Michael Tobias

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For the luthier, see Michael Tobias Design.
Michael Charles Tobias
Born (1951-06-27) June 27, 1951 (age 64)
Nationality American
Occupation author, global ecologist, anthropologist, historian of ideas, mountaineer, filmmaker,

Michael Charles Tobias (born June 27, 1951) is an American author, ecologist, mountaineer, and filmmaker. His concerns include "the anthropology of conscience", which emphasizes humanity's capacity for non-violence, compassion, and tolerance.[1][2]

Tobias is an advocate for animal rights;[3] In 2004 Tobias was honored with the Parabola Magazine Focus Award for his body of work in defense of the Earth.[4] Ingrid Newkirk, co-founder and President of People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals, described Tobias as "one of the world’s great souls."[5]

Tobias is known for his novel, and 1991 ten-hour dramatic television series, Voice of the Planet for Turner Broadcasting starring William Shatner, as well as his best-selling[6] book World War III: Population and the Biosphere at the End of the Millennium. Dorji Wangmo Wangchuck, first wife of the 4th King of Bhutan, described Tobias' efforts as being "invaluable for policymakers and scientists...(and) inspiration for the next generation of young ecologists wanting to make a difference in the world."[7]

Early studies

Tobias received his Ph.D. from the University of California, Santa Cruz in 1977 in the History of Consciousness.

The Himalayas, and mountains in general, are an important influence on his work. He was the first review editor for the journal Mountain Research and Development, and some of his early climbing fiction and non-fiction appeared in such journals as Climbing, The Mountain Gazette, and Mountain Magazine, most notably an early essay entitled "The Anthropology of Ascent." He made hundreds of mountaineering ascents, including many first ascents.[8] Among his climbs was the first known solo ascent of the sheer wall on Mount Sinai.[9] In 1973, he lived in a cave above the Saint Catherine's Monastery in Egypt while attending the University of Tel Aviv and writing one of his earliest books, Dhaulagirideon; his research in Sinai was the subject of an essay in Mountain Magazine entitled "Pondering the Imponderable."[10] In 1984, he wrote, produced, and directed a mountaineering film, Cloudwalker for the UK's Channel 4. It chronicled a failed attempt at a first ascent on a 7,000 foot wall of ice on the Moose's Tooth in the Ruth Gorge Amphitheatre of Alaska's McKinley range. Much of this early mountaineering appeared in many of his books, including the early metaphysical epic, Tsa, and a novel set in Ladakh (where he had spent nearly a year while working on his Ph.D.) titled Deva, with a Preface by Kimon Friar. Tobias edited an anthology, The Mountain Spirit, as well as the anthologized work, Mountain People.[11]

Population and environment – World War III

Tobias has tackled the complex issues concerning human population pressure on the environment.[12] His book World War III: Population and the Biosphere at the End of the Millennium received widespread praise. Psychology Today wrote that it "reads like a volcano erupting...Tobias throws sparks like an evangelist and has the old-fashioned, wide-ranging erudition of a Renaissance scholar."[13] Scientist Marc Lappé described World War III as "a lengthy and complex treatise that is a distillation of a lifetime of thought and action concerning the human condition.... It provides a thread of hope, offering a new vision about how humankind may ultimately come to peace with nature."[14] Writing of Tobias' World War III in 1998, Jane Goodall said, "Tobias describes for us a path that we could take – a path mapped out by a combination of scientific, logical, intuitive, and spiritual reasoning – towards a future where all is not, after all, lost."[15] In 1994, during the UN International Conference on Population and Development, the Montreal Gazette quoted Tobias, "For purposes of absolute clarity I call it World War III," or, as the Gazette extrapolated from Tobias' perspective, "the most terrifying problem humanity has ever faced."[16] In her foreword to World War III, Jane Goodall said of Tobias that he has provided "ample scientific proof of the large-scale habitat destruction and loss of biodiversity that has and continues to take place."[17]

Tobias' feature-film documentary No Vacancy, based on his book, addresses the issue of population and the environment. Journalist Ellen Snortland, writing in the Pasadena Weekly, stated that "No Vacancy, written and directed by Michael Tobias, is to the world's population explosion what Al Gore's An Inconvenient Truth is to global warming."[18][19][20][21]

His PBS film Ahimsa –Nonviolence was shown in the United States on Christmas Day in 1987 and was described by Southeast Asian Religions Professor Chris Chapple as a film "which elegantly portrays several Jain leaders and extols the religion as the great champion of animal rights and nonviolent living."[22] The film, which took three years of preparations and was filmed in nearly 100 locations across India, was one of the first to explore in depth the Jain religion,[23] as well as portraying the life of Digambara, Shwetambara, and Sthanakavasi mendicants. In an essay on Jain conscience in 1997, Tobias described "the goal of absolute nonviolence" as an ideal that activists worldwide must take seriously, "every waking moment."[24] Elsewhere he has argued that evolution does not condemn us; only our choices can do that, adding, "We have the capacity throughout our lives to give unstinting, unconditional love."[25]

In examining the Bishnoi, he focused on universal principles of conservation based on long-term ethical convictions. In this case, the Bishnoi of Rajasthan who, during a sustained drought in Western India and Pakistan in 1988, were shown to have saved themselves and their communities and ecosystems through prudent and non-violent ecological behavior, a metaphor for progressive conservation that could be applied throughout Asia, Africa, and elsewhere.[26][27] He pointed out that the entire society of the Todas of the Nilgiris converted to vegetarianism 1,000 years ago. This transformation of an entire community on ethical grounds is one of the "windows" he cites as key to understanding the potential for the human species to engage in non-violence. In his introduction to the book One Earth he wrote, "The human race is rallying. The earth desperately needs the personal help and restraint of each of us."[28]

The sanctuary movement and international conservation efforts

In a cover story for the New York Academy of Sciences publication The Sciences, and in three films, he called for an Antarctic World Park, in the spirit of similar proposals from Greenpeace and New Zealand.[29] He drew attention to the despoliation occurring in what was considered the last great hope for large-scale habitat preservation. His film Antarctica: The Last Continent (PBS, 1987) encouraged the National Science Foundation to implement best environmental practices at some of its managed bases in Antarctica, including McMurdo Station, which NSF subsequently did.[30] In his Discovery Channel documentary of the Exxon Valdez disaster, Black Tide, he considered the dilemma of safely using oil resources.[31]

He endeavors to explore the concept of sanctuary in his, and co-author Jane Gray Morrison’s work, Sanctuary: Global Oases of Innocence. They track efforts by conservationists and animal rights activists to save habitat and individuals. They focused on Alaska (Wrangell-St. Elias National Park with Park Service and United States Fish and Wildlife Service researchers working to save a rare seabird, the Kittlitz's murrelet), the San Francisco Bay Area (Muir Woods and the Farallon National Wildlife Refuge), Central Park, Gene Baur and team’s Farm Sanctuary in Upstate New York, the Central Suriname Nature Reserve with Dr. Russell Mittermeier, the Iberian Wolf Sanctuary in Portugal, the work of Brigitte Bardot in France, continuing efforts to save Bialowieza National Park in eastern Poland and western Belarus, a European brown bear sanctuary in the Netherlands, Michael Aufhauser’s Gut Aiderbichl sanctuary in Salzburg, Austria, Howard Buffett’s cheetah sanctuary (Jubatus) in South Africa, Marieta Van Der Merhe’s Harnas Wildlife Sanctuary in Namibia, and other sanctuaries on Socotra in Yemen, in the United Arab Emirates at Al Maha, at the Al Areen Sanctuary in Bahrain, in the vegetarian Rajasthani city of Pushkar, and the Nilgiris of India (working with the Todas and Dr. Tarun Chhabra), in Indonesian Borneo with Dr. Birute Galdikas at Tanjung Putting National Park, in Brunei’s Ulu Temburong National Park, at a butterfly sanctuary in Malaysia, at nature reserves throughout Singapore, in Thailand, and the many moss temples of Kyoto’s Greenbelt, Japan, and in eastern-most Bhutan’s newest Sakteng Wildlife Sanctuary, where he participated in a biodiversity survey across 125 kilometers of little-known Eastern Himalayan high-altitude terrain, under the auspices of Bhutan’s National Biodiversity Centre.

He has been involved in wildlife preservation efforts. In New Zealand, he has overseen ecological restoration of a peninsula in the far South of the country, adjoining Rakiura National Park.[32] He has been President of the United States-based ecological NGO since the late 1990s. Dancing Star Foundation.[33] The Foundation initiates and oversees on-the-ground ecological restoration, animal rights protection, international symposia, publications, films, and animal sanctuary endeavors throughout the world, including a large animal sanctuary in Central California, and a partner sanctuary in New Mexico. The Foundation has conducted on the ground research in over fifty countries, collaborating with such partners as the Smithsonian Institution, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, the U.S. National Park Service, the National Biodiversity Centre of Bhutan, Ecuador’s Yasunin-ITT Initiative/UNDP, the United Nations Office for Project Services, the EBR Trust of the Nilgiris Biosphere Reserve in Tamil Nadu, India, and the New Zealand Department of Conservation.

In his recent documentary, Hotspots (2008), Tobias and Morrison joined forces with President of Conservation International, Dr. Russell Mittermeier, to make a film based upon the book Hotspots Revisited,[34] which focuses upon biodiversity conservation efforts on Easter Island, throughout Madagascar, in the Atlantic Forests of Brazil, in the Tropical Andes, Southern California, and New Zealand. The feature film recorded the real-time discovery of several species new to science, including a primate on the Peruvian/Bolivian border, and a pseudoscorpion in a cave within Sequoia National Park.[35] In film premieres from Auckland to the National Zoo in Washington D.C., Tobias addressed the issue of "coldspots" in addition to "hotspots," emphasizing new methodologies critically necessary within conservation biology to address those species "under the radar screen," like several of the avifauna species that Tobias has worked to rescue from oblivion in regions like New Zealand[36] where the Dancing Star Foundation has been assiduously translocating such species as the New Zealand Brown Creeper (pipipi (Mohoua novaeseelandiae), Stewart Island Black Robin and Rifleman (Acanthisitta chloris Māori: tītipounamu), all rare New Zealand bird species.[37][38] Tobias and partner Jane Gray Morrison have been long-time supporters of the old New Zealand adage, "bringing back the dawn chorus." Bird call analyses suggest that the Dancing Star Foundation Ecological Preserve, which they oversee - adjoining Rakiura National Park (New Zealand’s most recently enshrined, 14th National Park) supports newly fostered robust communities of native and endemic bird populations, along with two other studied sites on Stewart Island/Rakiura.[39] This data has been strongly indicative of the efficacy of predator-proof fences, of which there are now dozens across New Zealand.

In late July, 2012, the Dancing Star Foundation, of which Tobias is President, received the 2012 Environmental Innovator Award, as part of New Zealand's Environment Southland and Department of Conservation Environment and Conservation Awards. Much of DSF's emphasis in New Zealand has focused upon the rescuing of endangered species, particularly of avifauna. These endeavors have utilized some of the most state of the art translocation methodologies in the world.[40]

"The Adventures of Mr Marigold" has been described by critics as "The Best Book of the Year" and "The Most Interesting Book of the Decade". With hundreds of illustrations by the great New Zealand photographer/explorer/ecologist, Craig Potton, Tobias has frequently described The Adventures of Mr. Marigold as the one book that most clearly elucidates his basic philosophy of life.

Recent endeavors

In 2005 Tobias’ 1,836-page illustrated epic, "The Adventures of Mr Marigold," was first published in New Zealand. It was described by one critic as "The Best Book of the Year" and "The Most Interesting Book of the Decade". With hundreds of illustrations by the great New Zealand photographer/explorer/ecologist, Craig Potton, Tobias has frequently described The Adventures of Mr. Marigold as the one book that most clearly elucidates his basic philosophy of life. The book was republished by Zorba Press in Ithaca, New York.

In 2012, Dr. Tobias was brought on board by the Secretary of State of Ecuador as a Goodwill Ambassador for the Republic of Ecuador's Yasuní-ITT Initiative, in an effort to save Ecuador's Yasuní National Park and surroundings from oil exploitation, along with Al Gore, Jane Gray Morrison and Leonaro DiCaprio. Yasuní, arguably one of the most biologically diverse and important eco-regions on Earth, is the subject of the film, "Yasuní — A Meditation on Life," directed and written by Tobias, produced by Jane Gray Morrison, which premiered, along with a corresponding Quito-based SATRE 3D installation, at the United Nations Rio+20 Summit in late June, 2012.[41] In a terse presentation at the UN Rio Summit, Tobias — along with such panelists as President Rafael Correa of Ecuador, Dr. Helen Clark, Chief of the UNDP, and former President of Chile, Dr. Michelle Bachelet — called for increased awareness[42] of the critical importance of the northeastern biological corridor within Ecuador which comprises the UNESCO recognized Yasuní National Park.[43] Among Tobias’ many prizes and honors, is the international Courage of Conscience Award which he received in 1996.[44]

Tobias was an official delegate at the Summit and spoke on how to embrace the Yasuní-ITT Initiative as a cutting edge global warming mitigation strategy, not only for the Amazon, but for the entire planet.

Consistent with his long-standing philosophical and scientific efforts to reconcile animal rights and conservation biology, Tobias delivered the annual keynote address at the University of London School of Oriental and African Studies in March, 2012, as the opening for a symposium on Conservation Biology, Animal Rights, and Comparative Religions.[45]

Tobias' 2011 work, God's Country: The New Zealand Factor (co-authored with Jane Gray Morrison) with a Foreword by PETA President, Co-Founder, Ingrid Newkirk, is a 600-page examination of the first decade of the 21st century, through the lens of ecology, biodiversity, economics and ethics, and offers formidable considerations for new and revolutionary sustainability in the combining of a moral compass with governance and biology. Ingrid Newkirk suggested it should be "nominated for a Pulitzer." Other new books, since 2011, by Tobias include [2]- The Strange Life & Disappearance of English Milligrams - a terrifying tour-de-force - and Professor Parrot and the Secret of the Blue Cupboard.

Since February 2011, Tobias has written for Forbes on-line,[46] publishing over 80 essays and over 400 letters on ecology, economics, biology and ethics.

In 2012, Tobias and Dr. Paul Ehrlich of Stanford finished their book on the future of life on earth, "Hope On Earth - A Conversation" scheduled for publication in April, 2014, by the University of Chicago Press. In addition, Tobias and Jane Gray Morrison's latest book, The Metaphysics of Protection, is scheduled for release in 2014.

Additionally, the sequel to Tobias' autobiography, A Vision of Nature -Traces of the Original World (Kent State University) was published in 2013 by Zorba Press. Entitled Biotopia, this deeply personal autobiographical collection of essays examined the ecology of the human soul.[47] Zorba Press also brought out Tobias' libretto, "The Misadventures of Pinocchio" in 2013. The book was set to become an opera, written by the late Mexican composer Daniel Catán. Another libretto of Tobias, based upon his Adventures of Mr. Marigold, as of late 2015 was being transformed into a Utopian Opera by Emmy winner A. J. Friedman, and Grammy Award winner Jeff Silbar.[48]

In 2013 Tobias gave a Keynote Address to the Institute for Urban and Environmental Studies, the Research Centre for Sustainable Development, and the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences at their annual conference in Tianjin-Bihai.[49][50][51]

Tobias delivered the Keynote closing address at the "Ahimsa and Sustainable Happiness" Conference at Cal Poly Pomona in November, 2012, examining international taxonomic changes, and pushing the boundaries on what constitutes true ethical sustainability, asking such questions as, "Will Climate Change engender new Moral Change" in the human species?

In 2014 Tobias and Dr. Paul Ehrlich, President of the Center for Conservation Biology at Stanford University[52] published their book about the future of life on earth, "Hope On Earth - A Conversation" with the University of Chicago Press.[53] The book received widespread praise, although many wondered whether there should have been a "Question Mark" following the title, Hope On Earth.[54][55]

In 2014, Tobias and Jane Gray Morrison's book, The Metaphysics of Protection, was published by Waterside Productions, with a Foreword by Dr. Ervin Laszlo, and Preface by Dr. Marc Bekoff[56][57]

Also in 2014, Springer New York published Tobias’s and Morrison’s book, Why Life Matters: Fifty Ecosystems of the Heart and Mind.[58][59]

In 2014 Tobias was elected an Honorary Member of the Club of Budapest.[60] On behalf of the Club of Budapest, Tobias has given Keynote addresses in Monterey Mexico for the Fifth Conference on Worldwide Values[61] at Taihu, China on Global Sustainability,[62] at the 21st International Meeting of the Club of Budapest, in Hungary[63] and at the Milano Expo 2015 meeting devoted to a sustainable planet and feeding a hungry world.[64]

In late October, 2015, Tobias delivered a Keynote Address on global ecological challenges at the 4th International Scientific Congress at Moscow State University: "Globalistics-2015: Global Diplomacy in an Unstable World" in commemoration of the United Nations’ 70th anniversary.*65 Dr. Tobias is a Full Member of the Russian International Global Research Academy, as well as the Russian Public Academy of Sciences.


Tobias has lectured widely throughout the world. He has been on numerous faculties: as a Lecturer in Environmental Studies at the University of California-Santa Cruz; an Assistant Professor of Environmental Studies and Adjunct Assistant Professor of English and the Humanities at Dartmouth College; Associate Professor of the Humanities at California State University-Northridge; the Garrey Carruthers Chair of Honors at the University of New Mexico-Albuquerque; Distinguished Visiting Professor of Environmental Studies at the University of California-Santa Barbara; The Regents Lecturer at the University of California-Santa Barbara; Adjunct Professor of Anthrozoology at Canisius College, New York, and – in the Winter of 2016 – the Martha Daniel Newell Visiting Scholar at Georgia College and State University.

Selected Media


  • 1973 Dhaulagirideon, IMAJ Publishers, Limited Edition Book, Antioch, Ohio. Fiction.
  • 1974 TSA, IMAJ Publishers, Limited Edition Book, San Francisco, CA. Fiction.
  • 1977 A Biography of Self-Consciousness, Ann Arbor Dissertation Archives. Non-fiction.
  • 1979 The Mountain Spirit, Co-Edited With Co-Editor Harold Drasdo. Overlook/Viking/Penguin, editions, and Victor Gollancz Ltd., London, edition. Non-fiction.
  • 1982 Deva, Avant Books. Fiction.
  • 1983 and 1984 Deep Ecology. Ed., Avant Books, San Diego, CA. Non-fiction.
  • 1984 After Eden– History, Ecology & Conscience, Slawson Communications, San Diego, CA. Non-fiction.
  • 1986 Mountain People, Ed., University of Oklahoma Press, Norman, OK. Non-fiction.
  • 1990 Voice of the Planet, Bantam Books, New York. Fiction.
  • 1991 Voice of the Planet, Special Edition Large Format Illustrated Book. Privately Published in Alaska to accompany the film series, Adrian Malone Productions, Los Angeles, CA. Non-fiction.
  • 1991 Fatal Exposure, Pocket Books/Simon & Schuster, Fiction.
  • 1991 Vengzetas Sugarak, Plantan, Budapest. Fiction.
  • 1991 and 2000 Life Force – The World of Jainism, Asian Humanities Press, Berkeley, CA. Non-fiction.
  • 1992 Believe, Co-Author, with William Shatner. Berkley/Putnam. Fiction.
  • 1993 and 1997 Rage & Reason, Rupa & Co., New Delhi, India; and AK Press, Edinburgh, Scotland, and San Francisco.
  • 1993 Environmental Meditation, Crossing Press. Non-fiction.
  • 1994 A Naked Man, Asian Humanities Press. Fiction.
  • 1995 A Parliament of Souls-In Search of Global Spirituality, Co-Edited With Co-editors Jane Gray Morrison and Bettina Gray, KQED/Bay Books. Non-fiction.
  • 1995 A Vision of Nature – Traces of the Original World, Kent State University Press, Kent, OH. Non-fiction.
  • 1995 and 1996 The Soul of Nature – Visions of a Living Earth, Co-Edited With Co-editor, Georgianne Cowan, Continuum/Penguin-Dutton/Plume editions. Non-fiction.
  • 1996 India 24 Hours, Mapin Publishing, Ahmedabad, India. Non-fiction.
  • 1996 World War III – Population and the Biosphere at the End of the Millennium, Bear & Co.; Canadian audio book - L’Institut National Canadien Pour les Aveugles (Canadian National Institute for the Blind). Spanish edition El Hombre La Contra De Tierra: población y biosfera al final del milenio‘', Colección de los Cuatro Vientos, Barcelona. Non-fiction.
  • 1997 A Day in the Life of India, Harper Collins, San Francisco, CA. Non-fiction.
  • 1997 Nature's Keepers: On the Frontlines of the Fight To Save Wildlife in America, John Wiley & Sons Publishing, New York. Non-fiction.
  • 1997 The Search of Reality-The Art of Documentary Filmmaking, (Ed.), M. Wiese Publishing. Non-fiction.
  • 1997 Jan & Catharina, Smart Art Press, illustrated novel, with photographs by Rocky Schenk. Fiction.
  • 1997 Ich spürte die Seele der Tiere (I Feel The Soul of Animals), (Ed.) with Co-editor Kate Solisti, Frankh-Kosmos Publishing. 2nd edition-2003. Non-fiction.
  • 1998 Kinship with Animals, Ed., with co-editor Kate Solisti, Beyond Words Publishing. Non-fiction.
  • 1998 World War III –Population and the Biosphere at the End of the Millennium, Revised and Updated Second Edition, Preface By Jane Goodall, Continuum Books, New York. Non-fiction.
  • 1999 A Parliament of Minds - Philosophy for a New Millennium, Co-Editor with Co-Editors Dr. Patrick Fitzgerald and Dr. David Rothenberg, State University of New York Press. Non-fiction.
  • 1999 Voices From the Underground- For the Love of Animals, New Paradigm Books, Hope Publishing. Non-fiction.
  • 2002 TWIMC (To Whom It May Concern), With Co-Author Chris Traub, Verbum Inc., San Franciso, Fiction.
  • 2002 La Leggi di Felham, Nuova Etica Publishers, Turin, Italy.
  • 2003 A Parliament of Science - Science for the 21st Century, Co-Edited with Co-Editors Teun Timmers and Gill Wright, State University of New York Press. Non-fiction.
  • 2003 Dubai 24 Hours, Foreword by Sheikh Hamdan, Motivate Publishing, Dubai, United Arab Emirates. Non-fiction.
  • 2005 The Adventures of Mr. Marigold, 1,836 page illustrated ecological epic, Craig Potton Publishing, Photographic illustrations by Craig Potton. Nelson, New Zealand.
  • 2006 Turkish edition of Rage & Reason, Öfke, Versus Kitap, Istanbul.
  • 2006 No Vacancy - Global Responses to the Human Population Explosion, Co-editor with Co-Editors Bob Gillespie, Jane Gray Morrison and Elizabeth Hughes, Hope Publishing. Non-fiction.
  • 2006 Donkey - The Mystique of Equus Asinus, With Co-Author Jane Gray Morrison, Council Oak Books. A Dancing Star Foundation Book. Non-fiction.
  • 2007 Belgesel film yapim sanati, Turkish edition of The Search for Reality: The Art of Documentary Filmmaking, Kolaj Kitapigi, Istanbul.
  • 2008 Chateau Beyond Time, Council Oak Books. Fiction.
  • 2008 2008 Smithsonian FolkLife Festival – Bhutan, Photo Portfolio by Michael Charles Tobias and Jane Gray Morrison, for Ta Dzong/National Museum of Bhutan Exhibition/Permanent Collection: 196 Photographs, Dancing Star Foundation.
  • 2008 Endangered Species: Flora and Fauna in Peril, With Co-Author Jane Gray Morrison, Wilding Art Museum, Los Olivos, California. Non-fiction.
  • 2008 Sanctuary - Global Oases of Innocence, With Co-Author Jane Gray Morrison, Foreword by The Queen of Bhutan, Her Majesty Ashi Dorji Wangmo Wangchuck, Council Oak Books. Non-fiction.
  • 2010 God's Country: The New Zealand Factor, With Co-Author Jane Gray Morrison, Introduction by Ingrid Newkirk/PETA, A Dancing Star Foundation Book. Non-fiction.
  • 2010 Bestiarium, German edition of Chateau Beyond Time, Bastei Lübbe. Bastei Entertainment.
  • 2011 Professor Parrot and the Secret of the Blue Cupboard, Zorba Press, Ithaca, New York. Fiction.
  • 2012 The Strange Life & Disappearance of English Milligrams, Zorba Press, Ithaca, New York. Fiction.
  • 2013 21st Century Solitude, Zorba Press, Ithaca, New York. Fiction.
  • 2013 The Misadventure of Pinocchio, Zorba Press, Ithaca, New York. Fiction.
  • 2013 Biotopia, Zorba Press, Ithaca, New York. Fiction.
  • 2014 Hope On Earth: A Conversation, With Co-Author Paul R. Ehrlich, University of Chicago Press. Non-fiction.
  • 2014 Central Park: A Conversation in Three Acts, Zorba Press, Ithaca, New York. Fiction.
  • 2014 Why Life Matters: Fifty Ecosystems of the Heart and Mind, with Co-Author Jane Gray Morrison, Springer Publishers, New York. Non-fiction.
  • 2014 The Metaphysics of Protection, with Co-Author Jane Gray Morrison. Foreword by Dr. Ervin Laszlo, Preface by Dr. Marc Bekoff. Waterside Productions, Cardiff, CA.
  • 2014 and 2015 Environmental Impact, Society of Animal Artists, David Wagner, Curator, Catalogue Essay with Co-Author Jane Gray Morrison. Non-fiction.
  • 2015 Edward W. Curtis: One Hundred Masterworks, by Christopher Cardozo, With Contributions by A.D. Coleman, Eric Jolly, Michael Tobias and Louise Erdrich, Prestel Publishers, Random House, New York. Non-Fiction.
  • 2016 Nikos Kazantzakis, Screenplay, Zorba Press, Ithaca, New York, Non-fiction.
  • 2016 The Adventures of Mr. Marigold, Kindle and Paperback Editions from Zorba Press, Ithaca, New York. Fiction.
  • 2016' Undaunted - A Utopian Opera, based upon the novel, The Adventures of Mr. Marigold, by Michael Charles Tobias. Music and Lyrics by Allan Jay Friedman and Jeff Silbar.
  • 2016 Russian Translation of The Metaphysics of Protection – Metaphysika zaschiti prerodi (МЕТАФИЗИКА ЗАЩИТЫ ПРИРОДЫ).


  • 1984 Kazantzakis, Writer, director, producer, Co-Composer. PBS.
  • 1984 House for All Seasons, Writer, 2 specials. PBS.
  • 1984 Cloudwalker, Writer, director, producer. Channel 4/London.
  • 1985-87 Science Notes, Writer, director, producer, editor, host. Thirty-two part series. PBS.
  • 1986 Sand and Lightning, Writer, director, producer, editor, host. Documentary. PBS.
  • 1986 Space Futures, Writer, director, producer, editor, host. Documentary. PBS.
  • 1986 Playing God, Narrator. Documentary. PBS.
  • 1986 The Gift, Writer, director, producer, editor, host. Documentary. PBS.
  • 1986-87 Animal Rights, Writer, director, producer, editor, host. With three other MacNeil-Lehrer PBS specials.
  • 1987 Antarctica - The Last Continent, Writer, director, producer, editor, host. Documentary, PBS.
  • 1987 Ahimsa - Non-Violence, Writer, director, executive producer, Documentary, PBS.
  • 1989 The Power Game, Co-Executive producer for Maryland Public Broadcasting, Corporation for Public Broadcasting (CPB/PBS), four hour series. Phillip Burton Production, with MPT.
  • 1989 Black Tide, Writer, director, producer. Discovery Channel.
  • 1990 The Making of Voice of the Planet, Writer, director, producer, executive producer. TBS.
  • 1990 Voice of the Planet, Writer, director, producer, executive producer, Starring William Shatner and the Voice of Faye Dunaway. Ten-Hour Dramatic Miniseries, TBS (Turner Broadcasting).
  • 1991 The Fifth Annual Genesis Awards, Director, producer. Discovery Channels.
  • 1992 A Day in the Life of Ireland, Writer, director. PBS-WNET/RTL-Dublin.
  • 1992 The Sixth Annual Genesis Awards, Director, producer. Discovery Channels.
  • 1993 A Parliament of Souls, Writer, director, producer, 28- and 32- part series, PBS/Vision TV-Canada.
  • 1995 World War III, Writer, director, producer, executive producer, host. Documentary. PBS.
  • 1996 A Day in the Life of India, Writer, director, producer. Feature film. PBS/Doordarshan/NHK/StarPlus.
  • 1997 Element One, Writer, director.. A Geoffrey Holland Production.
  • 1997 Jam Packed, Director, co-executive producer. A Geoffrey Holland Production.
  • 1997 Sean Connery – An Intimate Portrait, Writer, Director. LifeTime Television Network.
  • 1997 The Originals, Co-Executive producer, Director. CMM Productions, Mumbai, India.
  • 1997 Climb For Tibet, Director. Wisdom Network special.
  • 1998 The Wetlands of Japan: The Legacy of Ishahaya Bay, Director, producer. Short-subject documentary. Goldman Foundation.
  • 1998 Renewable Power, Executive Producer. A Geoffrey Holland Film.
  • 1998 America’s Great Parks, Writer, Two-Hour Feature Documentary, Discovery Channel.
  • 1998 Legends And Dreamers, Co-Director, Producer, KAET/PBS.
  • 1998 A Parliament of Science, Director, Co-Host, Multi-Part Series, Vision TV/London, With UNESCO.
  • 1998 At Home In The Universe – Biography of William Shatner, Writer, Director. Harvey McKinnon Productions. Canadian Broadcasting Corporation.
  • 1999 A Parliament of Minds, Director, Producer, Hosted by Mike Malone, 15-part series, PBS/Wisdom Network.
  • 1999 The Whale Shark Hunters of the Philippines, Executive Producer, KETA Films, National Geographic Channel
  • 1999 River Of Love, Writer, Director. Feature Docu-Drama, Dharmic Productions.
  • 1999 Kids & Animals, Director, Co-Writer, Animal Planet/Discovery Networks.
  • 1999 Reigning Cats of San Francisco, Director, Writer, Animal Planet/Discovery Networks.
  • 1999 The Last Stand: The Battle to Save Ballona Wetlands, Co-Writer, Co-Executive Producer, Hosted by Ed Asner, Feature Documentary, A Sheila Laffey Film, Public Broadcasting.
  • 2000 The View From Malabar, Director, Documentary, Ohio PBS.
  • 2000 Countdown: The Sky’s On Fire, Co-Executive Producer, Based upon the Novel, Fatal Exposure, by Michael Charles Tobias, Two-Hour dramatic Movie-of-the-Week, ABC.
  • 2001 Images of Arizona, Senior Director, Producer. KAET/PBS.
  • 2002 Dubai 24 Hours, Writer, Director. Feature film Documentary. Al Arabiya TV.
  • 2002 J.C. Leyendecker - The Great American Illustrator, Writer. Kultur Video.
  • 2003 Y.M.I., Co-Executive Producer, dramatic feature, Temple 4 Films.
  • 2004 The Hydrogen Age, Co-Writer. A Geoffrey Holland Film.
  • 2005 Mad Cowboy, Writer, Director, Executive Producer, Hosted by Howard Lyman of Voice for a Viable Future, KQED/PBS.
  • 2006 No Vacancy, Writer, Director, Directory of Photography, Producer, Executive Producer, Hosted by Bob Gillespie of Population Communication, public broadcasting service.
  • 2008 Hotspots, Writer, Director, Producer, Co-Director of Cinematography, Executive Producer, Hosted by Dr. Russell Mittermeier of Conservation International, Two-Hour Feature Documentary, KQED/PBS.
  • 2009 The Grand And Otago Skinks: Conservation of Two of New Zealand’s Rarest Reptiles, Writer, Director, Producer. Short Subject Documentary, Dancing Star Foundation.
  • 2011 State of the Earth, Director, three-hour documentary series, Dancing Star Foundation/Earth Service Production.
  • 2112 Yasuni – A Meditation On Life, Writer, Director, Executive Producer, UNDP/Yasuni-ITT Initiative, Government of Ecuador, for Rio+20 U.N. Earth Summit Premiere. A Dancing Star Foundation Film.
  • 2013 Ecosystems on the Edge, 15 Short Ecological Documentaries. Co-Executive Producer for Dancing Star Foundation, the Primary Collaborating Partner with the Smithsonian Environmental Research Center (SERC).


  1. ^ "Red listed biodiversity threatened," by Jane Gray Morrison and Michael Tobias, www.onlineopinion.com.au/view.asp?article=7638, 7/23/08
  2. ^ "Johnson: Readers just discovering Richard Yates' work". Online Athens. 2001-05-27. Retrieved 2012-03-12. 
  3. ^ See "Michael Tobias," pp.269–278, People Promoting And People Opposing Animal Rights – In Their Own Words, ed. by John M. Kistler, Greenwood Press, Westport, Connecticut, 2002.
  4. ^ Explore the Power of Myth in film at Mythic Journeys [www.mythicjourneys.org/PR_film_festival-rev3.pdf]
  5. ^ [1]
  6. ^ Tobias, Michael. "Michael Tobias". http://www.michaeltobias.org/. Retrieved 2015-09-29. 
  7. ^ From the Queen of Bhutan's foreword to Sanctuary: Global Oases of Innocence, by Michael Tobias and Jane Gray Morrison, p. ix, Council Oak Books.
  8. ^ Tobias, Michael. "Michael Tobias". http://www.michaeltobias.org. Retrieved 2015-09-29. 
  9. ^ Tobias, Michael. "Michael Tobias – Brief Biographical Details". http://zorbapress.com. Zorba Press. Retrieved 3 August 2015. 
  10. ^ Michael, Tobias. "Michael Tobias – Brief Biographical Details". http://zorbapress.org. Zorba Press. Retrieved 3 August 2015. 
  11. ^ Tobias, Michael. "Michael Tobias – Brief Biographical Details". http://zorbapress.com. Zorba Press. Retrieved 3 August 2015. 
  12. ^ "Feeding the Population Monster – A review essay based on a new book by Michael Tobias entitled: World War III: Population and the Biosphere At the End of the Millennium," by Ronald Bleier, desip.igc.org/Monster.html; Thomas Marks' review of World War III, published in the journal Small Wars & Insurgencies, Volume 7, Issue 1 Spring 1996, pages 112 – 119; "Population Ethics For the 21st Century," by Michael Tobias, www.populationpress.org/essays/essay-tobias; See also "Listening To Women," by M.Tobias, The Population Press, Volume 10, Number 3, Fall 2004, pp.6–11.
  13. ^ Psychology Today, "What's next?"
  14. ^ Lappe, Marc. "So Many People . . . How Will We Feed Them? World War III: Population and the Biosphere at the End of the Millennium, By Michael Tobias", Los Angeles Times, November 27, 1994. "Like Wilson, Tobias perceives the duty to maintain biodiversity as a moral requirement of planet stewardship."
  15. ^ Jane Goodall, from her foreword to World War III –Population And The Biosphere At The End Of The Millennium, Continuum Publishing Company, New York, 2nd edition, 1998, p.12.
  16. ^ "Cairo's an apt site for UN population conference," by Mark Abley, The Gazette, Montreal, Quebec, Canada, September 3, 1994. www.lexisnexis.com/us/Inacademic/frame.do?tokenKey-rsh-20.640961.830
  17. ^ p.12, Jane Goodall's foreword to World War III – Population And The Biosphere At The End Of The Millennium, by Michael Tobias, 2nd Edition, Continuum Publishing Company, New York, 1998.
  18. ^ "Stories". Pasadena Weekly. Retrieved 2012-03-12. 
  19. ^ "Regarding a sustainable world," by Olivia Redwine, New Perspectives, Winter 2008, pp.18–21.
  20. ^ "No Vacancy, a Film by Michael Tobias," reviewed by Dr. Alvin Winder, University of Massachusetts, Amherst, in Int’l. Quarterly of Community Health Education, Vol. 26(3) 319–320, 2006–2007
  21. ^ 'Mad Cowboy' Wins Artivist Film Festival Best Feature Award;
  22. ^ Jainism and Ecology: Nonviolence in the Web of Life, edited by Christopher Key Chappel, Center for the Study of World Religions, Harvard Divinity School, Religions of the World and Ecology Series, 2002.
  23. ^ Tobias, Michael. "Michael Tobias". http://www.michaeltobias.org. Retrieved 3 August 2015. 
  24. ^ "Ecology of Conscience," by Michael Tobias, Parabola, Fall 1997, p.18.
  25. ^ "Choosing Generosity –Filmmaker and author Michael Tobias on developing the capacity for unconditional love and making sense of our passions," Interview by Zoe Weil, Hope Magazine, Spring 2000, No.22, pp.51–53.
  26. ^ Michael Tobias, "Desert survival by the book", New Scientist, 17 December 1988, p.29- 31;
  27. ^ Tobias, M., Environmental Meditation, Crossing Press, Freedom, Calif., 1993, pp.83–96.
  28. ^ Michael Tobias, "The Anthropology of Conscience," Society & Animals, pp.69–71.
  29. ^ "The Next Wasteland: Can the Spoiling of Antarctica Be Stopped?" by Michael Tobias, The Sciences, March/April 1989, pp.18–24
  30. ^ Tobias, Michael. "Michael Tobias – Brief Biographical Details". http://zorbapress.com. Retrieved 3 August 2015. 
  31. ^ "'Black Tide'; Discovery's 'Tide' Examines Alaska Oil Spill," by Patricia Brennan, Washington Post Staff Writer, March 18, 1990, The Washington Post Sunday Edition
  32. ^ "Island fence set to enhance biodiversity," by Phil McCarthy, Southland Times, Invercargill, New Zealand, April 14th, 2005: "It was an important conservation tool to help restore native flora and fauna in a region of outstanding historic biodiversity, " Tobias said.
  33. ^ "About the Foundation - Biographies". Dancing Star Foundation. Retrieved 2012-03-12. 
  34. ^ Hotspots Revisited, by Russell A. Mittermeier, Patricio Robles Gil, Michael Hoffmann, John Pilgrim, Thomas Brooks, Cristina Goettsch Mittermeier, John Lamoreux and Gustavo A.B. Da Fonseca, CEMEX, Mexico City, 2004.
  35. ^ "HOTSPOTS". http://www.hotspots-thefilm.org. 
  36. ^ "Dancing Star Foundation Ecological Preserve". http://www.sanctuariesnz.org. Retrieved 6 August 2015. 
  37. ^ http://blog.doc.govt.nz http://blog.doc.govt.nz/tag/halfmoon-bay/. Retrieved 6 August 2015.  Missing or empty |title= (help)
  38. ^ New Zealand robin
  39. ^ http://predatorfreestewartisland.org.nz http://predatorfreestewartisland.org.nz/bird-call-analysis-using-acoustic-recorders/. Retrieved 6 August 2015.  Missing or empty |title= (help)
  40. ^ http://www.es.govt.nz http://www.es.govt.nz/your-council/awards/environment-awards/2012/innovator-award/. Retrieved 6 August 2015.  Missing or empty |title= (help)
  41. ^ "" Yasuni, a meditation on life" Short Documentary". http://www.youtube.com. Retrieved 18 August 2015. 
  42. ^ "Yasuní-ITT will be Promoted in Brazil". Ecuador Times. 2012-04-23. Retrieved 2012-04-23. 
  43. ^ "Ecuador Yasuni ITT Trust Fund". United Nations Development Group. 
  44. ^ http://www.peaceabbey.org http://www.peaceabbey.org/2015/05/recipients-of-the-courage-of-conscience-award/. Retrieved 20 August 2015.  Missing or empty |title= (help)
  45. ^ "12th Annual Jaina Lecture: Mahavira, Don Quixote and the history of ecological ethics and idealism". SOAS, University of London. 2012-03-21. 
  46. ^ "Green Conversations". Forbes. 
  47. ^ "Biotopia". http://zorbapress.com/. Retrieved 18 August 2015. 
  48. ^ http://picturebookproductions.com/ http://picturebookproductions.com/. Retrieved 18 August 2015.  Missing or empty |title= (help)
  49. ^ https://www.youtube.com https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=x2bFj1qfZAo. Retrieved 20 August 2015.  Missing or empty |title= (help)
  50. ^ http://article.wn.com http://article.wn.com/view/2015/07/30/Aliyun_and_Chinese_Academy_of_Sciences_Sign_MoU_for_Quantum__x/. Retrieved 20 August 2015.  Missing or empty |title= (help)
  51. ^ http://mashpedia.com http://www.mashpedia.com/Chinese_Academy_of_Social_Sciences?pagetype=search&tab=1&pagecode=&xn=1. Retrieved 20 August 2015.  Missing or empty |title= (help)
  52. ^ "Paul R. Ehrlich". https://ccb.stanford.edu. Retrieved 18 August 2015. 
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  54. ^ http://live.huffingtonpost.com http://live.huffingtonpost.com/r/segment/hope-on-earth-paul-r-erlich-michael-charles-tobias/537672c6fe34447c4e000323. Retrieved 18 August 2015.  Missing or empty |title= (help)
  55. ^ http://www.washingtonindependentreviewofbooks.com http://www.washingtonindependentreviewofbooks.com/bookreview/hope-on-earth-a-conversation. Retrieved 18 August 2015.  Missing or empty |title= (help)
  56. ^ http://clubofbudapest.org http://clubofbudapest.org/ervinlaszlo/index.php/publications/articles/106-foreword-to-michael-tobias-and-jane-gray-morrison-the-metaphysics-of-protection. Retrieved 18 August 2015.  Missing or empty |title= (help)
  57. ^ http://www.downloadbooksforfree.net http://www.downloadbooksforfree.net/epubpdf/the-metaphysics-of-protection. Retrieved 18 August 2015.  Missing or empty |title= (help)
  58. ^ http://www.springer.com http://www.springer.com/gp/about-springer/media/press-releases/corporate/new-book-why-life-matters-informs-inspires-and-engages/41012. Retrieved 18 August 2015.  Missing or empty |title= (help)
  59. ^ http://www.eurekalert.org http://www.eurekalert.org/pub_releases/2014-12/s-nbw120114.php. Retrieved 18 August 2015.  Missing or empty |title= (help)
  60. ^ http://www.clubofbudapest.org http://www.clubofbudapest.org/clubofbudapest/index.php/en/. Retrieved 18 August 2015.  Missing or empty |title= (help)
  61. ^ https://www.youtube.com https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ywG0lBMFkVA. Retrieved 18 August 2015.  Missing or empty |title= (help)
  62. ^ http://link.springer.com http://link.springer.com/chapter/10.1007/978-3-319-07860-1_27?no-access=true. Retrieved 18 August 2015.  Missing or empty |title= (help)
  63. ^ http://mahb.stanford.edu http://mahb.stanford.edu/nodal-activities/michael-tobias-nature-animals-ethics-revolution/. Retrieved 18 August 2015.  Missing or empty |title= (help)
  64. ^ "Milano Expo 2015". http://www.clubofbudapest.org. Retrieved 18 August 2015. 


  • Documentary filmmaking : [3]
  • Feeding the Population Monster: [4]
  • Kinship with the Animals: [5]

External links