Intellectual Infrastructure

Turning Point Project

In 1999, the Foundation for Deep Ecology, working closely with Public Media Center and the International Center for Technology Assessment, helped create the Turning Point Project—an independent NGO that mounted an ambitious communications advocacy campaign. FDE, other foundations, and individual donors supported that campaign, which created a series of print ads and a related website addressing numerous manifestations of the eco-social crisis confronting humanity. These issues, which had received little mainstream media attention, fell under five broad categories: the global extinction crisis, genetic engineering, industrial agriculture, economic globalization, and megatechnology.

During a six-month period, running from late 1999 into the new millennium, the Turning Point Project placed twenty-five full-page ads in the New York Times. More than eighty leading activist groups signed on to segments of the campaign, donating ideas and money. Several of the ads individually generated more than 100,000 responses via mail, email, and the Turning Point website. The campaign was influential in developing public opinion about a variety of issues that had largely escaped substantive public discussion, but had profound consequences for nature and people.