About the author: James Bruges, a Quaker ecologist, grew up in India. He practised as an architect and urban planner for more than 30 years in London, Khartoum and finally Bristol, where he now lives. By 1995 his children had grown up, and he had become deeply concerned by the trends he saw in technology, city growth and industry. He became a fulltime adviser to co-housing and land trusts, developed an Urban Village project to exemplify sustainable development, and is an active contributor to FEASTA (Foundation for the Economics of Sustainability) founded by Richard Douthwaite, author of The Ecology of Money. Bruges makes annual visits to Indian rural projects based on the ideas of Gandhi and Bhave. On the edge of Bristol, he and his wife set up Leigh Court Farm, an organic community garden with 40 volunteers in addition to paid staff, which provides training and advice to other groups. In 2000 he wrote the best-selling Little Earth Book in the Fragile Earth series. It set out principles of sustainability:
- We must not extract more toxic minerals from the Earth than can be safely contained or reabsorbed.
- We must not allow any new, stable and persistent molecules we make to increase in nature.
- We must not diminish the world's life-support system by disrupting its natural cycles.
- We must recognise that all people in the world need the benefits of nature -- equally.