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An environmentalist maps the hidden costs of overconsumption in a globalized world by tracing the environmental consequences of five commodities.

The Shadows of Consumption gives a hard-hitting diagnosis: many of the earth's ecosystems and billions of its people are at risk from the consequences of rising consumption. Products ranging from cars to hamburgers offer conveniences and pleasures; but, as Peter Dauvergne makes clear, global political and economic processes displace the real costs of consumer goods into distant ecosystems, communities, and timelines, tipping into crisis people and places without the power to resist. In The Shadows of Consumption, Peter Dauvergne maps the costs of consumption that remain hidden in the shadows cast by globalized corporations, trade, and finance. Dauvergne traces the environmental consequences of five commodities: automobiles, gasoline, refrigerators, beef, and harp seals. In these fascinating histories we learn, for example, that American officials ignored warnings about the dangers of lead in gasoline in the 1920s; why China is now a leading producer of CFC-free refrigerators; and how activists were able to stop Canada's commercial seal hunt in the 1980s (but are unable to do so now). Dauvergne's innovative analysis allows us to see why so many efforts to manage the global environment are failing even as environmentalism is slowly strengthening. He proposes a guiding principle of “balanced consumption” for both consumers and corporations. We know that we can make things better by driving a high-mileage car, eating locally grown food, and buying energy-efficient appliances; but these improvements are incremental, local, and insufficient. More crucial than our individual efforts to reuse and recycle will be reforms in the global political economy to reduce the inequalities of consumption and correct the imbalance between growing economies and environmental sustainability.

What it means for global sustainability when environmentalism is dominated by the concerns of the affluent—eco-business, eco-consumption, wilderness preservation.

Over the last fifty years, environmentalism has emerged as a clear counterforce to the environmental destruction caused by industrialization, colonialism, and globalization. Activists and policymakers have fought hard to make the earth a better place to live. But has the environmental movement actually brought about meaningful progress toward global sustainability? Signs of global “unsustainability” are everywhere, from decreasing biodiversity to scarcity of fresh water to steadily rising greenhouse gas emissions. Meanwhile, as Peter Dauvergne points out in this provocative book, the environmental movement is increasingly dominated by the environmentalism of the rich—diverted into eco-business, eco-consumption, wilderness preservation, energy efficiency, and recycling. While it's good that, for example, Barbie dolls' packaging no longer depletes Indonesian rainforest, and that Toyota Highlanders are available as hybrids, none of this gets at the source of the current sustainability crisis. More eco-products can just mean more corporate profits, consumption, and waste.

Dauvergne examines extraction booms that leave developing countries poor and environmentally devastated—with the ruination of the South Pacific island of Nauru a case in point; the struggles against consumption inequities of courageous activists like Bruno Manser, who worked with indigenous people to try to save the rainforests of Borneo; and the manufacturing of vast markets for nondurable goods—for example, convincing parents in China that disposable diapers made for healthier and smarter babies.

Dauvergne reveals why a global political economy of ever more—more growth, more sales, more consumption—is swamping environmental gains. Environmentalism of the rich does little to bring about the sweeping institutional change necessary to make progress toward global sustainability.

Mass protests have raged since the global financial crisis of 2008. Across the world students and workers and environmentalists are taking to the streets. Discontent is seething even in the wealthiest countries, as the world saw with Occupy Wall Street in 2011.

Protest Inc. tells a disturbingly different story of global activism. As millions of grassroots activists rally against capitalism, activism more broadly is increasingly mirroring business management and echoing calls for market-based solutions. The past decade has seen nongovernmental organizations partner with oil companies like ExxonMobil, discount retailers like Walmart, fast-food chains like McDonald’s, and brand manufacturers like Nike and Coca-Cola. NGOs are courting billionaire philanthropists, branding causes, and turning to consumers as wellsprings of reform.

Are “career” activists selling out to pay staff and fund programs? Partly. But far more is going on. Political and socioeconomic changes are enhancing the power of business to corporatize activism, including a worldwide crackdown on dissent, a strengthening of consumerism, a privatization of daily life, and a shifting of activism into business-style institutions. Grassroots activists are fighting back. Yet, even as protestors march and occupy cities, more and more activist organizations are collaborating with business and advocating for corporate-friendly “solutions.” This landmark book sounds the alarm about the dangers of this corporatizing trend for the future of transformative change in world politics.
A new edition of a book that takes a comprehensive look at the ways economic processes affect global environmental outcomes.

This comprehensive and accessible book fills the need for a political economy view of global environmental politics, focusing on the ways international economic processes affect environmental outcomes. It examines the main actors and forces shaping global environmental management, particularly in the developing world. Moving beyond the usual emphasis on international agreements and institutions, it strives to capture not only academic theoretical debates but also views on politics, economics, and the environment within the halls of global conferences, on the streets during antiglobalization protests, and in the boardrooms of international agencies, nongovernmental organizations, and industry associations. The book maps out an original typology of four contrasting worldviews of environmental change—those of market liberals, institutionalists, bioenvironmentalists, and social greens—and uses them as a framework to examine the links between the global political economy and ecological change. This typology provides a common language for students, instructors, and scholars to discuss the issues across the classical social science divisions.The second edition of this popular text has been thoroughly revised and updated to reflect recent events, including the food crisis of 2007-2008, the financial meltdown of 2008, and the Copenhagen Climate Conference of 2009. Topics covered include the environmental implications of globalization; wealth, poverty, and consumption; global trade; transnational corporations; and multilateral and private finance.

Timber is a vital resource that is all around us. It is the house that shelters us, the furniture we relax in, the books we read, the paper we print, the disposable diapers for our babies, and the boxes that contain our cereal, detergent, and new appliances. The way we produce and consume timber, however, is changing. With international timber companies and big box discount retailers increasingly controlling through global commodity chains where and how much timber is traded, the world's remaining old-growth forests, particularly in the developing world, are under threat of disappearing - all for the price of a consumer bargain.

This trailblazing book is the first to expose what's happening inside corporate commodity chains with conclusions that fundamentally challenge our understanding of how and why deforestation persists. Authors Peter Dauvergne and Jane Lister reveal how timber now moves through long and complex supply chains from the forests of the global South through the factories of emerging economies like China to the big box retail shelves of Europe and North America. Well-off consumers are getting unprecedented deals. But the social and environmental costs are extraordinarily high as corporations mine the world's poorest regions and most vulnerable ecosystems.

The growing power of big retail within these commodity chains is further increasing South-North inequities and unsustainable global consumption. Yet, as this book's highly original analysis uncovers, it is also creating some intriguing opportunities to promote more responsible business practices and better global forest governance.

To capture the diversity within environmentalism, this dictionary takes a global tack with a focus on ideas, events, institutions, initiatives, and green movements since the 1960s. It strives to avoid a common error in many histories of environmentalism: to exaggerate the input of the wealthy countries of Europe and North America and understate the influence of Africa, Asia, South and Central America, and the Polar Regions. It aims as well for a more comprehensive analysis than most histories of the modern environmental movement, understanding environmentalism as emerging not only from grassroots and formal nongovernmental associations, but also from corporate, governmental, and intergovernmental organizations and initiatives. This assumes the ideas and energy infusing environmentalism with political purpose arise from hundreds of thousands of sources: from corporate boardrooms to bureaucratic policies to international negotiations to activists. Thus, environmentalists are not only indigenous people blocking a logging road, Greenpeace activists protesting a seal hunt, or green candidates contesting an election; an equal or larger number of environmentalists are working within the Japanese bureaucracy to implement environmental policies, within the World Bank to assess the environmental impacts of loans, within Wal-Mart to green its purchasing practices, or within intergovernmental forums to negotiate international environmental agreements.

This second edition of Historical Dictionary of Environmentalism contains a chronology, an introduction, and an extensive bibliography. The dictionary section has over 300 cross-referenced entries on important events, issues, organizations, ideas, and people shaping the direction of environmentalism worldwide. This book is an excellent access point for students, researchers, and anyone wanting to know more about environmentalism.
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