"Reduce, reuse, recycle" urge environmentalists; in other words, do more with less in order to minimize damage. But as this provocative, visionary book argues, this approach perpetuates a one-way, "cradle to grave" manufacturing model that dates to the Industrial Revolution and casts off as much as 90 percent of the materials it uses as waste, much of it toxic. Why not challenge the notion that human industry must inevitably damage the natural world?
In fact, why not take nature itself as our model? A tree produces thousands of blossoms in order to create another tree, yet we do not consider its abundance wasteful but safe, beautiful, and highly effective; hence, "waste equals food" is the first principle the book sets forth. Products might be designed so that, after their useful life, they provide nourishment for something new-either as "biological nutrients" that safely re-enter the environment or as "technical nutrients" that circulate within closed-loop industrial cycles, without being "downcycled" into low-grade uses (as most "recyclables" now are).
Elaborating their principles from experience (re)designing everything from carpeting to corporate campuses, William McDonough and Michael Braungart make an exciting and viable case for change.
Things looked grim for American energy in 2006, but a handful of wildcatters were determined to tap massive deposits of oil and gas that giants like Exxon and Chevron had ignored. They risked everything on a new process called fracking. Within a few years, they solved America’s dependence on imported energy, triggered a global environmental controversy, and made and lost astonishing fortunes.
No one understands the frackers—their ambitions, personalities, and foibles—better than Wall Street Journal reporter Gregory Zuckerman. His exclusive access drives this dramatic narrative, which stretches from North Dakota to Texas to Wall Street.
A Washington Post Best Book of the Year
A Businessweek Best Business Book of the Year
A Chicago Tribune Best Book of the Year
In this brilliant, essential book, Pulitzer Prize-winning author Thomas L. Friedman speaks to America's urgent need for national renewal and explains how a green revolution can bring about both a sustainable environment and a sustainable America.
Friedman explains how global warming, rapidly growing populations, and the expansion of the world's middle class through globalization have produced a dangerously unstable planet--one that is "hot, flat, and crowded." In this Release 2.0 edition, he also shows how the very habits that led us to ravage the natural world led to the meltdown of the financial markets and the Great Recession. The challenge of a sustainable way of life presents the United States with an opportunity not only to rebuild its economy, but to lead the world in radically innovating toward cleaner energy. And it could inspire Americans to something we haven't seen in a long time--nation-building in America--by summoning the intelligence, creativity, and concern for the common good that are our greatest national resources.
Hot, Flat, and Crowded is classic Thomas L. Friedman: fearless, incisive, forward-looking, and rich in surprising common sense about the challenge--and the promise--of the future.
The 100 most substantive solutions to reverse global warming, based on meticulous research by leading scientists and policymakers around the world
“At this point in time, the Drawdown book is exactly what is needed; a credible, conservative solution-by-solution narrative that we can do it. Reading it is an effective inoculation against the widespread perception of doom that humanity cannot and will not solve the climate crisis. Reported by-effects include increased determination and a sense of grounded hope.” —Per Espen Stoknes, Author, What We Think About When We Try Not To Think About Global Warming
“There’s been no real way for ordinary people to get an understanding of what they can do and what impact it can have. There remains no single, comprehensive, reliable compendium of carbon-reduction solutions across sectors. At least until now. . . . The public is hungry for this kind of practical wisdom.” —David Roberts, Vox
“This is the ideal environmental sciences textbook—only it is too interesting and inspiring to be called a textbook.” —Peter Kareiva, Director of the Institute of the Environment and Sustainability, UCLA
In the face of widespread fear and apathy, an international coalition of researchers, professionals, and scientists have come together to offer a set of realistic and bold solutions to climate change. One hundred techniques and practices are described here—some are well known; some you may have never heard of. They range from clean energy to educating girls in lower-income countries to land use practices that pull carbon out of the air. The solutions exist, are economically viable, and communities throughout the world are currently enacting them with skill and determination. If deployed collectively on a global scale over the next thirty years, they represent a credible path forward, not just to slow the earth’s warming but to reach drawdown, that point in time when greenhouse gases in the atmosphere peak and begin to decline. These measures promise cascading benefits to human health, security, prosperity, and well-being—giving us every reason to see this planetary crisis as an opportunity to create a just and livable world.
Take a journey inside the secret world of our biggest export, our most prodigious product, and our greatest legacy: our trash. It’s the biggest thing we make: The average American is on track to produce a whopping 102 tons of garbage across a lifetime, $50 billion in squandered riches rolled to the curb each year, more than that produced by any other people in the world. But that trash doesn’t just magically disappear; our bins are merely the starting point for a strange, impressive, mysterious, and costly journey that may also represent the greatest untapped opportunity of the century.
In Garbology, Pulitzer Prize–winning author Edward Humes investigates the trail of that 102 tons of trash—what’s in it; how much we pay for it; how we manage to create so much of it; and how some families, communities, and even nations are finding a way back from waste to discover a new kind of prosperity. Along the way , he introduces a collection of garbage denizens unlike anyone you’ve ever met: the trash-tracking detectives of MIT, the bulldozer-driving sanitation workers building Los Angeles’ immense Garbage Mountain landfill, the artists in residence at San Francisco’s dump, and the family whose annual trash output fills not a dumpster or a trash can, but a single mason jar.
Garbology digs through our epic piles of trash to reveal not just what we throw away, but who we are and where our society is headed. Are we destined to remain the country whose number-one export is scrap—America as China’s trash compactor—or will the country that invented the disposable economy pioneer a new and less wasteful path? The real secret at the heart of Garbology may well be the potential for a happy ending buried in our landfill. Waste, Humes writes, is the one environmental and economic harm that ordinary working Americans have the power to change—and prosper in the process.
800-CEO-Read “Best Business Book of 2017: Current Events & Public Affairs”
Economics is the mother tongue of public policy. It dominates our decision-making for the future, guides multi-billion-dollar investments, and shapes our responses to climate change, inequality, and other environmental and social challenges that define our times.
Pity then, or more like disaster, that its fundamental ideas are centuries out of date yet are still taught in college courses worldwide and still used to address critical issues in government and business alike.
That’s why it is time, says renegade economist Kate Raworth, to revise our economic thinking for the 21st century. In Doughnut Economics, she sets out seven key ways to fundamentally reframe our understanding of what economics is and does. Along the way, she points out how we can break our addiction to growth; redesign money, finance, and business to be in service to people; and create economies that are regenerative and distributive by design.
Named after the now-iconic “doughnut” image that Raworth first drew to depict a sweet spot of human prosperity (an image that appealed to the Occupy Movement, the United Nations, eco-activists, and business leaders alike), Doughnut Economics offers a radically new compass for guiding global development, government policy, and corporate strategy, and sets new standards for what economic success looks like.
Raworth handpicks the best emergent ideas—from ecological, behavioral, feminist, and institutional economics to complexity thinking and Earth-systems science—to address this question: How can we turn economies that need to grow, whether or not they make us thrive, into economies that make us thrive, whether or not they grow?
Simple, playful, and eloquent, Doughnut Economics offers game-changing analysis and inspiration for a new generation of economic thinkers.
In this powerful and provocative manifesto, Bill McKibben offers the biggest challenge in a generation to the prevailing view of our economy. For the first time in human history, he observes, "more" is no longer synonymous with "better"—indeed, for many of us, they have become almost opposites. McKibben puts forward a new way to think about the things we buy, the food we eat, the energy we use, and the money that pays for it all. Our purchases, he says, need not be at odds with the things we truly value.
McKibben's animating idea is that we need to move beyond "growth" as the paramount economic ideal and pursue prosperity in a more local direction, with cities, suburbs, and regions producing more of their own food, generating more of their own energy, and even creating more of their own culture and entertainment. He shows this concept blossoming around the world with striking results, from the burgeoning economies of India and China to the more mature societies of Europe and New England. For those who worry about environmental threats, he offers a route out of the worst of those problems; for those who wonder if there isn't something more to life than buying, he provides the insight to think about one's life as an individual and as a member of a larger community.
McKibben offers a realistic, if challenging, scenario for a hopeful future. Deep Economy makes the compelling case that the more we nurture the essential humanity of our economy, the more we will recapture our own.
First invented in 1947, hydraulic fracturing, or fracking, has not only become a major source of energy, it is changing the way we use energy, and the energy we use. It is both a threat and a godsend for the environment, and it is leading the revival of manufacturing in the United States.
A definitive narrative history, The Boom follows the twists and turns in the development and adoption of this radical technology. It is a thrilling journey filled with colorful characters: the green-minded Texas oilman who created the first modern frack; a bare-knuckled Oklahoman natural gas empire-builder who gave the world an enormous new supply of energy and was brought down by his own success and excesses; an environmental leader whose embrace of fracking brought an end to his public career; and an aging fracking pioneer who is now trying to save the industry from itself.
A fascinating and exciting exploration of one of the most controversial and promising sources of energy, The Boom “brings new clarity to a subject awash in hype from all sides…a thoughtful, well-written, and carefully researched book that provides the best overview yet of the pros and cons of fracking. Gold quietly leads both supporters and critics of drilling to consider other views” (Associated Press).
--More coverage (two full chapters) on the topic of global warming than any other text in this field.
--A new chapter on water economics, including water demand management and water pricing.
--A new chapter on environmental protection and the economy.
--New material on food supply and the food supply crisis, including biofuels and growing meat consumption.
--Expanded green accounting techniques.
The authors provide a concise yet thorough introduction to the economic theory of environmental policy and natural resource management. They begin with an overview of environmental economics before exploring topics including cost-benefit analysis, market failures and successes, and economic growth and sustainability.Readers of the first edition will notice new analysis of cestimation as well as specific market instruments, including municipal water pricing and waste disposal. Particular attention is paid to behavioral economics and cap-and-trade programs for carbon.
Throughout, Markets and the Environment is written in an accessible, student-friendly style. It includes study questions for each chapter, as well as clear figures and relatable text boxes. The authors have long understood the need for a book to bridge the gap between short articles on environmental economics and tomes filled with complex algebra. Markets and the Environment makes clear how economics influences policy, the world around us, and our own lives.
Now in its fourth edition, this book includes new material on climate change, the cost-competitiveness of renewable energy, global environmental trends, and sustainable economies. The text provides a balanced treatment of both standard environmental economics and ecological economics, based on the belief that these two approaches are complementary. Several chapters focus on the core concepts of environmental economics, including the theory of externalities, the management of public goods, the allocation of resources across time, environmental valuation, and cost-benefit analysis. Material on ecological economics includes such topics as macroeconomic scale, entropy, and "green" national accounting. Topical chapters focus on: energy; climate change; water resources; international trade; forests; fisheries; and agriculture, with an emphasis on designing effective policies to promote sustainability and a "green" economy.
Harris and Roach’s premise is that a pluralistic approach is essential to understand the complex nexus between the economy and the environment. This perspective, combined with its emphasis on real-world policies, is particularly appealing to both instructors and students. This is the ideal text for classes on environmental, natural resource, and ecological economics.
Globalisation, technology and an increasingly competitive business environment have encouraged huge changes in what is known as supply chain management, the art of sourcing components and delivering finished goods to the customer as cost effectively and efficiently as possible. Dell transformed the way people bought and were able to customise computers. Wal-Mart and Tesco have used their huge buying power and logistical skills to ensure the supply and stock management of their stores is finely honed. Manufacturers now make sure that components are where they are needed on the production line just in time for when they are needed and no longer. Such finessing of the way the supply chain works boosts the corporate bottom line and can make the difference between being a market leader or an also ran. This guide explores all the different aspects of supply chain management and gives hundreds of real life examples of what firms have achieved in the field.
In the mid-nineteenth century, New Bedford, Massachusetts was the whaling capital of the world. A half-gallon of sperm oil cost approximately $1,400 in today’s dollars, and whale populations were hunted to near extinction for profit. But with the advent of fossil fuels, the whaling industry collapsed, and today, the area around New Bedford is instead known as one of the best places in the world for whale watching.
This transformation is emblematic of a new sort of economic revolution, one that has the power to transform the future of animal welfare. In The Humane Economy, Wayne Pacelle, President/CEO of the Humane Society of the United States, explores how our everyday economic decisions impact the survival and wellbeing of animals, and how we can make choices that better support them. Though most of us have never harpooned a sea creature, clubbed a seal, or killed an animal for profit, we are all part of an interconnected web that has a tremendous impact on animal welfare, and the decisions we make—whether supporting local, not industrial, farming; adopting a rescue dog or a shelter animal instead of one from a “puppy mill”; avoiding products that compromise the habitat of wild species; or even seeing Cirque du Soleil instead of Ringling Brothers—do matter. The Humane Economy shows us how what we do everyday as consumers can benefit animals, the environment, and human society, and why these decisions can make economic sense as well.
Each chapter explores one aspect of the field, first introducing concepts and presenting issues, then supplying tools for working toward solutions. Techniques for management and measurement as well as case studies from around the world are provided. The second edition includes a complete update of the text, with increased coverage of major topics including the Anthropocene; complexity; resilience; environmental ethics; governance; the IPCC’s latest findings on climate change; Sustainable Development Goals; and new thinking on native species and novel ecosystems.
Chapters include further reading and discussion questions. The book is supported by a companion website with links, detailed reading lists, glossary, and additional case studies, together with projects, research problems, and group activities, all of which focus on real-world problem solving of sustainability issues.
The textbook is designed to be used by undergraduate college and university students in sustainability degree programs and other programs in which sustainability is taught.
From the Trade Paperback edition.
Employing a logical structure and easy-to-understand descriptions, Field covers fundamental economic principles and their general application to natural resource use. These principles are further developed in chapters devoted to specific resources. Moreover, this up-to-date volume addresses the challenge of achieving socially beneficial utilization rates in the twenty-first century amid continuing population growth, urbanization, and global climate change. Topics new to the Third Edition include:
• implications of climate change on resources
• energy intensity and the energy efficiency gap
• reducing fossil energy
• forests and carbon
• international water issues
• globalization and trade in natural resources
The Interface story is a compelling one: in 1994, making carpets was a toxic, petroleum-based process, releasing immense amounts of air and water pollution and creating tons of waste. Fifteen years after Anderson's call for change, Interface has:
—cut greenhouse gas emissions by 82%—cut fossil fuel consumption by 60%—cut waste by 66%—cut water use by 75%—invented and patented new machines, materials, and manufacturing processes—increased sales by 66%, doubled earnings, and raised profit margins
With practical ideas and measurable outcomes that every business can use, Anderson shows that profit and sustainability are not mutually exclusive; businesses can improve their bottom lines and do right by the earth.
Ray Anderson is featured in the film, So Right, So Smart, which takes a behind-the-scenes look at how his leadership transformed Interface into a company with a sustainable business practices that made it more profitable than it was before.
In this new history Bartow J. Elmore explores Coke through its ingredients, showing how the company secured massive quantities of coca leaf, caffeine, sugar, and other inputs. Its growth was driven by shrewd leaders such as Asa Candler, who scaled an Atlanta soda-fountain operation into a national empire, and “boss” Robert Woodruff, who nurtured partnerships with companies like Hershey and Monsanto. These men, and the company they helped build, were seen as responsible citizens, bringing jobs and development to every corner of the globe. But as Elmore shows, Coke was usually getting the sweet end of the deal.
It continues to do so. Alongside Coke’s recent public investments in water purification infrastructure, especially in Africa, it has also built—less publicly—a rash of bottling plants in dangerously arid regions. Looking past its message of corporate citizenship, Elmore finds a strategy of relentless growth.
The costs shed by Coke have fallen on the public at large. Its annual use of many billions of gallons of water has strained an increasingly scarce global resource. Its copious servings of high-fructose corn syrup have threatened public health. Citizen Coke became a giant in a world of abundance. In a world of scarcity it is a strain on resources and all who depend on them.
Wayne Ellwood is former co-editor of New Internationalist magazine. He is author of the No-Nonsense Guide to Globalization (over fifty thousand sold).
“There is a great deal of conventional wisdom about our collective ecological crisis out there in books. The enormous virtue of John Michael Greer’s work is that his wisdom is never conventional, but profound and imaginative. There’s no one who makes me think harder, and The Ecotechnic Future pushes Greer’s vision, and our thought processes in important directions.” —Sharon Astyk, farmer, blogger, and author of Depletion and Abundance and A Nation of Farmers
“In The Ecotechnic Future, John Michael Greer dispels our fantasies of a tidy, controlled transition from industrial society to a post-industrial milieu. The process will be ragged and rugged and will not invariably constitute an evolutionary leap for the human species. It will, however, offer myriad opportunities to create a society that bolsters complex technology which at the same time maintains a sustainable interaction with the ecosystem. Greer brilliantly inspires us to integrate the two in our thinking and to construct local communities which concretely exemplify this comprehensive vision.” —Carolyn Baker, author of Sacred Demise: Walking The Spiritual Path of Industrial Civilization’s Collapse, and publisher/editor, Speaking Truth to Power
In response to the coming impact of peak oil, John Michael Greer helps us envision the transition from an industrial society to a sustainable ecotechnic world—not returning to the past, but creating a society that supports relatively advanced technology on a sustainable resource base.
Fusing human ecology and history, this book challenges assumptions held by mainstream and alternative thinkers about the evolution of human societies. Human societies, like ecosystems, evolve in complex and unpredictable ways, making it futile to try to impose rigid ideological forms on the patterns of evolutionary change. Instead, social change must explore many pathways over which we have no control. The troubling and exhilarating prospect of an open-ended future, he proposes, requires dissensus—a deliberate acceptance of radical diversity that widens the range of potential approaches to infinity.
Written in three parts, the book places the present crisis of the industrial world in its historical and ecological context in part one; part two explores the toolkit for the Ecotechnic Age; and part three opens a door to the complexity of future visions.
For anyone concerned about peak oil and the future of industrial society, this book provides a solid analysis of how we got to where we are and offers a practical toolkit to prepare for the future.
John Michael Greer is a certified Master Conserver, organic gardener, and scholar of ecological history. He blogs at The Archdruid Report (www.thearchdruidreport.blogspot.com), and is the author ofThe Long Descent.
Bringing together all the important issues surrounding the climate debate, Nordhaus describes the science, economics, and politics involved—and the steps necessary to reduce the perils of global warming. Using language accessible to any concerned citizen and taking care to present different points of view fairly, he discusses the problem from start to finish: from the beginning, where warming originates in our personal energy use, to the end, where societies employ regulations or taxes or subsidies to slow the emissions of gases responsible for climate change.
Nordhaus offers a new analysis of why earlier policies, such as the Kyoto Protocol, failed to slow carbon dioxide emissions, how new approaches can succeed, and which policy tools will most effectively reduce emissions. In short, he clarifies a defining problem of our times and lays out the next critical steps for slowing the trajectory of global warming.
This enhanced edition for Google provides access to more web references, examples for further study, and interactive material that elucidates key ideas and concepts.
In Climate Change: What's Your Business Strategy? Andrew Hoffman and John Woody provide concise and reliable advice to help you answer this question. Drawing from their extensive experience working with organizations to address issues of environmental sustainability, the authors explain the impact of climate change on businesses and present a three-step process for developing an effective climate-change strategy:
· Determine your company's "carbon footprint" and the ways in which potential changes in policy and markets will affect how you position your products and services.
· Reduce your carbon footprint in ways that create new strategic advantages.
· Gain a seat at the policy-development table so you can begin influencing policy decisions that will affect your company.
Packed with cogent advice and examples of how organizations in a wide range of industries are adopting this process, Climate Change is your playbook for strategically addressing a complex problem that no company can afford to ignore.
From our Memo to the CEO series -- solutions-focused advice from today's leading practitioners.
In 1994, Interface founder and chairman Ray Anderson set an audacious goal for his commercial carpet company: to take nothing from the earth that can't be replaced by the earth. Now, in the most inspiring business book of our time, Anderson leads the way forward and challenges all of industry to share that goal.
The Interface story is a compelling one: In 1994, making carpets was a toxic, petroleum-based process, releasing immense amounts of air and water pollution and creating tons of waste. Fifteen years after Anderson's "spear in the chest" revelation, Interface has:
-Cut greenhouse gas emissions by 82%
-Cut fossil fuel consumption by 60%
-Cut waste by 66%
-Cut water use by 75%
-Invented and patented new machines, materials, and manufacturing processes
-Increased sales by 66%, doubled earnings, and raised profit margins
With practical ideas and measurable outcomes that every business can use, Anderson shows that profit and sustainability are not mutually exclusive; businesses can improve their bottom lines and do right by the earth.
The fully updated second edition, including new figures and images, teases out the diverse but intersecting domains of sustainability and emphasises strategies for action. Aimed at those studying the subject for the first time, it is unique in giving students from different disciplinary backgrounds a coherent framework and set of core principles for applying broad sustainability principles within their own personal and professional lives. These include: working to improve equality within and across generations; moving from consumerism to quality of life goals; and respecting diversity in both nature and culture.
Areas of emerging importance such as the economics of prosperity and wellbeing stand alongside core topics including:
· Energy and society
· Consumption and consumerism
· Risk and resilience
· Waste, water and land.
Key challenges and applications are explored through international case studies, and each chapter includes a thematic essay drawing on diverse literature to provide an integrated introduction to fundamental issues.
Housed on the Routledge Sustainability Hub, the book’s companion website contains a range of features to engage students with the interdisciplinary nature of sustainability. Together these resources provide a wealth of material for learning, teaching and researching the topic of sustainability.
This textbook is an essential companion to any sustainability course.
Developments in the photovoltaic (PV) industry over the last ten years have made direct electricity generation from PV cells a cost-effective and feasible energy solution, despite the common view that PV technology appeals only to a premium niche market. Bradford shows that PV electricity today has become the choice of hundreds of thousands of mainstream homeowners and businesses in many markets worldwide, including Japan, Germany, and the American Southwest. Solar energy will eventually be the cheapest source of energy in nearly all markets and locations because PV can bypass the aging and fragile electricity grid and deliver its power directly to the end user, fundamentally changing the underlying economics of energy. As the scale of PV production increases and costs continue to decline at historic rates, demand for PV electricity will outpace supply of systems for years to come. Ultimately, the shift from fossil fuels to solar energy will take place not because solar energy is better for the environment or energy security, or because of future government subsidies or as yet undeveloped technology. The solar revolution is already occurring through decisions made by self-interested energy users. The shift to solar energy is inevitable and will be as transformative as the last century's revolutions in information and communication technologies.
Drawing on interviews with leading sustainability scientists, this book examines how researchers in the emerging, interdisciplinary field of sustainability science are attempting to define sustainability, establish research agendas, and link the knowledge they produce to societal action. Pairing these insights with case studies of innovative sustainability research centres, the book reformulates the sustainability science research agenda and its relationship to decision-making and social action. It repositions the field as a "science of design" that aims to enrich public reasoning and deliberation while also working to generate social and technological innovations for a more sustainable future.
This timely book gives students, researchers and practitioners a valuable and unique analysis of the emergence of sustainability science, and both the opportunities and barriers faced by scientific efforts to contribute to social action.
Author Robin Hahnel employs techniques of cost-benefit analysis to illuminate where mainstream economics can be helpful, where mainstream economics can be misleading, and where heterodox ideas can provide important insights. He focuses primarily on climate change, reviews the history of climate negotiations, and provides guidelines for an effective, efficient, and fair post-Kyoto treaty.
Fracking has become a four-letter word to environmentalists. But most people don't know what it means. In his fast-paced, funny, and lively book, Sernovitz explains the reality of fracking: what it is, how it can be made safer, and how the oil business works.
He also tells the bigger story. Fracking was just one part of a shale revolution that shocked our assumptions about fueling America's future. The revolution has transformed the world with consequences for the oil industry, investors, environmentalists, political leaders, and anyone who lives in areas shaped by the shales, uses fossil fuels, or cares about the climate - in short, everyone. Thanks to American engineers' oilfield innovations, the United States is leading the world in reducing carbon emissions, has sparked a potential manufacturing renaissance, and may soon eliminate its dependence on foreign energy. Once again the largest oil and gas producer in the world, America has altered its balance of power with Russia and the Middle East.
Yet the shale revolution has also caused local disruptions and pollution. It has prolonged the world's use of fossil fuels. Is there any way to reconcile the costs with the benefits of fracking?
To do so, we must start by understanding fracking and the shale revolution in their totality. The Green and the Black bridges the gap in America's energy education. With an insider's firsthand knowledge and unprecedented clarity, Sernovitz introduces readers to the shales - a history-upturning "Internet of oil" - tells the stories of the shale revolution's essential characters, and addresses all the central controversies. To capture the economic, political, and environmental prizes, we need to adopt a balanced, informed perspective. We need to take the green with the black. Where we go from there is up to us.
We're beset by an array of natural resource and environmental challenges. They pose a tremendous risk to human prosperity, to world peace, and to the planet itself.
Yet, if we act, these problems are addressable. Throughout history we've overcome similar problems, but only when we've focused our energies on innovation. For the most valuable resource we have isn't oil, water, gold, or land - it's our stockpile of useful ideas, and our continually growing capacity to expand them.
In this remarkable book, Ramez Naam charts a course to supercharge innovation - by changing the rules of our economy - that can lead the whole world to greater wealth and human well-being, even as we dodge looming resource crunches and environmental disasters and reduce our impact on the planet.
"Most books about the future are written by blinkered Pollyannas or hand-wringing Cassandras. Ramez Naam--Egypt-born, Illinois-raised, a major contributor to the computer revolution--is neither. Having thought about science, technology and the environment for decades, he has become that rarest of creatures: a clear-eyed optimist. Concise, informed and passionately argued, The Infinite Resource both acknowledges the very real dangers that lie ahead for the human enterprise and the equally real possibility that we might not only survive but thrive." --Charles Mann, New York Times bestselling author of 1491 and 1493
"An amazing book. Throughout history, the most important source of new wealth has been new ideas. Naam shows how we can tap into and steer that force to overcome our current problems and help create a world of abundance." --Peter H. Diamandis, MD, chairman and CEO, X PRIZE Foundation; chairman, Singularity University; and author, Abundance--The Future Is Better Than You Think
Ancient civilizations relied on shackled human muscle. It took the energy of slaves to plant crops, clothe emperors, and build cities. Nineteenth-century slaveholders viewed critics as hostilely as oil companies and governments now regard environmentalists. Yet the abolition movement had an invisible ally: coal and oil. As the world's most versatile workers, fossil fuels replenished slavery's ranks with combustion engines and other labor-saving tools. Since then, cheap oil has transformed politics, economics, science, agriculture, and even our concept of happiness. Many North Americans today live as extravagantly as Caribbean plantation owners. We feel entitled to surplus energy and rationalize inequality, even barbarity, to get it. But endless growth is an illusion.
What we need, Andrew Nikiforuk argues in this provocative new book, is a radical emancipation movement that ends our master-and-slave approach to energy. We must learn to use energy on a moral, just, and truly human scale.
BP Blowout is the first comprehensive account of the legal, economic, and environmental consequences of the disaster that resulted from the April 2010 blowout at a BP well in the Gulf of Mexico. The accident, which destroyed the Deepwater Horizon oil rig, killed 11 people. The ensuing oil discharge–the largest ever in U.S. waters—polluted much of the Gulf for months, wreaking havoc on its inhabitants and the environment.
A management professor and former award-winning Justice Department lawyer responsible for enforcing environmental laws, Daniel Jacobs tells the story that neither BP nor the federal government wants heard: how the company and the government fell short, both in terms of preventing and responding to the disaster.
Critical details about the cause and aftermath of the disaster have emerged through court proceedings and with time. The key finding of the federal judge who presided over the civil litigation was that the blowout resulted from BP’s gross negligence.
BP has paid tens of billions of dollars to settle claims and lawsuits. The company also has pled guilty to manslaughter in a separate criminal case, but no one responsible for the tragedy is going to prison.
BP Blowout provides new and disturbing details in a definitive narrative that takes the reader inside BP, the White House, Congress and the courthouse. This is an important book for readers interested in the environment, sustainability, public policy, leadership, and risk management.
The twenty-first century ushered in an era of declines, including:Oil, natural gas, and coal extraction Yearly grain harvests Climate stability Economic growth Fresh water Minerals and ores such as copper and platinum
To adapt to this profoundly different world, we must begin now to make radical changes to our attitudes, behaviors, and expectations.
Featuring a new author preface and discussion guide, Peak Everything addresses many of the cultural, psychological, and practical changes we will have to make as nature dictates our new limits. This landmark book from Richard Heinberg, author of three of the most important books on Peak Oil, touches on the vital aspects of the human condition at this unique moment in time.
A combination of wry commentary and sober forecasting on subjects as diverse as farming and industrial design, this book describes how to make the transition from The Age of Excess to the Era of Modesty with grace and satisfaction, while preserving the best of our collective achievements. Peak Everything is a must-read for individuals, business leaders, and policy makers serious about effecting real change.
China’s Air Pollution Problemsprovides an overview of air pollution in China describing how and why China has ended up in such a dire situation, what the government is doing to address the problem and the difficulties it is encountering in attempting to reduce the pollution. The analysis is based on both grey literature (newspaper articles, NGO reports, Chinese government information) and on academic studies. The grey literature gives a voice to those who suffer from the pollution, their advocates, and government officers, and allows the reader to better grasp the conditions on the ground, and the impact of air pollution among people in different areas in China. The academic literature adds a theoretical perspective and brings these different case studies into a broader context.
This book will be of great interest to students of environmental pollution and contemporary Chinese studies looking for an introduction to the topic and also for researchers looking for an extensive list of sources and analysis of China's environmental problems.
This penetrating set of essays explains why corporate agribusiness is a rising threat to farmers, the environment, and consumers. Ranging in subject from the politics of hunger to the new agricultural biotechnologies, and in time and place from early modern Europe to contemporary Cuba, the contributions to Hungry for Profit examine the changes underway in world agriculture today and point the way toward organic, sustainable solutions to problems of food supply.
“That’s all changed now.” —from the Introduction
Many Americans today rightly fear that they are constantly exposed to dangerous toxins in their immediate environment: tap water is contaminated with chemicals; foods contain pesticide residues, hormones, and antibiotics; even the air we breathe, outside and indoors, carries invisible poisons. Yet we have responded not by pushing for governmental regulation, but instead by shopping. What accounts for this swift and dramatic response? And what are its unintended consequences?
Andrew Szasz examines this phenomenon in Shopping Our Way to Safety. Within a couple of decades, he reveals, bottled water and water filters, organic food, “green” household cleaners and personal hygiene products, and “natural” bedding and clothing have gone from being marginal, niche commodities to becoming mass consumer items. Szasz sees these fatalistic, individual responses to collective environmental threats as an inverted form of quarantine, aiming to shut the healthy individual in and the threatening world out.
Sharply critiquing these products’ effectiveness as well as the unforeseen political consequences of relying on them to keep us safe from harm, Szasz argues that when consumers believe that they are indeed buying a defense from environmental hazards, they feel less urgency to actually do something to fix them. To achieve real protection, real security, he concludes, we must give up the illusion of individual solutions and together seek substantive reform.
Andrew Szasz is professor and chair of the department of sociology at the University of California at Santa Cruz and author of the award-winning EcoPopulism (Minnesota, 1994).
Use relevant material: Students identify with up-to-date information, which gives them a global perspective on key issues.
Engage students with self-test exercises, debates and examples: Students are able to prepare for their field and learn from an active learning path, which allows them to grasp concepts before moving though the text.
To save coastal resources, a successful plan needs to address the realities of our current world. The challenge is to sustain an economy that creates optimism and entrepreneurship while considering finite natural resources. In other words, a successful plan to save the Texas coast needs to be about making money. Whether visiting with farmers and ranchers or oil and chemical producers, Blackburn recognizes that when talking about the natural environment in monetary terms, people listen. Many of the services we get from the coast are beginning to be studied for their dollar values, a trend that might offer Texas farms and ranches the potential for cash flow, which may in turn alter conservation practices throughout Texas and the United States.
Money alone cannot be the only motivation for caring about the Texas coast, though. Blackburn encourages Texans to get to know this landscape better. Beautifully illustrated and accessibly written, A Texan Plan for the Texas Coast weaves together a challenging but promising plan to protect the coast through economic motivation, thoughtful litigation, informed appreciation, and simple affection for the beauty and life found on the Texas coast.
The publication of Prosperity without Growth was a landmark in the sustainability debate. Tim Jackson’s piercing challenge to conventional economics openly questioned the most highly prized goal of politicians and economists alike: the continued pursuit of exponential economic growth. Its findings provoked controversy, inspired debate and led to a new wave of research building on its arguments and conclusions.
This substantially revised and re-written edition updates those arguments and considerably expands upon them. Jackson demonstrates that building a ‘post-growth’ economy is a precise, definable and meaningful task. Starting from clear first principles, he sets out the dimensions of that task: the nature of enterprise; the quality of our working lives; the structure of investment; and the role of the money supply. He shows how the economy of tomorrow may be transformed in ways that protect employment, facilitate social investment, reduce inequality and deliver both ecological and financial stability.
Seven years after it was first published, Prosperity without Growth is no longer a radical narrative whispered by a marginal fringe, but an essential vision of social progress in a post-crisis world. Fulfilling that vision is simply the most urgent task of our times.