- Embedded Sustainability: The Next Big Competitive Advantage
- Cradle to Cradle
- Green to Gold
- Confessions of a Radical Industrialist
- Necessary Revolution
- Hot, Flat, and Crowded
- When the Rivers Run Dry
- Mid-Course Correction
- The Sustainability Revolution
- Energy Systems Engineering
What makes a good gift for someone into green and sustainability? Here are our favorites.
#1 - Embedded Sustainability: The Next Big Competitive Advantage (Chris Laszlo, Nadva Zhexembayeva)
We are in the midst of a sea-change. In years past, corporate social responsibility may have been seen as a feather in a corporation’s cap but, today, ecological and social pressures require a new type of business response. In Embedded Sustainability, authors Chris Laszlo and Nadya Zhexembayeva convincingly show how companies can better leverage global challenges for enduring profit and growth.
This book helps readers to comprehend—and act on—the notion of embedded sustainability, explaining why it is now a requisite in every sector, how smart companies are creating even higher value for their customers and investors, and what new management competencies are needed to compete in today’s marketplace.
#2 - Cradle to Cradle: Remaking the Way We Make Things (William McDonough and Michael Braungart)
Paper or plastic? Neither, say William McDonough and Michael Braungart. Why settle for the least harmful alternative when we could have something that is better–say, edible grocery bags! In Cradle to Cradle, the authors present a manifesto calling for a new industrial revolution, one that would render both traditional manufacturing and traditional environmentalism obsolete. Recycling, for instance, is actually “downcycling,” creating hybrids of biological and technical “nutrients” which are then unrecoverable and unusable. The authors, an architect and a chemist, want to eliminate the concept of waste altogether, while preserving commerce and allowing for human nature. They offer several compelling examples of corporations that are not just doing less harm–they’re actually doing some good for the environment and their neighborhoods, and making more money in the process. Cradle to Cradle is a refreshing change from the intractable environmental conflicts that dominate headlines. It’s a handbook for 21st-century innovation and should be required reading for business hotshots and environmental activists. –Therese Littleton
#3 - Green to Gold: How Smart Companies Use Environmental Strategy to Innovate, Create Value, and Build Competitive Advantage (Daniel Esty & Andrew Winston)
“Two experts from Yale tackle the business wake-up-call du jour-environmental responsibility-from every angle in this thorough, earnest guidebook: pragmatically, passionately, financially and historically. Though “no company the authors know of is on a truly long-term sustainable course,” Esty and Winston label the forward-thinking, green-friendly (or at least green-acquainted) companies WaveMakers and set out to assess honestly their path toward environmental responsibility, and its impact on a company’s bottom line, customers, suppliers and reputation.
Following the evolution of business attitudes toward environmental concerns, Esty and Winston offer a series of fascinating plays by corporations such as Wal-Mart, GE and Chiquita (Banana), the bad guys who made good, and the good guys-watchdogs and industry associations, mostly-working behind the scenes. A vast number of topics huddle beneath the umbrella of threats to the earth, and many get a thorough analysis here: from global warming to electronic waste “take-back” legislation to subsidizing sustainable seafood. For the responsible business leader, this volume provides plenty of (organic) food for thought. ”
#4 - Confessions of a Radical Industrialist (Ray Anderson)
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.
#5 - Necessary Revolution (Peter Senge)
Imagine a world in which the excess energy from one business would be used to heat another. Where buildings need less and less energy around the world, and where “regenerative” commercial buildings – ones that create more energy than they use – are being designed. A world in which environmentally sound products and processes would be more cost-effective than wasteful ones. A world in which corporations such as Costco, Nike, BP, and countless others are forming partnerships with environmental and social justice organizations to ensure better stewardship of the earth and better livelihoods in the developing world. Now, stop imagining – that world is already emerging.
A revolution is underway in today’s organizations. As Peter Senge and his co-authors reveal in The Necessary Revolution, companies around the world are boldly leading the change from dead-end “business as usual” tactics to transformative strategies that are essential for creating a flourishing, sustainable world. There is a long way to go, but the era of denial has ended. Today’s most innovative leaders are recognizing that for the sake of our companies and our world, we must implement revolutionary—not just incremental—changes in the way we live and work.
Brimming with inspiring stories from individuals and organizations tackling social and environmental problems around the globe, THE NECESSARY REVOLUTION reveals how ordinary people at every level are transforming their businesses and communities. By working collaboratively across boundaries, they are exploring and putting into place unprecedented solutions that move beyond just being “less bad” to creating pathways that will enable us to flourish in an increasingly interdependent world. Among the stories in these pages are the evolution of Sweden’s “Green Zone,” Alcoa’s water use reduction goals, GE’s ecoimagination initiative, and Seventh Generation’s decision to shift some of their advertising to youth-led social change programs.
At its heart, THE NECESSARY REVOLUTION contains a wealth of strategies that individuals and organizations can use — specific tools and ways of thinking — to help us build the confidence and competence to respond effectively to the greatest challenge of our time. It is an essential guidebook for all of us who recognize the need to act and work together—now—to create a sustainable world, both for ourselves and for the generations to follow.
#6 - Hot, Flat, and Crowded: Why We Need a Green Revolution–and How It Can Renew America (Thomas Friedman)
Thomas L. Friedman’s phenomenal number-one bestsellerThe World Is Flat has helped millions of readers to see the world in a new way. In his brilliant, essential new book, Friedman takes a fresh and provocative look at two of the biggest challenges we face today: America’s surprising loss of focus and national purpose since 9/11; and the global environmental crisis, which is affecting everything from food to fuel to forests. In this groundbreaking account of where we stand now, he shows us how the solutions to these two big problems are linked–how we can restore the world and revive America at the same time.
Friedman explains how global warming, rapidly growing populations, and the astonishing expansion of the world’s middle class through globalization have produced a planet that is “hot, flat, and crowded.” Already the earth is being affected in ways that threaten to make it dangerously unstable. In just a few years, it will be too late to fix things–unless the United States steps up now and takes the lead in a worldwide effort to replace our wasteful, inefficient energy practices with a strategy for clean energy, energy efficiency, and conservation that Friedman calls Code Green.
In vivid, entertaining chapters, Friedman makes it clear that the green revolution we need is like no revolution the world has seen. It will be the biggest innovation project in American history; it will be hard, not easy; and it will change everything from what you put into your car to what you see on your electric bill. But the payoff for America will be more than just cleaner air. It will inspire Americans to something we haven’t seen in a long time–nation-building in America–by summoning the intelligence, creativity, boldness, and concern for the common good that are our nation’s greatest natural resources.
An on-the-ground exploration of the impending world water crisis by a veteran environmental reporter
In this groundbreaking book, veteran science correspondent Fred Pearce travels to more than thirty countries to examine the current state of crucial water sources. Deftly weaving together the complicated scientific, economic, and historic dimensions of the world water crisis, he provides our most complete portrait yet of this growing danger and its ramifications for us all.
“A strong-and scary-case that a worldwide water shortage is the most fearful looming environmental crisis. With a drumbeat of facts both horrific (thousands of wells in India and Bangladesh are poisoned by fluoride and arsenic) and fascinating (it takes 20 tons of water to make one pound of coffee), the former New Scientist news editor documents a ‘kind of cataclysm’ already affecting many of the world’s great rivers.” – Publishers Weekly
“Oil we can replace. Water we can’t-which is why this book is both so ominous and so important.” – Bill McKibben, author of The End of Nature
#8 - Mid-Course Correction (Ray Anderson)
In 1991, Chelsea Green published Beyond the Limits, the revision and updating of The Limits of Growth by Dennis and Donella Meadows, and Jorgen Randers. Their book helped greatly to popularize the phrase “sustainable living.” Over time at Chelsea Green, our publishing program has sought new and delightful ways to apply the principles of sustainable living. This effort has seen new books published on subjects as diverse as flower farming and building houses from straw bales.
For the most part, however, sustainable living is not a valued concept in the business community, where “growth” is narrowly defined as synonymous with money, and is considered by many to be the sole indicator of success. This is the world in which Ray Anderson was reared. After graduating as an industrial engineer from Georgia Tech, where he also played on the football team, he followed a traditional and successful business path, until in 1973 he was bitten by the entrepreneurial bug and founded Interface, Inc., a carpet manufacturing company.
Over the next two decades, Interface grew and prospered, a success by most traditional business indicators of growth-revenues, profits, products, and territories. Ray Anderson, however, found himself growing increasingly uneasy, a discomfort that became focused when he read Paul Hawken’s book The Ecology of Commerce. It became instantly clear to him that the processes of nature must be incorporated into every aspect of his life, including his company.
Mid-Course Correction is the personal story of Ray Anderson’s realization that businesses need to embrace principles of sustainability, and of his efforts, often frustrating, to apply these principles within a billion dollar corporation that is still measured by the standard scorecards of the business world. While the path has proved to have many curves, Interface is demonstrating that the principles of sustainability and financial success can co-exist within a business, and can lead to a new prosperity that includes human dividends as well.
#9 - The Sustainability Revolution: Portrait of a Paradigm Shift (Andres R. Edwards, Forward by David W. Orr)
Sustainability has become a buzzword in the last decade, but its full meaning is complex, emerging from a range of different sectors. In practice, it has become the springboard for millions of individuals throughout the world who are forging the fastest and most profound social transformation of our time – the Sustainability Revolution.
The Sustainability Revolution paints a picture of this largely unrecognized phenomenon from the point of view of five major sectors of society:
- Community (government and international institutions)
- Commerce (business)
- Natural Resources (forestry, farming, fisheries, etc.)
- Ecological Design (architecture, technology)
- Biosphere (conservation, biodiversity, etc.).
The book analyses sustainability as defined by each of these sectors in terms of the principles, declarations and intentions that have emerged from conferences and publications, and which serve as guidelines for policy decisions and future activities. Common themes are then explored, including:
- an emphasis on stewardship
- the need for economic restructuring promoting no waste and equitable distribution
- an understanding and respect for the principles of nature
- the restoration of life forms, and
- an intergenerational perspective on solutions.
Concluding that these themes in turn represent a new set of values that define this paradigm shift, The Sustainability Revolution describes innovative sustainable projects and policies in Colombia, Brazil, India and the Netherlands and examines future trends. Complete with a useful resources list, this is the first book of its kind and will appeal to business and government policy makers, academics, and all interested in sustainability.
#10 - Energy Systems Engineering: Evaluation and Implementation (Francis M. Vanek & Louis D. Albright)
An essential reference for all engineers and students working with energy systems, Energy Systems Engineering presents a systems approach to future energy needs, covering carbon-based, nuclear, and renewable energy sources. This unique guide explores the latest technology within each energy systems area, the benefits and liabilities of each, the challenges posed by changing energy supplies, the negative impacts from energy consumption, especially CO2 emissions, and the ways in which a portfolio of new technologies can address these problems.
Filled with over 200 detailed illustrations and tables, the book examines short-, medium-, and long-term energy options for the remainder of the twenty-first century. For each energy system, the authors provide equations and problems to help practitioners quantify the performance of the technology and better understand its potential. Energy Systems Engineering features:
- A valuable systems approach to energy engineering
- Coverage of all major energy topics_from climate change to wind power
- Both U.S. and global energy perspectives, with international comparisons
- Emphasis on CO2 issues and abatement, including carbon sequestration
- A wealth of equations and problems for each area of energy technology
- Numerous tables and graphs in PowerPoint format for easy presentation
Other Books Receiving Votes
“Green” has finally hit the mainstream. Soccer moms drive Priuses. And the business consultants say it’s easy and profitable. In reality, though, many green-leaning businesses, families, and governments are still fiddling while the planet burns. Why? Because implementing sustainability is brutally difficult. In this witty and contrarian book, Auden Schendler, a sustainable business foot soldier with over a decade’s worth of experience, gives us a peek under the hood of the green movement. The consultants, he argues, are clueless. Fluorescent bulbs might be better for our atmosphere, but what do you say to the boutique hotel owner who thinks they detract from his? We’ll only solve our problems if we’re realistic about the challenge of climate change. In this eye-opening, inspiring book, Schendler illuminates the path.
Ecological Engineering and Ecosystem Restoration (William J. Mitsch, Sven Erik Jørgensen)
Completely updated to keep pace with current technology.
- Provides a firm grounding the fundamentals, theory, and latest techniques.
- Includes completely updated case studies.
This international, interdisciplinary account presents a unified account of ecotechnology–the practice of ecologically sound approaches to engineering. The first section of the book introduces the basic concepts and principles of ecotechnology. The second section of the book comprises case studies of ecological engineering from around the world, including cases from Denmark, China, Japan, the United States, and Canada. Most of the examples are applications of aquatic ecosystems, such as hydrological modification, pollution control, wetland management, and lake, reservoir, and stream restoration. Chapters in the second section follow a common format–a survey of the problem or existing methodologies, a discussion of where and when these methods are ecologically sound, and a case study to illustrate in detail the proper use of the ecological engineering practice. –This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
Bill Wallace’s book is the only “how to” manual in publication on sustainable development engineering. Not only does it define sustainable development from an engineering perspective, but it also provides companies a roadmap for creating a sustainable engineering practice. The book is loaded with examples of how companies and public agencies are adopting the principles of sustainable development and incorporating them into their projects. With hundreds of references and a CD linking the reader to key documents, organizations and software, the book is a tool kit for sustainability practitioners, saving literally thousands of hours of research and analysis.
Socially Responsible Engineering: Justice in Risk Management (Daniel A. Vallero & P. Aarne Vesilind)
The only guide to understanding ethical challenges in engineering projects from both a technical and a social perspective
What does it mean to be a “good” engineer, planner, or design professional in the ethical sense? Technical professionals must make daily decisions which impact upon the quality of life of those who live near the facilities, plants, structures, and thoroughfares they design, and in the cities and communities they plan and build. The questions of where these projects are built, who they are to serve, and how they will affect those who live near them are at the heart of Socially Responsible Engineering. Written from the perspective of the engineer, this new resource from two leading engineering authors is essential to professionals and students who must grapple with how solutions to engineering problems impact the people those solutions are meant to serve.
The first book of its kind to focus on the environmental implications of engineering ethics and justice, Socially Responsible Engineering provides a wealth of tools for evaluating projects from an ethical perspective and properly assessing the inherent risk to communities affected by engineering projects. This thorough book provides a historical and philosophical foundation of environmental justice, as well as:
Ecological Economics: An Introduction (Michael Common & Sigrid Stagl)
Assuming no prior knowledge of economics, this textbook is intended for interdisciplinary environmental science and management courses. The authors, who have written extensively on the economics of sustainability, combine insights from mainstream economics as well as ecological sciences. Part I explores the interdependence of the modern economy and its environment, while Part II focuses mainly on the economy and on economics. Part III reviews how national governments set policy targets and the instruments used to pursue those targets. Part IV examines international trade and institutions, and two major global threats to sustainability – climate change and biodiversity loss.
It became obvious after we began compiling this list that 10 was simply not enough. Here are some additional must-have titles for Sustainability.
The Ultimate Guide to Greening your Home (Anthony Gilbreath)
The Ultimate Guide to Greening your Home is a comprehensive, step-by-step guide on how to green your home. It is perfect for people with home greening experience and for those who are just beginning.
The guide includes information and tips on over 40 different home greening categories. Also included is a Tax and Appliance Rebate guide which will help you identify governmental incentives for green upgrades in your state. Finally, the guide provides you with the ‘Green Checklist’, your personal home greening to-do list.
Begin transforming your home today!
Water For Every Farm: Yeomans Keyline Plan (PA Yeomans)
4th edition of this book since 1993. The first to be published outside Australia.Detailing the principles, techniques and systems for sustainable development of rural and urban landscapes. Keyline methods enable the rapid development of deep biologically fertile soil by converting subsoil into living topsoil. Keyline pattern cultivation enables the rapid flood irrigation of undulating land without terracing. Incidental results are the healing of soil erosion, bio-adsorption of salinity and the long term storage of atmospheric carbon in the soil as humus. The Keyline Scale of Permanence provides a priority guide to planning the various factors of broad scale development. This is a recommended text for Permaculture students. It includes updated selections and information; from P.A. Yeomans’s books:- The Keyline Plan (1954); The Challenge of Landscape (1958); (Water for Every Farm (1964 and 2nd edition 1968) and The City Forest (1971).
PERMACULTURE: A Designers’ Manual (Bill Mollison)
This is the definitive Permaculture design manual in print since 1988. It is the text book and curriculum for the 72-hour Certificate course in Permaculture Design. Written for teachers, students and designers, it follows on and greatly enlarges on the initial introductory texts, Permaculture One (1978) and Permaculture Two (1979) both of which are still in demand over twenty years after publication. Very little of the material found in this book is reproduced from the former texts. It covers design methodologies and strategies for both urban and rural applications describing property design and natural farming techniques.
Natural Capitalism: Creating the Next Industrial Revolution (Amory Lovins)
Hawken (The Ecology of Commerce) and Amory and Hunter Lovins of the Rocky Mountain Institute, an environmental think tank, have put together an ambitious, visionary monster of a book advocating “natural capitalism.” The short answer to the logical question (What is natural capitalism?) is that it is a way of thinking that seeks to apply market principles to all sources of material value, most importantly natural resources. The authors have two related goals: first, to show the vast array of ecologically smart options available to businesses; second, to argue that it is possible for society and industry to adopt them. Hawken and the Lovinses acknowledge such barriers as the high initial costs of some techniques, lack of knowledge of alternatives, entrenched ways of thinking and other cultural factors. In looking at options for transportation (including the development of ultralight, electricity-powered automobiles), energy use, building design, and waste reduction and disposal, the book’s reach is phenomenal. It belongs to the galvanizing tradition of Frances Moore Lapp?’s Diet for a Small Planet and Stewart Brand’s The Whole Earth Catalog. Whether all that the authors have organized and presented so earnestly here can be assimilated and acted on by the people who run the world is open to question. But readers with a capacity for judicious browsing and grazing can surely learn enough in these pages to apply well-reasoned pressure.
Thinking in Systems: A Primer (Donella Meadows)
Starred Review. Just before her death, scientist, farmer and leading environmentalist Meadows (1941-2001) completed an updated, 30th anniversary edition of her influential 1972 environmental call to action, Limits to Growth, as well as a draft of this book, in which she explains the methodology-systems analysis-she used in her ground-breaking work, and how it can be implemented for large-scale and individual problem solving. With humorous and commonplace examples for difficult concepts such as a “reinforcing feedback loop,” (the more one brother pushes, the more the other brother pushes back), negative feedback (as in thermostats), accounting for delayed response (like in maintaining store inventory), Meadows leads readers through the increasingly complex ways that feedback loops operate to create self-organizing systems, in nature (“from viruses to redwood trees”) and human endeavor. Further, Meadows explicates methods for fixing systems that have gone haywire (“The world’s leaders are correctly fixated on economic growth …but they’re pushing with all their might in the wrong direction”). An invaluable companion piece to Limits to Growth, this is also a useful standalone overview of systems-based problem solving, “a simple book about a complex world” graced by the wisdom of a profound thinker committed to “shaping a better future.”
The Post Carbon Reader: Managing the 21st Century’s Sustainability Crises (Richard Heinberg and Daniel Lerch)
In the 20th century, cheap and abundant energy brought previously unimaginable advances in health, wealth, and technology, and fed an explosion in population and consumption. But this growth came at an incredible cost. Climate change, peak oil, freshwater depletion, species extinction, and a host of economic and social problems now challenge us as never before. The Post Carbon Reader features articles by some of the world’s most provocative thinkers on the key drivers shaping this new century, from renewable energy and urban agriculture to social justice and systems resilience. This unprecedented collection takes a hard-nosed look at the interconnected threats of our global sustainability quandary–as well as the most promising responses. The Post Carbon Readeris a valuable resource for policymakers, college classrooms, and concerned citizens.
For the past quarter-century, mainstream architecture has proceeded on the underlying belief that we have the resources to build whatever and as much as we want and that technology can overcome any problems we create for ourselves through our building activities. The serious shortages that now confront us demand a thorough reevaluation of this premise. Carl Stein, nationally recognized for his contributions to the field of sustainable design, connects the impact of individual building design decisions to the global energy and environmental crises. He sets out the argument for sustainability inherent in Modern design, identifying tenets that are intrinsic to contemporary ecological thinking, and he provides the nuts-and-bolts information to assist practitioners and students of architecture, engineering, planning, and environmentalism in specific building-upgrade projects. While not a how-to handbook, Greening Modernism provides quantitative data and describes the environmental benefits from the continued use of the vast inventory of modern buildings, including reduced demand for energy and other finite resources and reduced need for waste processing. Greening Modernism explains the relationships between design and technology in the pre-petroleum, early-petroleum, and late-petroleum eras and goes on to suggest opportunities for architecture in a post-petroleum world.
Blessed Unrest (Paul Hawken)
The New York Times bestselling examination of the worldwide movement for social and environmental change. Paul Hawken has spent more than a decade researching organizations dedicated to restoring the environment and fostering social justice. From billion-dollar nonprofits to single-person dot.causes, these groups collectively comprise the largest movement on earth, a movement that has no name, leader, or location and that has gone largely ignored by politicians and the media.
Blessed Unrest explores the diversity of the movement, its brilliant ideas, innovative strategies, and centuries of hidden history. A culmination of Hawken’s many years of leadership in the environmental and social justice fields, it will inspire all who despair of the world’s fate, and its conclusions will surprise even those within the movement itself.
The Transition Handbook (Rob Hopkins)
In 2008, the best-selling The Transition Handbook suggested a model for a community-led response to peak oil and climate change. Since then, the Transition idea has gone viral across the globe, from Italian villages and Brazilian favelas to universities and London neighborhoods. In contrast to the ever-worsening stream of information about climate change, the economy, and resource depletion, Transition focuses on solutions, on community-scale responses, on meeting new people, and on having fun.
The Transition Companion picks up the story today, drawing on the experience of one of the most fascinating experiments under way in the world. It tells inspiring tales of communities working for a future where local economies are valued and nurtured; where lower energy use is seen as a benefit; and where enterprise, creativity, and the building of resilience have become cornerstones of a new economy.
The first part discusses where we are now in terms of resilience and vulnerability in the face of rising oil prices, climate change, and economic challenge. It presents a vision of the future if we do not address these issues, and how things might change if we start to do so. The book then looks in detail at the process a community in transition goes through, calling on the experience of those who have already embarked on this journey. These examples show how much can be achieved when people harness energy and imagination to create projects that will make their communities more resilient.The Transition Companion combines practical advice–the tools needed to start and maintain a Transition initiative–with numerous inspiring stories from local groups worldwide.
Plan B (Lester Brown)
As fossil fuel prices rise, oil insecurity deepens, and concerns about climate change cast a shadow over the future of coal, a new energy economy is emerging. Wind, solar, and geothermal energy are replacing oil, coal, and natural gas, at a pace and on a scale we could not have imagined even a year ago. For the first time since the Industrial Revolution, we have begun investing in energy sources that can last forever. Plan B 4.0 explores both the nature of this transition to a new energy economy and how it will affect our daily lives.
These Two Masters of Marketing Want to Pass Their Most Powerful Success Strategies on to You! Learn to:
- Slash marketing costs and boost profits by making your business as green and ethical as possible
- Easily turn your customers, suppliers, and even competitors into your unofficial sales force
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- Cut your advertising budget and build revenues using social media, traditional media, and the power of your own brain—even get paid to do your marketing
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Find all this and much more within the covers of Guerrilla Marketing Goes Green—your road map to thrive and prosper as a green, ethical business in tough times and good times.
The Vertical Farm (Dickson Despommier)
“A playbook for companies that want to succeed in a world where integrity and transparency trump slick slogans. This is a gem that should be required reading—not just for so-called green marketers, but for any marketer who wants to succeed in today’s economy, and tomorrow’s.”
When Columbia professor Dickson Despommier set out to solve America’s food, water, and energy crises, he didn’t just think big – he thought up. Despommier’s stroke of genius, The Vertical Farm, has excited scientists, architects, and politicians around the globe. These farms, grown inside skyscrapers, would provide solutions to many of the serious problems we currently face, including: allowing year-round crop production; providing food to areas currently lacking arable land; immunity to weather-related crop failure; re-use of water collected by de-humidification of the indoor environment; new employment opportunities; no use of pesticides, fertilizers, or herbicides; drastically reduced dependence on fossil fuels; no crop loss due to shipping or storage; no agricultural runoff; and, many more. Vertical farming can be located on abandoned city properties, creating new urban revenue streams. They will employ lots of skilled and unskilled labor.
They can be run on wind, solar, tidal, and geothermal energy. They can be used to grow plants for pharmaceutical purposes or for converting gray water back into drinking water. In the tradition of the bestselling The World Without Us, this is a totally original landmark work destined to become a classic. With stunning illustrations and clear and entertaining writing, this book will appeal to anyone concerned about America’s future.
Small is Beautiful (EF Schumacher)
Small is Beautiful is the perfect antidote to the economics of globalization. As relevant today as when it was first published, this is a landmark set of essays on humanistic economics. This 25th anniversary edition brings Schumacher’s ideas into focus for the end-of-the-century by adding commentaries by contemporary thinkers who have been influenced by Schumacher. They analyze the impact of his philosophy on current political and economic thought. Small is Beautiful is the classic of common-sense economics upon which many recent trends in our society are founded. This is economics from the heart rather than from just the bottom line.
Prosperity Without Growth (Tim Jackson)
Is more economic growth the solution? Will it deliver prosperity and well-being for a global population projected to reach nine billion? In this explosive book, Tim Jackson, a top sustainability adviser to the UK government, makes a compelling case against continued economic growth in developed nations.
No one denies that development is essential for poorer nations. But in the advanced economies there is mounting evidence that ever-increasing consumption adds little to human happiness and may even impede it. More urgently, it is now clear that the ecosystems that sustain our economies are collapsing under the impacts of rising consumption. Unless we can radically lower the environmental impact of economic activity – and there is no evidence to suggest that we can – we will have to devise a path to prosperity that does not rely on continued growth.
Economic heresy? Or an opportunity to improve the sources of well-being, creativity and lasting prosperity that lie outside the realm of the market? Tim Jackson provides a credible vision of how human society can flourish within the ecological limits of a finite planet. Fulfilling this vision is simply the most urgent task of our times.
This book is a substantially revised and updated version of Jackson’s controversial study for the Sustainable Development Commission, an advisory body to the UK Government. The study rapidly became the most downloaded report in the Commission’s nine year history when it was launched earlier in 2009.
Sustainable Energy – Without Hot Air (David JC MacKay)
Addressing the sustainable energy crisis in an objective manner, this enlightening book analyzes the relevant numbers and organizes a plan for change on both a personal level and an international scale—for Europe, the United States, and the world. In case study format, this informative reference answers questions surrounding nuclear energy, the potential of sustainable fossil fuels, and the possibilities of sharing renewable power with foreign countries. While underlining the difficulty of minimizing consumption, the tone remains positive as it debunks misinformation and clearly explains the calculations of expenditure per person to encourage people to make individual changes that will benefit the world at large.
Imagine fuel without fear. No climate change. No oil spills, no dead coalminers, no dirty air, no devastated lands, no lost wildlife. No energy poverty. No oil-fed wars, tyrannies, or terrorists. No leaking nuclear wastes or spreading nuclear weapons. Nothing to run out. Nothing to cut off. Nothing to worry about. Just energy abundance, benign and affordable, for all, forever.
That richer, fairer, cooler, safer world is possible, practical, even profitable-because saving and replacing fossil fuels now works better and costs no more than buying and burning them. Reinventing Fire shows how business-motivated by profit, supported by civil society, sped by smart policy-can get the US completely off oil and coal by 2050, and later beyond natural gas as well.
Authored by a world leader on energy and innovation, the book maps a robust path for integrating real, here-and-now, comprehensive energy solutions in four industries-transportation, buildings, electricity, and manufacturing-melding radically efficient energy use with reliable, secure, renewable energy supplies.
Popular in tone and rooted in applied hope, Reinventing Fire shows how smart businesses are creating a potent, global, market-driven, and explosively growing movement to defossilize fuels. It points readers to trillions in savings over the next 40 years, and trillions more in new business opportunities.
Whether you care most about national security, or jobs and competitive advantage, or climate and environment, this major contribution by world leaders in energy innovation offers startling innovations will support your values, inspire your support, and transform your sense of possibility.
Pragmatic citizens today are more interested in outcomes than motives. Reinventing Fire answers this trans-ideological call. Whether you care most about national security, or jobs and competitive advantage, or climate and environment, its startling innovations will support your values, inspire your support, and transform your sense of possibility.