Rationing: It's a word-and idea-that people often loathe and fear. Health care expert Henry Aaron has compared mentioning the possibility of rationing to "shouting an obscenity in church." Yet societies ration food, water, medical care and fuel all the time, with those who can pay the most getting the most. As Nobel Prize-winning economist Amartya Sen has said, the results can be "thoroughly unequal and nasty."
In Any Way You Slice It, Stan Cox shows that rationing is not just a quaint practice restricted to World War II memoirs and 1970s gas station lines. Instead, he persuasively argues that rationing is a vital concept for our fragile present, an era of dwindling resources and environmental crises. Any Way You Slice It takes us on a fascinating search for alternative ways of apportioning life's necessities, from the goal of "fair shares for all" during wartime in the 1940s to present-day water rationing in a Mumbai slum; from the bread shops of Cairo to the struggle for fairness in American medicine and carbon rationing on Norfolk Island in the Pacific. Cox's question: Can we limit consumption while assuring everyone a fair share?
The author of Losing Our Cool, the much-debated and widely acclaimed examination of air-conditioning's many impacts, here turns his attention to the politically explosive topic of how we share our planet's resources.
Author: Stan Cox
In Arctic Voices, world-renowned photographer, writer, and activist Subhankar Banerjee brings together first-person narratives that address issues of climate change, resource war, and human rights
Author: Subhankar Banerjee
Asphalt to Ecosystems is a compelling color guidebook for designing and building natural schoolyard environments that enhance childhood learning and play experiences while providing connection with the natural world.
With this book, author Sharon Gamson Danks broadens our notion of what a well-designed schoolyard should be, taking readers on a journey from traditional, ordinary grassy fields and asphalt, to explore the vibrant and growing movement to "green" school grounds in the United States and around the world. This book documents exciting green schoolyard examples from almost 150 schools in 11 countries, illustrating that a great many things are possible on school grounds when they are envisioned as outdoor classrooms for hands-on learning and play. The book's 500 vivid, color photographs showcase some of the world's most innovative green schoolyards, including: edible gardens with fruit trees, vegetables, chickens, honeybees and outdoor cooking facilities; wildlife habitats with prairie grasses and ponds, or forest and desert ecosystems; schoolyard watershed models, rainwater catchment systems and waste-water treatment wetlands; renewable energy systems that power landscape features or the whole school; waste-as-a-resource projects that give new life to old materials in beautiful ways; K-12 curriculum connections for a wide range of disciplines from science and math to art and social studies; creative play opportunities that diversify school ground recreational options and encourage children to run, hop, skip, jump, balance, slide and twirl, as well as explore the natural world firsthand. The book grounds these examples in a practical framework that illustrates simple landscape design choices that all schools can use to make their schoolyards more comfortable, enjoyable and beautiful, and describes a participatory design process that schools can use to engage their school communities in transforming their own asphalt into ecosystems.
Author: Sharon Gamson Danks
A critical analysis of public and private leadership, business and economic ethics, and civic life, this book concludes with a stirring blueprint for other communities facing similarly overwhelming opposition.
Author: Edward C Lorenz
Locavore leaders such as Alice Waters, Michael Pollan and Barbara Kingsolver all speak of the need for sweeping changes in how we get our food. A longtime leader of this movement is Wes Jackson, who for decades has taken it upon himself to speak for the land, to speak for the soil itself. Here, he offers a manifesto toward a conceptual revolution: Jackson asks us to look to natural ecosystems—or, if one prefers, nature in general—as the measure against which we judge all of our agricultural practices.
Jackson believes the time is right to do away with annual monoculture grains, which are vulnerable to national security threats and are partly responsible for the explosion in our health care costs. Soil erosion and the poisons polluting our water and air—all associated with agriculture from its beginnings—foretell a population with its natural fertility greatly destroyed.
In this eloquent and timely volume, Jackson argues we must look to nature itself to lead us out of the mess we’ve made. The natural ecosystems will tell us, if we listen, what should happen to the future of food.
Author: Wes Jackson
Weisman visits an extraordinary range of the world's cultures, religions, nationalities, tribes and political systems to learn what in t heir beliefs, histories, liturgies or current circumstances might suggest it's in their own best interest to limit their growth. The result is a landmark work of reporting: devastating, urgent and, ultimately, deeply hopeful.
Author: Alan Weisman
A compelling book about the water crisis facing the West, grounded in history and important for residents as well as readers nationwide. This narrative weaves together the stories of human folly and grandiose endeavor that shaped the states and reveal the background of the critical economic and political issue that is how water is used and misused today.
Author: Stephen Grace
Packed with valuable, firsthand information from visionaries in the field, Earth Repair empowers communities and individuals to take action and heal contaminated and damaged land. Encompassing everything from remediating and regenerating abandoned city lots for urban farmers and gardeners, to recovering from environmental disasters and industrial catastrophes such as oil spills and nuclear fallout, this fertile toolbox is essential reading for anyone who wishes to transform environmental despair into constructive action.
Author: Leila Darwish
To forge a sustainable future, we need citizens who care for the Earth. This 240-page book presents a coherent plan that will help parents foster a love for nature in their children, teach them the importance of environmental protection, promote environmental values and inspire action.
Author: Dan Chiras
This book tackles an increasingly crucial question: What can we do about the seemingly intractable challenges confronting all of humanity today, including climate change, global hunger, water scarcity, environmental stress and economic instability?
The quick answers are: Build topsoil. Fix creeks. Eat meat from pasture-raised animals. Soil scientists maintain that a mere 2 percent increase in the carbon content of the planet's soils could offset 100 percent of all greenhouse gas emissions going into the atmosphere. But how could this be accomplished? What would it cost? Is it even possible?
Yes, says author Courtney White, it is not only possible, but essential for the long-term health and sustainability of our environment and our economy.
Right now, the only possibility of large-scale removal of greenhouse gases from the atmosphere is through plant photosynthesis and related land-based carbon sequestration activities. These include a range of already existing, low-tech, and proven practices: composting, no-till farming, climate-friendly livestock practices, conserving natural habitat, restoring degraded watersheds and rangelands, increasing biodiversity, and producing local food.
In Grass, Soil, Hope, the author shows how all these practical strategies can be bundled together into an economic and ecological whole, with the aim of reducing atmospheric CO2 while producing substantial co-benefits for all living things. Soil is a huge natural sink for carbon dioxide. If we can draw increasing amounts of carbon out of the atmosphere and store it safely in the soil, we can significantly address all the multiple challenges that now appear so intractable.
Author: Courtney White
Green, Inc. is by a veteran journalist and former member of the global communications division of Conservation International. It is a first-person account of an eco warrior’s travails at the crossroads of the nonprofit and corporate worlds. MacDonald arrives at one of the world’s largest environmental groups with no small dose of idealism.
She is ready to dedicate herself to the fight for the planet’s remaining forestlands and endangered species. Quickly, however, she grows disillusioned by the group’s questionable liaisons with environmentally hostile corporations; the six-figure salaries of its leaders; and the lack of environmental ethos exhibited by her colleagues at their stylish Washington offices.
The book takes a hard look at corporate liaisons and examines the truth to claims that the country’s most prominent environmental groups have allowed themselves to be silenced by corporate money. While working inside one of the largest conservation groups in the world, the author noticed too often its sophisticated public relations machine focused on touting the virtues of corporate sponsors, spinning unrelentingly upbeat stories that distracted the public from looming environmental crisis. The book provides frank talk about allegations of “greenwashing.” The author has interviewed conservationists from the United States and several other countries, who express their concerns about the celebrity lifestyles and decision making by elite conservationists and corporate leaders.
But it not only focuses on the failures. The book also examines environmental-corporate partnerships that are bearing fruit, and reforms that could nurture a truly sustainable capitalism based on the premise that protecting natural resources can be good for both the environment and the profit margin.
Author: Christine Catherine MacDonald
Renewable energy guru Brian F. Keane walks you through the cost-benefit trade-offs that come with the exciting new technologies and introduces you to the revolutionary clean-energy products on the horizon, making the ins and outs of renewable energy easily accessible. He shows what you can do on every level to seize the opportunity and profit from it.
Author: Brian F. Keane
For many people, the word “industry” brings to mind images of sprawling factories belching toxic emissions in a blighted natural landscape. “Industrial” has become synonymous with pollution, human rights abuse, and corporate greed. In Industrial Evolution, Lyle Estill seeks to reclaim the term, with its original connotations of hard work, diligence and productivity, and to show how community-scale enterprise can create a vibrant, sustainable local economy. Industrial Evolution is a story of survival. It is about how the small group of committed entrepreneurs introduced in Small is Possible managed to keep their dream alive and thriving through the economic recession, emerging with a model of what a sustainable local economy might look like in a post carbon future. Compulsively readable and seasoned with light humor, this grassroots account demonstrates that ecological stewardship and enterprise at an appropriate scale can lay the foundation for abundance.
Industrial Evolution skips the doom and gloom and is all about solutions. By showing that it is possible to take the big out of industry, this book motivates people to work together in a meaningful way. Filled with inspirational tales of success, failure, perseverance, and real world experiences that anyone can relate to, Industrial Evolution is a must-read for activists, organizers, politicians, and anyone who cares about resilient communities.
Author: Lyle Estill
Richard Manning was raised on a piece of farmland in Michigan, in a working-class family of Christian fundamentalists. Manning's father was a jack-of-many-trades: farmer, carpenter, builder, power lineman, factory worker, small businessman. His mother concealed her own troubled childhood beneath a religious faith that explained away uncertainty, illness, and tragedy.
Manning grew up learning how to work and what to believe … but came to understand his family's seemingly normal facade as a mask for troubling secrets. It Runs in the Family is the story of Manning's journey away from his family, one that ranges from their Michigan farm to the fire-ravaged wilderness of Montana, and finally to a remote village in Panama, where he comes to pursue a past he had vowed to leave behind. Linking his own life with the larger story of his family, the land they inhabited, and the right-wing fundamentalist politics gaining ground in America, Richard Manning offers a singular memoir.
Author: Richard Manning
We all know the proverb about teaching someone to fish, but if there are no fish left, knowing how to catch them won’t do you any good. And that’s the position businesses are in today. Resources are being depleted at an alarming rate. The cost of raw materials is rising dramatically. We are, simply put, running out of things to take and places to trash.
To survive in the long term, says Nadya Zhexembayeva, businesses need to make resource scarcity—the overfished ocean—their primary strategic consideration, not just a concern for their “green” division. Those managers who deeply understand and master this shift will be able to turn the new reality into a remarkable competitive advantage.
Overfished Ocean Strategy offers five essential principles for innovating in this new reality. Zhexembayeva shows how businesses have been finding new opportunities in what were once considered useless byproducts, discovering resource-conserving efficiencies up and down their value chain, transferring their expertise from physical products to services, and developing ways to rapidly try out and refine these new business models. A business owner herself, Zhexembayeva fills the book with examples of companies that are already successfully navigating the overfished ocean, from established corporations such as BMW, Microsoft and Puma to newcomers such as Lush, FLOOW2 and Sourcemap.
The linear, throwaway economy of today—in which we extract resources at one end, create products, and throw them away at the other—is rapidly coming to an end. A new economy is being born, one that takes this line and turns it into a circle. In every industry, creative minds are learning how to make money from reducing rather than expanding. Zhexembayeva shows how you can join them and avoid being left high and dry.
Author: Nadya Zhexembayeva
Concerns over climate change and energy depletion are increasing exponentially. Mainstream solutions still assume a panacea that will cure our climate ills without requiring any serious modification to our way of life.
Plan C explores the risks inherent in trying to continue our energy-intensive lifestyle. Using dirtier fossil fuels (Plan A) or switching to renewable energy sources (Plan B) allows people to remain complacent in the face of a potential global catastrophe. Dramatic lifestyle change is the only way to begin to create a sustainable, equitable world. The converging crises of Peak Oil, Climate Change and increasing inequity are presented in a clear, concise manner, as are the twin solutions of community (where cooperation replaces competition) and curtailment (deliberately reducing consumption of consumer goods).
Plan C shows how each person's individual choices can dramatically reduce CO2 emissions. It offers specific strategies in the areas of food, transportation and housing. One chapter analyzes the decimation of the Cuban economy when the USSR stopped oil exports in 1990 and provides an inspiring vision for a low energy way of living.
Plan C is an indispensable resource for anyone interested in living a lower-energy, saner and sustainable lifestyle.
Author: PAT MURPHY
Plastic is everywhere we look. Our computers and children's toys are made out of it, and our water and slices of American cheese are packaged in it. But why is there so much and what is it doing to our bodies? Is it possible to use less plastic and be happier and healthier?
In Plastic Purge, ecologist Michael SanClements has put together the most up-to-date and scientifically backed information available to explain how plastics release toxins into your body and the effect they have on your health (and that of your children). Both approachable and engaging, Plastic Purge provides easy-to-follow advice for how to use less plastic, thereby reaping the benefits such as eating a healthier diet and living with less clutter. Dividing plastics into three separate categories, SanClements shows you how to embrace the good (items such as your phone or medical equipment), avoid the bad (food storage containers and toys that contain toxic chemicals), and use less of the ugly (single-use plastic that's just plain wasteful).
With the help of Michael SanClements’s Plastic Purge, you and your family will develop easy habits to live healthier and happier lives.
Author: Michael SanClements
Full of exercises, thinking tools, and inspiring examples from around the world, Take Back the Economy shows how people can implement small-scale changes in their own lives to create ethical economies.
Author: Gibson-Graham, Cameron, Healy