The Green Reader: Essays Toward a Sustainable Society

The Green Reader: Essays Toward a Sustainable Society

The Green Reader: Essays Toward a Sustainable SocietyAuthor(s): Andrew Dobson (Editor)

Publisher: Mercury House

Paperback: 296 pages

ISBN: 1562790102

ISBN-13: 978-1562790103

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Green politicians and theoreticians argue that current, piecemeal responses to the environmental crisis now facing the world will not work. What is needed, they say, is a fundamental overhauling of the system and a new paradigm for viewing humankind’s place in the world. This book is an attempt to form such a worldview by extracting selections from dozens of previously published books and essays. Excerpted are authors such as Kirkpatrick Sale, E.F. Schumacher, Edward Abbey, and Rachel Carson. Each essay is short; most are two to five pages. By arranging the book into five sections (The Green Critique, The Green Society, Green Economics, Green Politics, and Green Philosophy), editor Dobson shows the Green movement to be more than environmentalism. For readers wishing an overview of Green thought, this book is an excellent starting point.

Beyond Growth: The Economics of Sustainable Development

Beyond Growth: The Economics of Sustainable Development

Beyond Growth: The Economics of Sustainable DevelopmentAuthor(s): Herman E. Daly

Publisher: Beacon Press

ISBN: 0807047082

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Named one of a hundred “visionaries who could change your life” by the Utne Reader, Herman Daly has probably been the most prominent advocate of the need for a change in economic thinking in response to environmental crisis. An iconoclast economis t who has worked as a renegade insider at the World Bank in recent years, Daly has argued for overturning some basic economic assumptions. He has won a wide and growing reputation among a wide array of environmentalists, inside and outside the academy.

In a book that will generate controversy, Daly turns his attention to the major environmental debate surrounding “sustainable development.” Daly argues that the idea of sustainable development–which has become a catchword of environmentalism and international finance–is being used in ways that are vacuous, certainly wrong, and probably dangerous. The necessary solutions turn out to be muc h more radical than people suppose.

This is a crucial updating of a major economist’s work, and mandatory reading for people engaged in the debates about the environment.


Daly is turning economics inside out by putting the earth and its diminishing natural resources at the center of the field . . . a kind of reverse Copernican revolution in economics. –Utne Reader

“Considered by most to be the dean of ecological economics, Herman E. Daly elegantly topples many shibboleths in Beyond Growth. Daly challenges the conventional notion that growth is always good, and he bucks environmentalist orthodoxy, arguing that the current focus on ‘sustainable development’ is misguided and that the phrase itself has become meaningless.” –Mother Jones

“In Beyond Growth, . . . [Daly] derides the concept of ‘sustainable growth’ as an oxymoron. . . . Calling Mr. Daly ‘an unsung hero,’ Robert Goodland, the World Bank’s top environmental adviser, says, ‘He has been a voice crying in the wilderness.'” –G. Pascal Zachary, The Wall Street Journal

“A new book by that most far-seeing and heretical of economists, Herman Daly. For 25 years now, Daly has been thinking through a new economics that accounts for the wealth of nature, the value of community and the necessity for morality.” –Donella H. Meadows, Los Angeles Times

“For clarity of vision and ecological wisdom Herman Daly has no peer among contemporary economists. . . . Beyond Growth is essential reading.” –David W. Orr, Oberlin College

“There is no more basic ethical question than the one Herman Daly is asking.” –Hal Kahn, The San Jose Mercury News

“Daly’s critiques of economic orthodoxy . . . deliver a powerful and much-needed jolt to conventional thinking.” –Karen Pennar, Business Week

About the Author

Named one of a hundred “visionaries who could change your life” by the Utne Reader, Herman Daly is the recipient of many awards, including a Grawemeyer Award, the Heineken Prize for environmental science, and the “Alternative Nobel Prize,” the Right Livelihood Award. He is professor at the University of Maryland’s School of Public Affairs, and coauthor with John Cobb, Jr., of For the Common Good.

Table of Contents
Introduction: The Shape of Current Thought on Sustainable Development
Ch. 1. Moving to a Steady-State Economy
Ch. 2. Elements of Environmental Macroeconomics
Ch. 3. Consumption: Value Added, Physical Transformation,and Welfare
Ch. 4. Operationalizing Sustainable Development by Investing in Natural Capital
Ch. 5. Fostering Environmentally Sustainable Development: Four Parting Suggestions for the World Bank
Ch. 6. Toward a Measure of Sustainable Net National Product
Ch. 7. On Sustainable Development and National Accounts
Ch. 8. Carrying Capacity as a Tool of Development Policy: The Ecuadoran Amazon and the Paraguayan Chaco
Ch. 9. Marx and Malthus in Northeast Brazil: A Note on the World’s Largest Class Difference in Fertility and Its Recent Trends
Ch. 10. Free Trade and Globalization vs. Environment andCommunity
Ch. 11. From Adjustment to Sustainable Development: The Obstacle of Free Trade
Ch. 12. The Economic Thought of Frederick Soddy
Ch. 13. On Nicholas Georgescu-Roegen’s Contributions to Economics: An Obituary Essay
Ch. 14. A Biblical Economic Principle and the Sustainable Economy
Ch. 15. Sustainable Development: From Religious Insight to Ethical Principle to Public Policy
References Cited in Text

For The Common Good: Redirecting the Economy toward Community, the Environment, and a Sustainable Future

For the Common Good: Redirecting the Economy Toward Community, the Environment, and a Sustainable Future

For The Common Good: Redirecting the Economy toward Community, the Environment, and a Sustainable FutureAuthor(s): Herman E. Daly, John B., Jr. Cobb

Publisher: Beacon Press

Paperback: 534 pages

ISBN: 0807047058

ISBN-13: 978-0807047057

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2nd Edition
Publication date: April 1994

Booknews, Inc. , 04/01/90: Daly (economist, the World Bank) and Cobb (philosophy, Claremont Graduate School) expose the outmoded abstractions of mainstream economic theory. They conclude, in particular, that economic growth–the prevailing yardstick for measuring economic success–is no longer an appropriate goal as energy consumption, overpopulation, and pollution increase. Instead, they propose a new measure for the economy–the Index of Sustainable Economic Welfare. Annotation copyright Book News, Inc. Portland, Or.

Table of Contents
Pt. 1. Economics as an Academic Discipline
1. The Fallacy of Misplaced Concreteness in Economics and Other Disciplines
2. Misplaced Concreteness: The Market
3. Misplaced Concreteness: Measuring Economic Success
4. Misplaced Concreteness: Homo economicus
5. Misplaced Concreteness: Land
Pt. 2. New Beginnings
6. From Academic Discipline to Thought in Service of Community
7. From Chrematistics to Oikonomia
8. From Individualism to Person-in-Community
9. From Cosmopolitanism to Communities of Communities
10. From Matter and Rent to Energy and Biosphere
Pt. 3. Policies for Community in the United States
11. Free Trade versus Community
12. Population
13. Land Use
14. Agriculture
15. Industry
16. Labor
17. Income Policies and Taxes
18. From World Domination to National Security
Pt. 4. Getting There
19. Possible Steps
20. The Religious Vision
Afterword: Money, Debt, and Wealth
Appendix: The Index of Sustainable Economic Welfare

Turning Away from Technology: A New Vision for the 21st Century

Turning Away from Technology: A New Vision for the 21st Century

Turning Away from Technology: A New Vision for the 21st CenturyAuthor(s): Stephanie Mills (Editor), Theodore Roszak

Publisher: Sierra Club Books

Paperback: 320 pages

ISBN: 0871569531

ISBN-13: 978-0871569530

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What is the real impact of technology on our cultural and political lives? Are the proponents of megatechnology and the global economy correct to assume that there will always be newer be newer technological solutions to all the world’s problems? Fifty visionary environmentalists, scientists, scholars, and social critics grapple with these questions and expose the links between the character of megatechnology and the social and ecological crises of our time.

Stephanie Mills presents the ideas and opinions of many of the world’s most important critics of biotechnology, free trade, corporate colonialism, the proliferation of military technologies, and technological means of social control in a fascinating and lively survey of the proceedings of two historic conferences. Refusing to offer superficial solutions to our current environmental and social problems, participants from Europe, North America, and Asia maintain that technology is never neutral, but that the totality of a given technology’s effects, not just its intended benefits must be taken into account. Turning Away From Technology is an invaluable conceptual tool because it offers a probing analysis of the big technological picture and describes a realistic, humane, and sustainable future.

Contributors: Frederique Apffel-Marglin, Wendell Berry, Paul Blau, Chet, Bowers, Beth Burrows, Fritjof, Capra, Clifford Cobb, Martha Crouch, John Davis, Richard Douthwaite, Gustavo Esteva, Per Gahrton, Chellis Glendinming, Edward Goldsmith, Susan Griffin, Elisabet Hermodsson, Sandy Irvine, Martin Khor, Andrew Kimbrell, David Korten, Satish Kumar, Sigmund Kvaloy, John Lane, Jerry Mander, Andrew McLaughlin, Ralph Metzner, Maria Mies, Stephanie Mills, John Mohawk, Ashis Nandy, Helena Norberg-Hodge, Godfrey Reggio, Jeremy Rifkin, Kirkpatrick Sale, Michiel Schwarz, Richard Sclove, George Sessions, Vandana Shiva, Sulak Sivaraksa, Charlene Spretnak, David Suzuki, Doug Tompkins, and Lamgdon Winner.

Stephanie Mills is the author of In Praise of Nature, In Service of the Wild and Whatever Happened to Ecology? Her articles have appeared in the Utne Reader, E Magazine, Whole Earth Review, and Raise the Stakes. She lives near Maple City, Michigan.

Cradle to Cradle: Remaking the Way We Make Things

Cradle to Cradle: Remaking the Way We Make Things

Cradle to Cradle: Remaking the Way We Make Things

Author(s): William McDonough, Michael Braungart

Publisher: North Point Press; 1st edition (April 22, 2002)

Paperback: 208 pages

ISBN: 0865475873

ISBN-13: 978-0865475878

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From 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 208 pages

Green Plans: Greenprint for Sustainability (Our Sustainable Future)

Green Plans: Greenprint for Sustainability (Our Sustainable Future)

Green Plans: Greenprint for Sustainability (Our Sustainable Future)Author(s): Huey D. Johnson, David R. Brower

Publisher: University of Nebraska Press (December 28, 1996)

Paperback: 210 pages

ISBN: 080327596X

ISBN-13: 978-0803275966

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Green Plans are the most effective strategies yet developed for moving from industrial environmental deterioration to postindustrial sustainability. Huey D. Johnson provides the first detailed and understandable examination of the theory, implementation, and performance of green plans in the Netherlands, Canada, and New Zealand. Plans being considered in Norway, Sweden, Denmark, Austria, the United Kingdom, Germany, Singapore, and the European Community are also discussed. Green plans will serve future generations as models of creative collaboration between government and business.


Green Plans examines strategies utilized in several countries for dealing with sustainable development. ”Green Plans” are comprehensive schemes requiring extensive dedication and a large-scale integrated commitment by government. Johnson maintains that America”s approach to environmental problems has usually involved a narrow focus on individual issues that sometimes comes too late, whereas comprehensive and integrated green plans involve all of society. . . . This is not another ”doom and gloom” depiction of the environment with extensive fingerpointing at industry, but is instead a balanced, well-written argument for a mutually beneficial plan for enabling sustainable development while protecting environmental quality.”—Choice

(Choice )

“In this plainly written manual, Johnson . . . offers green planning (developing comprehensive and integrated plans to protect and sustain the environment) as a practical alternative to the hopelessness and sporadic reaction to single issues with which we face continuing environmental degradation. . . . Johnson argues that green plans work because, unlike laws or regulations that address specific issues, they provide a framework, goals, and priorities for long-term sustainable resource management.”—Library Journal

(Library Journal )

“This book is quite informative. It would be useful for anyone seeking (detailed) knowledge about designing a ”greenprint for sustainability.” The more technical emphasis, in combination with a case-study approach, make it quite suitable for public officials, such as environmental planners/managers, and for beginning students of environmental policy. . . . As one of the first books to deal with the development, implementation, and performance of green plans, this is certainly a welcome addition to the literature relating to the operationalisation and implementation of the concept of sustainability.”—Environmental Politics

(Environmental Politics )

“Green plans can solve environmental problems for the world, the nation, businesses, labor, environmentalists, future generations—for everyone. They show what planning can and should be, and rescue the concept of planning from the scrapheap of history. Green plans are comprehensive, integrated, and large-scale—three traits that are key to solving environmental problems. . . . [This book is] clearly-written and important.”—Future Survey

(Future Survey )

“Green plans are comprehensive, integrated and large-scale national environmental strategies. H. J. Johnson shows us what Green Plans are and what they are not. His examples of pioneering countries, The Netherlands, New Zealand and Canada are very convincing. He shows how those very different countries have developed innovative Green Plans, how they translated the concept of sustainability in practical strategies and action plans. His personal experience, as head of California”s Resources Agency, from 1977 to 1982, in developing a comprehensive resource strategy, called Investing For Prosperity (IFP) gave him a basic understanding of Green Plans. He gives us a very good overall view of Green Plans, their ingredients for success, their principles and techniques and the new relationship needed between government and business. His clear vision for the United States should be read by all politicians and concerned citizens. It is still very actual. Of the many books published in environmental protection and sustainable development, this book should be on all bookshelves. And it is a real pleasure to read.”—Julius de Heer, ECOSCAN sa, Lausanne, Switzerland

(Julius de Heer ECOSCAN )

“As we strive to implement sustainable development, we must share experience of how green plans can work, as Huey D. Johnson has done here. Green Plans is a necessary book that many of us need to read.”—Gro Harlem Brundtland, Prime Minister of Norway

(Gro Harlem Brundtland )

“Persuasive and urgent.”—RECIEL: Review of European Community and International Environmental Law

(RECIEL ) –This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

About the Author

Huey D. Johnson is founder and president of the Resource Renewal Institute in San Francisco. David R. Brower, the first executive director of the Sierra Club and cofounder of Friends of the Earth, is the author of numerous books including For Earth’s Sake.

Table of Contents
List of Illustrations
Foreword By David R. Brower
1. A Commitment to Change
2. Sustainability from Theory to Practice
3. A Green Plan Predecessor: California’s IFP Program
4. The Netherlands: Each Generation Cleans Up
5. New Zealand Starts from Scratch
6. Canada’s Green Plan: Making Virtue of Necessity
7. On the Green Plan Path
8. Broadening the Scope of Resource Management: Principles and Techniques
9. A New Relationship between Government and Business
10. Building a Political and Social Base for Change
11. A Greenprint for the United States

Earth in the Balance: Ecology and the Human Spirit

Earth in the Balance: Ecology and the Human Spirit

Earth in the Balance: Ecology and the Human SpiritAuthor(s): Al Gore

Publisher: Plume (January 1, 1993)

Paperback: 432 pages

ISBN: 0452269350

ISBN-13: 978-0452269354

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Global warming. The deteriorating ozone layer. The rapid destruction of the world’s rain forests. Rising carbon dioxide levels. This bestselling work on our planet’s environmental crisis gives a shocking account of just how serious all of these problems have become. New foreword by the author. Illustrations and photos. (Environmental Issues) Synopsis A passionate defender of the environment for more than 20 years, Senator Al Gore from Tennessee is now convinced that the engines of human civilization have brought us to the brink of catastrophe. In this brave work, he argues that only a radical rethinking of our relationship with nature can save the earth for future generations.

Green Dreams: Travels in Central America

Green Dreams: Travels in Central America

Green Dreams: Travels in Central AmericaAuthor(s): Stephen Benz

Publisher: Lonely Planet

Paperback: 280 pages

ISBN: 0864425236

ISBN-13: 978-0864425232

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It’s hard to imagine that newspaper editors turned down the submissions Stephen Benz filed from Peru in 1984 in his quest to become a foreign stringer, but their loss is our gain, because those disappointments set Benz on the ecotrail through Central America that resulted in this fair-minded, observant, timely, and beautifully written book. Central America is a complex place, with as many issues and viewpoints as plant, bird, and insect species. Head to the jungle and the scenery is breathtaking, but the politics are hairy. How do tourist dollars impact oppressed Indian groups? Is accepting a stork dinner exhibiting sensitivity to indigenous cultures or exploiting the wildlife? Is it true that the only hike worth taking is the one that’s excruciatingly difficult and preferably life threatening? Benz has a keen eye, a fine wit, an endearing candor, and a laudable willingness to listen to the opinions of all the individuals and factions involved. He reports with a facility that belies the difficulty of the task, covering the views of students and local businesspeople, backpackers and tour guides, holier-than-thou sorts and oblivious vacationers, landowners and Mayan activists. Benz portrays with great style a beautiful land, a profusion of conflicts, and an amusing assortment of adventures in a book that’s as valuable to read as it is entertaining and enjoyable. –Stephanie Gold

Investigating the “green dreams” – those well-intentioned but often misguided visions – that inspire tourism in Central America, Steve Benz travels from the Mosquito Coast to Costa Rica and along the Ruta Maya. His encounters with foreigners, including “New Agers” at Mayan ruins, North American retirees in Costa Rica, and eco-tourists in the rainforest, lead him to question the impact that visitors are having on the region and its people.