To make a simple framework, start by naming six pieces of the global situation "puzzle."  The top three pieces reflect the conditions in the Natural World: water, climate and species diversity. 
The bottom three pieces reflect the human condition: how well are human needs being met for food, safety and prosperity.  If we used this graphic as an index, clicking on any of these categories would take us to world, regional and local reports on conditions.

There are lots of possible ways to categorize and present information on World conditions.  A value in this model is that it supplies simple formulas for positive change.  The above picture shows a finished puzzle, a happy ending in the story of the next few decades for Gaia, The World. 

Environmental destruction in the Natural World comes about as by-product to the ways that human beings attempt to meet their needs.  Distress in the Natural World is a reflection of the corresponding human situation.  The healthy BIG PICTURE above assumes we Americans do collectively change our behavior because if we don't, the BIG PICTURE is going to look more like this

Getting to the best outcome can only be the result of proactive change taking place in the ways and means of our lives.  We can symbolize that change, in our model, by the act of putting the piece of the puzzle in place.

Start by thinking about the pieces as pairs. The pieces of the puzzle fit like this.  The ways that people routinely get food (farming) are the primary cause of pollution in the waterways.  Farming and waterway health fit together.  If we were to put the FOOD piece of the puzzle in place as mostly local and small scale sources with Best Management Practices towards stewardship, Mother Nature responds by placing Her corresponding piece of the puzzle - to show good conditions in WATER, the waterways.

A connection can be drawn between CLIMATE conditions in the Natural World, and our habits of burning fossil fuels as gasoline or for electricity.  The American Way of assembling our homes and neighborhoods creates a lifestyle of separation, one household from another; necessary cars and nearly vacant homes that still require climate control. 

What is a one-word way to sum up the aggregate of human needs we attempt to meet this way?  COMMUNITY would be it, except that by mainstream methods we seem intent on creating anything but.  The primary driving force in the mainstream design of home/lifestyle is to secure privacy for ourselves.  Privacy is another word for SAFETY.  Do you think Americans feel safe? 

A true meeting of the need for Community includes a system, like an immune system, to support the processes of peace and safety for its members.  That immune system is made of respect for basic human rights - even (especially) down to the most vulnerable members. 

When safety is expressed through authentic COMMUNITY we are free to make co-housing or eco-village, where lots of sharing makes sense and use of cars can become mostly obsolete.  Reduce the burning of fossil fuels: heal the greenhouse effect and CLIMATE change.

Even though we may intellectually see that a change in our National consumeristic lifestyle is the answer to ecological problems, this cause and effect feedback loop is so big and so remote that it is hardly enough to support a change in our immediate ways of getting through the day. 

Luckily there exists another feedback loop that is very much about direct and personal gratification, that will help us make the change.  The real relationships between human needs and ecology look more like this:


If we do FOOD right, our health improves.  If we do COMMUNITY right, our safety improves.  If we do FRUITION right, our prosperity improves.  All of that is how we can do our part in allowing the planet to heal Herself.

Species DIVERSITY will be protected and truly enjoyed when our genuine needs for FRUITION / PROSPERITY are being met. 

Do we really have to ransack yet another Natural Preserve for more non-renewable resources to consume?  How much is enough ?!  For Americans, this is a spiritual question, not an economic one. 

This BIG PICTURE model anticipates that when our whole human needs for food and safety are met, the last piece of the puzzle falls more easily in place.  Remove the major stresses of poor nutrition/food insecurity and lack of interpersonal safety (which includes safety from wage-slavery and safety from bankruptcy), and spiritual healing of people can become commonplace. 

We can unwind into lower stress lifestyles; self-development, actualization, advancement and maturity can actually be reached.  Real fulfillment comes of being able to contribute from an authentic space: not from acquiring more and more disposable consumer goods. 

The context of this model is the foundation idea that human beings belong in Earth's eco-system, that there are ways for us to meet our basic needs without damaging our Natural World. 

Further, built into this model is the notion that co-creative and sustainable behavior comes naturally  to people when basic human rights are supported, protected, and applied.  Life can be easier and a whole lot more fun.