Review of Teeswater Discussion

Wingham Advance Times, November 10, 2010

Living on Earth as if we want to stay here

By: Zack Metcalfe

“Change begins with a conversation”, said Mike Nickerson, a long time environmental activist, as he prepared to give a speech on his latest book Life, Money and Illusion: living on Earth as if we want to stay.

On the evening on October 28th, the Teeswater library was host to a presentation addressing the public about the modern environmental crisis, and what needs to be done about it.

Mike Nickerson faced an interested and concerned audience with his latest book in hand.  He began by asking the room which issues they identified with most, so he knew how best to proceed. The presentation was as much about inspiring conversation amongst the audience as about delivering a message. Those present weren’t long giving their “two cents worth” during the speech, all of it welcome and encouraged.

Nickerson’s presentation was given in stages, each representing a word in his latest book’s title Life, Money and Illusion. Nickerson explained that ‘Life’ referred to the natural world, ‘Money’ referred to the economy, and ‘Illusion’ referred to the relationship between the two. Sustainability was Nickerson’s main message. When asked what he would recommend to the average person, he responded, “Enjoy living! If people can find contentment in their everyday lives, they rely less on consumption.”

The formal presentation lasted two hour, while the inspired conversation lasted until the library closed. Nickerson was diligent in answering questions and hearing opinions until everyone was heard.

Nickerson has a keen interested in cultural evolution and conducted a good deal of personal study in this field. His inspiration came from fellow volunteers and none-profit groups he associates with, to better understand the problems our society is facing today, and to develop solutions to those problems. Nickerson founded the Institute for the Study of Cultural Evolution in 1971 and after four years of work, he compiled and refined the institute’s notes into his current model of sustainability, outlined in Life, Money and Illusion. His earlier books include  Change The World I Want To Stay On (1977) and Planning for Seven Generations (1990).

Nickerson has given this presentation hundreds of time all across North America, and is currently on his Ontario tour. This tour is sponsored by The LocalMotive Project, and his library presentation was organized by Transition Town Teeswater. To learn more about Mike Nickerson and his work, visit, or to learn more about The LocalMotive Project, visit