Author(s): Mathis Wackernagel, William Rees, Phil Testemale (Illustrator)
Publisher: New Society Publishers
Order From: Amazon.com
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Publication date: July 1, 1998
Reducing Human Impact on Earth; down to earth concepts and simple math…a great resource!
from Masai, Johor, Malaysia, 09/07/97, rating=8:
Thought provoking, jolts one from the rat race… I stumbled upon this book in the journal D&G, at a time I was thinking hard about the direction of the civilization. So I ordered one. It was an unassuming book, neatly printed and illustrated with black and white caricatures. At first I thought it was a mistake to order such a book. But as I read on, the insights of the authors emerged, so profound, yet so simply explained. Really, after swallowing all the contents for five consecutive nights, one will ask, How come I did not think of this??. The concept is vivid : it tried to explain what the ecological footprint means : how much of land is required to support yourself. And it turned out that there is already not enough for the world. Further proliferation of current lifestyles is suicidal. The authors devoted a whole long chapter on proposals of alternative lifestyles. These are nowhere hardcore technical, rest assured. They are blindingly simple, and yet hard to swallow. Just ask any Tom, Dick and Harry whether he or she wants such a life, you will get an awkward stare : are you in your right mind? The authors may be right, but when we have gone so far astray, we have forgotten the road from which we come. This book cannot score 10 points, though. The examples on how an economy can develop without growth are not solid enough. While the writers are not economists, to force the reader to think twice about current lifestyles, they must fork out a marvellous thesis, which has yet to be clearly stated. This is a good book at the introductory level. Although it sometimes touch on the Second Law of Thermodynamics, the reader is not expected to have an a priori understanding. It’s explanation is vivid and simple. While it may insult Professors and those high brow academics, it is a book easy to follow. Worth a try.