03 September, 2009

As if the World Matters

This is a very short selection of books dealing with the environmental and social issues of our time.

Plan B 3.0: mobilizing to Save civilization

This book by Lester Brown's shows how the earth's systems work, the ills they are suffering, and how they are all interconnected.

The author is very good about supporting his assertions—both on the problem side and the solution side—with plenty of numbers and statistics. Better still, he always puts things in context. For example, a population growth rate of 3% in an impoverished country does not sound extraordinary to us, until Brown points out that 3% annual growth means the population will increase almost twenty-fold in a century. Indeed, the facts, figures, and logic of Plan B 3.0 is not easy to dismiss, for environmental skeptics or anyone else.

As the name suggests, Plan B 3.0 is a third edition which is refreshed with new data and a new sense of urgency as the world's crises accelerate their convergence on civilization. It's a must read for anyone who wants to understand what we face and who wants to be part of the solutions.

Capitalism as if the World Matters

A very interesting read by Jonathon Porritt, a leading eco-warrior of our time. This book puts forward a powerful argument that the only way to save the planet from environmental catastrophe is to embrace a new type of capitalism, and to do it quickly.

Peak Everything: waking Up to a Century of Decline in Earth's Resources

Written by the author of The Party's Over: Oil, War & and the Fate of Industrial Societies and Powerdown: Options and Actions for a Post-Carbon world

This book deals with how we might make the transition from the Age of Excess to the Era of Modesty.