The BiG PICTURE Puzzle
Creating a Overview Model, with categories to help us tackle our global problems with focused and effective local action. 
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.  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 a direction for positive change.  The above picture shows a finished puzzle, a happy ending in the story of the next decade 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 sort of 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 cannot happen if we, as a Nation,  continue to do what we are already doing.  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 by the act of putting the piece of the puzzle in place.

Start by thinking about how the pieces fit in pairs.  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 with conscious intent towards stewardship, Mother Nature places Her 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 communities 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 our methods we seem intent on creating anything but.  The primary driving force in the mainstream selection of home/lifestyle is to secure privacy for ourselves.  Privacy is another word for SAFETY.  Do Americans feels safe? 

A true meeting of the need for Community includes a system, like an immune system, to support and maintain peace and safety for its members.  That immune system is respect for basic human rights even down (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 some sharing makes sense and use of cars can become drop drastically.  Reduce the burning of fossil fuels: allow the Mother to heal the greenhouse effect and CLIMATE change.  We put our piece in place and Nature responds.

Even though we may intellectually see that a change in our American 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.  It is only because there exists another feedback loop that is very much about direct and rapid gratification, that we will be able to make the change.  The real relationships between human need and ecology look more like this:


Species DIVERSITY will be protected and truly enjoyed when our genuine needs for 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. Real fulfillment comes of being able to contribute from an authentic space - not from acquiring more and more disposable consumer goods. 

This BIG PICTURE model anticipates that when our whole human needs for food and safety are genuinely met, the last pieces of the puzzle fall more easily in place.  If we remove the major stresses of poor nutrition/food security and lack of interpersonal safety,  spiritual healing of people can become commonplace.  Self-development, actualization, advancement and maturity can be the norm instead of the exception. 

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.