long will be severely disrupted -- if not disabled -- by Y2K. This is one of a number of areas where it may be wise to shift some of our energies from fighting what we don't like (since some of that will be done for us by Y2K) towards creating the alternatives that we do like (since those will be helped by Y2K to the extent we prepare for it). (I suspect many people will disagree and continue the good fight, and that is as it should be.)

3) INCREASING SUSTAINABILITY - (See also The Year 2000 Problem and Sustainability for a more extensive discussion of this issue.) Already solar power equipment and organic gardening are popular with the growing ranks of survivalists. Many who are heading to the country are planning to build eco-communities with friends. The demand for sustainable technology, understanding and vision will likely increase rapidly over the next year or two. This is a natural outgrowth of the first two Y2K opportunities -- people's growing realization of their connectedness and a need to operate more locally without resources from far away.

Are we prepared to make sustainability a shared vision in every community? Are we ready to demand it as official policy because it is a vital part of Y2K readiness at all levels of governance? Laws need to be changed that block the use of composting toilets, that prevent keeping of farm animals in cities, that hinder other vital elements of sustainability. Y2K provides a reason to change those laws. [And the environmental movement's considerable research and policy capacities could advise which changes would be best, inadvisable, or highest priority.] Furthermore, prudence dictates that gardening should be supported along with local storehousing of food, that solar power should be actively supported along with the Y2K-readiness of power companies.

Many Y2K community activists speak less of sustainability than of community resilience (Robert Theobald's term) or of community self-reliance. For our purposes, all three terms cover basically the same ground, but we need to stay tuned to the language being used by the grassroots.

4) TRANSFORMING THE ROLE OF TECHNOLOGY: It seems that technology has led us further and further out on the limb of unsustainability -- an impression that has inspired a neo-Luddite reaction. The more people feel threatened by a serious Y2K calamity, the more intense will become the debate over the role of technology. We can facilitate dialogues that help people see that many technologies are useful, but the technological obsessions and the technical domination of our culture are wrecking our lives and our world.

There is also an oft-overlooked political dimension to this. Richard Sclove writes in Democracy and Technology about the undemocratic way our society makes its decisions about technological development. Technological progress has so far been dictated by corporate, military and government decisions in which citizens have little voice. But it is the citizens who are most profoundly affected. Where are the public forums in which the probable consequences of technologies can be routinely examined and debated? Why don't we notice this missing piece of our civic life? Few people know that in Holland and Denmark -- and now in the U.S. -- citizen technology-evaluation panels have made radical consensus recommendations about technology policy -- recommendations acknowledged as valid by government experts. The tools now exist to bring democracy to our technological decision-making -- and the time is ripe. Many people are scared, angry and disgusted -- and more will be so. For the sake of future generations and the Earth, we need to use that energy to bring ecological and humane values into the process of technological development.

5) FOCUSING ON QUALITY OF LIFE: A movement is afoot to revise our community, national and international measures of success -- our economic indicators and statistics. The primary global indicator of healthy economies -- gross domestic product (GDP) -- embodies the reductionist belief that money is a dependable measure of value. Production that doesn't involve money -- even vital production like raising one's children, or trees growing in a forest -- is not included. Meanwhile, activities which involve money are added to GDP totals even when truly healthy societies wouldn't even have them -- such as war, cancer operations and oil spills.

In the realm of macro-economics, as in the realm of everyday life, more people are using the term "quality of life" to indicate what they find desirable that they want to measure and encourage. Quality of life statistics measure low crime, good health, and vibrant ecosystems and communities. Y2K -- which arose out of the blind pursuit of profit, convenience, and efficiency -- provides a powerful collective "learning moment" in which to help society reflect on the system in which we live and ask, with newly opened eyes, "Does this give us the quality of life we are looking for?" This historic moment is propitious for major change: In a recent survey on Y2K, 89% of respondents wanted simpler, more decentralized systems so that their communities could be more self-reliant.

6) SOCIAL EQUITY: If the infrastructure fails, we will find ourselves very much in each other's company. Now is the time to get to know our neighbors, to get to know "the other" (whomever that may be), because we'll be counting on them to help, to work with, and to not hurt us. Many people are preparing for Y2K with guns, dogs and fences. If you multiply that out to a whole city, it becomes clear that no one would want to live like that. But we can't simply maintain all the social inequities we've preserved for so long with broad middle-class affluence and police power -- and expect that now, when we're all vulnerable, the have-nots and abused people will support the wealth, privilege and well-being of those who have held them down or neglected them. Life in a post-Y2K community may not be sustainable without real, down-to-earth equity among all members of that community, and in their relations with the communities around them. The fact that this can be so readily demonstrated makes Y2K a great context in which to promote rapid progress towards real social equity NOW.

7) SPIRITUALITY: Whether we're talking human compassion or deep ecology, spirituality will be a major factor in the unfolding story of Y2K. As Y2K impinges on our lives, we will be challenged in many ways -- to share, to let go, to connect, to change, to transcend ourselves and our habitual patterns of thought and response. More than ever, those with a profound faith or spiritual practice will stand out as positive models for the rest, for we will all be beset by the intrinsic and radical uncertainty of Y2K. The ability to take positive action in the face of that uncertainty will be a big asset, and that capacity will usually be grounded in spirituality. The failure of materialist systems and comforts may also throw us creatively towards the spiritual life.

Y2K won't guarantee the spiritual growth of any particular person, of course, but it does create a hotbed in which spiritual seeds can be productively planted, and spiritual lives and communities can flourish. Although spirituality isn't explicitly an "environmental" issue, I include it because it forms the foundation for so much environmental and sustainability activism and I suspect it will be playing an increasing role in that activism in the coming years -- especially if Y2K brings serious disruptions.

And now let us turn to the dark side -- the dangers that Y2K poses for environmentalists and sustainability activists.


I am sure there are more possible Y2K environmental threats than I know, and much more that could be said about each one that I've listed here. I offer this list only as an introduction to this issue:

1) ECOSYSTEMIC DEGRADATION/DESTRUCTION - Already many people are "heading to the hills" from the cities because of Y2K (who wants to be in New York or Chicago in the dead of winter without electricity, heat, food, water, income, police...?). This is happening now, and is accelerating thanks to people's belief in the danger of Y2K. This increased population in rural/wilderness areas will likely stress local ecosystems -- wetlands, forests, grasslands, etc. -- through housing development, sewage, roads, even pets.

If the crisis lasts, further ecological impact may happen from the increasing use of trees for fuel and land for gardening; hunting and gathering activities that lead to extinctions of native species; war over resources (war is always ecologically devastating); and many other environmentally damaging efforts to survive.

2) ENVIRONMENTAL TOXICITY - There is visible concern among relevant professionals about the Y2K-vulnerability of toxic-control systems -- from nuclear power plants to chemical factories to toxic waste dumps -- which are heavily computer dependent and dependent on outside systems (electricity, police, government regulation, etc.) which are themselves dependent on computers and computerized systems. Y2K malfunctions in any of these areas could lead toxic releases that would be unthinkable in ordinary times.

Of particular concern are the microprocessors embedded in pumps and valves, monitoring devices, automated security and measuring equipment, etc. Although only a tiny percentage of these "embedded chips" are Y2K sensitive, they are often hard to identify among the billions of other chips in use. Some of them have hidden date functions, the documentation for which has long since been lost.

Any increases in environmental toxicity could be exacerbated or spread by flooding (due to Y2K-fallable dams) and weather extremes from global warming. And all these toxic dangers are multiplied in most other countries, who are even less Y2K-prepared than the U.S., and from whose toxics the U.S. is not immune.

Toxic-related Y2K concerns include:

a) Toxic releases by oversight. Reduced regulation and monitoring by government -- or reduced funding and/or alertness by companies distracted by other Y2K problems -- could result in releases simply by oversight. In particular, in a national emergency, governments may relax environmental regulations on vital industries, who would then become negligent in their handling of toxics.

b) Terrorism: The federal government is already preparing for the likelihood of increased terrorist activity due to known US vulnerabilities during the Y2K period. Terrorist attacks could easily involve the use of toxics or have toxic releases as a side effect.

c) Urban fires may be both more likely (if electricity goes out, many people will create heat and light with flammables; some may also hoard gasoline) and more difficult to control (if there are Y2K problems with water supplies or firefighting equipment). Urban fires are notoriously toxic, especially (but not only) in industrial areas.

d) Accumulations of uncontrolled, untreated sewage, garbage and other toxic substances, due to a collapse of the systems that remove, contain and/or process them.

e) Nuclear incidents -- including a non-trivial chance of nuclear war -- including accidental nuclear war from the Y2K-malfunctioning of strategic early warning systems. (The US military is already talking to the Russians about Y2K-vulnerable Russian early warning systems. The Norwegians are currently trying to get wait-and-see Russian nuclear power officials to ensure the Y2K compliance of their nuclear power plants near Norway.)

3) NOISE POLLUTION - Many people are getting generators to use in case of loss of electricity. In cities the noise could become unbearable. In rural and wilderness areas it could be disruptive of wildlife and ecological consciousness. ("Cultivating ecological consciousness is a process of learning to appreciate silence and solitude and rediscovering how to listen." -- Bill Devall & George Sessions, Deep Ecology [1985]) Renewable energy, especially solar, provides a definite alternative to this.

4) LOSS OF GLOBAL ENVIRONMENTAL RESEARCH, MONITORING AND DATA DISTRIBUTION: Our increasing populations and technologies have resulted in vastly expanded human impact on regional ecosystems and the global biosphere (ozone depletion, species extinction, global warming, etc.). Our sophisticated civilization is capable of tracking and publicizing those impacts. There could be a significant loss of the infrastructure (or political will or economic wherewithal) to continue that tracking and publicizing function (including the gathering and analysis of global statistics), while many of the environmentally degrading factors would continue or grow worse under Y2K conditions. (E.g., although there may be fewer cars driving, there may be more urban fires.) We would be left to deal with things at a local level, unable to track or influence the degradations and threats happening further away. The ability to muster broad public opposition/support campaigns may be undermined by the loss of mass media (or loss of the political responsiveness of mass media), depowering grassroots work beyond local communities.

5) CONCENTRATION OF WEALTH/ECONOMIC POWER - The concentration of wealth is an environmental issue. As most environmental activists know, affluence can buy independence from the consequences of one's acts - increasing the likelihood of human and environmental abuse. The pursuit of profit in a techno-consumerist culture naturally results in a level of environmental abuse, since the environment is seen only as raw material or context for economic activity. Increasing economic power provides corporations with increasing wherewithal to influence political systems and shape the marketplace to support the further concentration of economic power, usually to the detriment of the environment and efforts to build sustainable businesses and communities.

While there are possible extreme levels of Y2K collapse which would undermine the infrastructure needed for centralized control (including multinational market control), more probable scenarios involve serious but non-devastating disruptions in which large businesses would have the resources to navigate better than small and medium-sized businesses, which they would then replace. This could result in an unprecedented concentration of economic power, leading to further concentration and corporatization of political power and even military power. The natural outcome of that could be the separation of artificially pure environments for the use of the rich and the thorough exploitive degradation of the majority of the planet.

These are not necessarily things we can prevent, but ignoring them won't help matters. Alert attention, education, political pressure and preparations could ameliorate many of them. There are organizations working on virtually every one of these issues in their pre-Y2K forms. Hopefully this paper will give those organizations reason to at least add some Y2K-related activity to their programs,


Most of us want governmental power to devolve towards bioregions, and yet we depend on centralized governments to counter the power of corporations and extremists -- even sometimes the unwise majority. Central governments may well declare martial law if Y2K conditions get bad enough. If centralized control is undermined, we stand to gain (through greater local control) and to lose (if the local powers are mafia or militia or corporations). We need to reflect on this and figure out where we stand before events have made our perspectives passe.


I have found a way of clarifying for myself the challenge we face. Perhaps it will calarify things for you, as well. It involves a two-axis scenario chart which I cannot draw here. You may wish to draw one of your own for reflection, based on the following description.

I mark the high end of the vertical axis "active public education and empowerment" and the low end "little public education and empowerment." I intend this axis to represent how actively progressive forces are utilizing Y2K to further environmental awareness and sustainability.

On the horizontal axis I write "scattered Y2K disruptions" on the left and "collapse of centralized infrastructure" on the right. I mean this to indicate the range of possible Y2K impacts from mild to serious.

Here's how the four possible combinations of these factors translate into scenarios.

An inactive movement doing little public education and empowerment would, in the presence of only scattered Y2K disruptions, leave the status quo pretty much intact -- except with a greater concentration of power in the hands of multinationals. So I write "An Empowered Status Quo" in the lower left quadrant.

An inactive movement providing little public preparation would, in the presence of widespread infrastructure collapse, result in social chaos -- which may ultimately get herded into order by mafia-like neo-medieval forces. I find it descriptive to write "A Real Ugly Mess" in the lower right quadrant. (I could also write "Social Chaos.")

So what difference would it make if an engaged movement used Y2K to do good public education and empowerment towards sustainability? The chart is pretty clear on this point:

If there were only scattered Y2K disruptions, most people would probably return to business as usual -- with an important difference. Millions of people would be left with understandings and capacities we'd given them which they would not have gotten had not the catalyst (carrier wave) of Y2K come along. Chances are, they'd be more ready to face the next crisis and more inclined to change because of it. So I write in the upper left quadrant "A More Conscious Population." Such a population may even be conscious enough to instigate radical changes before the next mega-crisis.

For the upper right quadrant, I imagine the centralized infrastructure collapsing around an educated, empowered population. What would they do? It seems likely they'd create resilient communities. We'd see rapid cultural transformation into something more locally sustainable. So I write "A Transformed Culture" in the upper right quadrant.

The chart is full. Those are the options I see.
"An Empowered Status Quo"
"Social Chaos" (aka "A Real Ugly Mess")
"A More Conscious Population"
"A Transformed Culture"
The difference between the first two and the second two is us, the environmental and sustainability movements.

We have before us a gigantic carrot, and a gigantic stick. If the worst Y2K scenarios unfold, we can rest assured there will be profound changes. What we do now will have a profound effect on whether those changes will be benign or disastrous. Even if the changes are mild, the work we do in the next year could subtly turn the rudder of America so it will not return to its unsustainable business-as-usual.

The rub is that actions we take later may have little effect. Today is the day to act. Action now, while the political and social realities around Y2K are still fluid and forming, will have incredibly greater impact than action later in 1999. I realize that acting now is difficult, because the facts of the matter are so uncertain and our current projects are so compelling. But I urge you to study this problem soon (a good place to start is ) and figure out what actions you judge to be justified. If you are interested in dialogue and possible collaborations with other sustainability/environmental groups or activists, feel free to contact me. I will do my best, working with colleagues, to arrange timely, productive meetings among those interested.


I think of Y2K as a large wave. I didn't create it, and I may not want it. But if I try to either ignore it or fight it, it will probably just knock me off my feet, and grind me over the gravel and sand. If I ride it, however, I'll have a better chance of staying drier and getting carried ashore by forces larger than myself. I won't have to work nearly as hard to do certain things as I would have, had this wave not come along.

Y2K has arrived to give us a hand, before it is too late, shifting our culture towards sustainability. I pray we can make good use of it.


Tom Atlee is the President of the Co-Intelligence Institute which maintains the leading website for Y2K-related social change and transformational issues ( ). He is a lifelong activist who spent a year on the board of Berkeley's Ecology Center before going to Czechoslovakia in 1991 at the invitation of the Czechoslovakian Environmental Ministry to disseminate sustainability ideas, visions and technologies. He co-organized the Who's Counting Project promoting the film "Who's Counting: Marilyn Waring on Sex, Lies and Global Economics." He instigated and facilitated an open space conference on The Natural Step in November, 1997, and facilitated an open space conference on Local Currencies in January, 1998. He is co-author of Awakening: The Upside of Y2K.

For further environmental implications of Y2K, see notes from Cynthia Beal and John Seed.