Sustainability Era Books
The Ecology of Commerce: A Declaration of Sustainability by Paul Hawken, 1993
Hawken describes a complete systematic reorganization of the way business is done in order to make it more sustainable and ecologically compatible as crucial for continued progression. Hawken coins the term, “restorative economy” as his vision for the way to proceed. This type of economy redefines the role of business as a way to make money to now mean a way to increase the well being of humankind. He imagines a type of business that restores the environment, while at the same time moving forward with new innovations and advancements that benefit the greater population.
The Heat Is On: The Climate Crisis, The Cover- up, The Prescription by Ross Gelbspan, 1997
A highly contested book, The Heat is On examines global warming from a scientific and political viewpoint. Gelbspan places the blame for the avoidance of dealing with climate change on big coal, big oil and conservative politicians. Gelbspan’s message is one of urgency as he realizes the dangers of global warming.
Guns, Germs, and Steel: The Fates of Human Societies by Jared Diamond, 1997
Guns, Germs, and Steel traces larger trends throughout human history to explain the differing developments of human societies on different continents. The root of the disparities between populations of human societies originated with differences in the environment and geography where those cultures developed. The earlier societies could teach themselves to domesticate plants and animals, the sooner they concentrated on developing medicines, building governing bodies and making other advancements to build a stronger, more sustainable way of life.
The Great New Wilderness Debate edited by J. Baird Callicott and Michael P. Nelson, 1998
A collection of essays from some of the most influential people in the modern environmental movement, The Great New Wilderness Debate offers a rounded view of the changing thoughts and ideas of the movement. This collection showcases essays from Ralph Waldo Emerson, John Muir and Aldo Leopold among others to present the ideas and thoughts of the period of the emergence of the conservation movement. Juxtaposed with essays from environmental historians and philosophers writing in the present, this collection places the ideas of these earlier figures in context, as well as examines the state of the movement in contemporary society.
Something New Under the Sun by J.R. McNeill, 2001
McNeil looks back through history and mankind’s relationship with the environment to explain where society is today and the present environmental predicaments. Combining anecdotes, graphs, data and analysis, Something New under the Sun explains current environmental conditions as a result of the past. McNeill looks at the environment through a historical lens to understand the present state of the biosphere.
Cradle to Cradle: Remaking the Way We Make Things by Bill McDonough and Michael Braungart, 2002
Cradle to Cradle is a call for a new Industrial Revolution based on efficient and sustainable materials and methods. McDonough and Braungarrt realize the potential available for developing industry based with the new and expanding scope of technologies available. This book argues that continued environmental and industrial growth are not mutually exclusive and can benefit from each other if used appropriately. Combining social history, green business ideas and design ideas to explain the possibilities for innovation in the economic environment.
Boiling Point: How Politicians, Big Oil and Coal, Journalists, and Activists Have Fueled a Climate Crisis--And What We Can Do to Avert Disaster by Ross Gelbspan, 2004
In Boiling Point, Gelbspan broadens his list of those who are to blame for global warming to include activists and journalists. A retired journalist himself, Gelbspan argues that this important issue demands complete focus and direct action passivity is not accepted. A stark dose of reality, his ideas are augmented with proposals on how to move forward. The World Energy Modernization Plan suggests switching subsidies from fossil fuels to non- carbon alternatives, funding clean energy investment through taxes on currency transactions and improving fuel efficiency standards for national economies.
Collapse: How Societies Choose to Fail or Succeed by Jared Diamond, 2005
In Diamonds follow up to Guns, Germs, and Steel, he plunges into the collapse of some of the great civilizations in history. Looking back through history at specific examples, some civilizations succeed and others fail dependent on their use of resources, their relationship to the environment and their rate of reproduction. While rooted in the past, this book also puts contemporary societies into focus as it asks questions about our own sustainability and longevity.
Plan B 2.0: Rescuing a Planet under Stress and a Civilization in Trouble by Lester Brown, 2006
Recognizing that economy driven society as it stands today is unsustainable and on a path towards economic decline, the founder of Earth Policy Institute lays out the immediate problems we are facing. Citing deforestation, climate change, eroding topsoil, oil and water shortages and declining groundwater, Brown then goes on to explain how these problems can be solved with existing technology. Brown’s Plan B 2.0 pushes the importance of investing in sustainable agriculture, wildlife and resource conservation, renewable energy efficient transportation and recycling. He also speaks about renewable energy, recognizing wind power as the best possible solution. Plan B 2.0 has a hopeful message as it offers answers to the world’ problems and gives examples of where they are starting to be implemented.