April 4, 2019 | By:

Episode 22: Randy Hayes The “Environmental Pitbull”


What’s it like to have called for the end of industrial civilization as we knew it in the 1970’s, in order to prevent what is happening today, only to live through decades of more of the same? For Randy Hayes, its meant founding organizations, sitting on several boards, and doing the hard work of educating people on the importance of undoing the damage that modern civilization has inflicted on the Earth.

In this episode of Rewilding Earth, Randy talks about biodiversity loss and the ever smaller window of opportunity we have to halt and reverse the very worst of the damage. His criticism of mainstream environmental groups is sobering and his recommendations on how people should get involved are different than most.

About Randy Hayes

Founder Rainforest Action Network, works from the U.S. as the USA Director at the World Future Council. Based in Hamburg, Germany, the World Future Council is a global forum composed of 50 respected individuals from around the world championing the rights of future generations and working to ensure that humanity acts now for a sustainable future.

Hayes, a filmmaker in the 1980s, is a veteran of many high-visibility corporate accountability campaigns and has advocated for the rights of Indigenous peoples throughout the world. He served for five years as president of the City of San Francisco Commission on the Environment, and for two-and-a-half years as director of sustainability in the office of Oakland Mayor Jerry Brown.

He also spent four years working at the International Forum on Globalization, a San Francisco-based think tank tasked with analyzing the cultural, social, political and environmental impacts of economic globalization.

Randy sits on eight non-profit Boards of Directors and numerous Boards of Advisors including the Academic Advisory Board of the Presidio School of Management’s green MBA program. Hayes has a Master’s degree in Environmental Planning from San Francisco State University (Inducted in Alumni Hall of Fame scheduled May 2010).

His master’s thesis, the award-winning film The Four Corners, won the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences award for “Best Student Documentary” in 1983. He contributed to Alternatives to Economic Globalization: A Better World is Possible, published by San Francisco: Berrett-Koehler Publishers, Inc., in 2004.

Not satisfied with short-term thinking, his 500-year plan offers a vision of a sustainable society and how to get there. His corporate campaign activist peers honored Randy Hayes in 2008 with an Individual Achievement Award, given by the Business Ethics Network. Additionally he was one of the original set of inductees in the Environmental Hall of Fame. Randy Hayes has been described in the Wall Street Journal as “an environmental pitbull.”


  • Limits to Growth Club of Rome
  • 500 Year Plan: Short Term Thinking
  • The 9 major ways the life support systems of the biosphere are being undercut
  • The “roots” of radicalism
  • Nature Needs Half
  • The present zeitgeist of a window of opportunity for systemic change
  • Global economy versus bioregional economies
  • The Global Deal for Nature
  • The need for full, systemic change in government systems
  • Biospheric literacy
  • Degrowth
  • Taking our foot off the throat of nature
  • Ecological farming
  • How you can get involved

Extra Credit:




Cracking the Damn [Video]: The Cracking of Glen Canyon Damn with Edward Abbey and Earth First! (1982). (Randy was the sound engineer for this film.)


Edward Abbey speaking at the Cracking of the Damn


Love Song to Glen Canyon by Katie Lee

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