Deep Economy

Deep Economy

The Wealth of Communities and the Durable Future

Book - 2007
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The bestselling author of "The End of Nature" issues an impassioned call to arms for an economy that creates community and ennobles our lives
In this powerful and provocative manifesto, Bill McKibben offers the biggest challenge in a generation to the prevailing view of our economy. For the first time in human history, he observes, "more" is no longer synonymous with "better"--indeed, for many of us, they have become almost opposites. McKibben puts forward a new way to think about the things we buy, the food we eat, the energy we use, and the money that pays for it all. Our purchases, he says, need not be at odds with the things we truly value.
McKibben's animating idea is that we need to move beyond "growth" as the paramount economic ideal and pursue prosperity in a more local direction, with cities, suburbs, and regions producing more of their own food, generating more of their own energy, and even creating more of their own culture and entertainment. He shows this concept blossoming around the world with striking results, from the burgeoning economies of India and China to the more mature societies of Europe and New England. For those who worry about environmental threats, he offers a route out of the worst of those problems; for those who wonder if there isn't something more to life than buying, he provides the insight to think about one's life as an individual and as a member of a larger community.
McKibben offers a realistic, if challenging, scenario for a hopeful future. As he so eloquently shows, the more we nurture the essential humanity of our economy, the more we will recapture our own.
Publisher: New York : Times Books, 2007.
Edition: First edition
ISBN: 9780805076264
0805076263
Branch Call Number: 306.3 MCKIBBEN
Characteristics: 261 pages ; 25 cm.

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StarGladiator
Feb 26, 2014

McKibben is what long-time volunteer activists describe as a corporate environmentalist - - he's spent much if not most of his time giving speeches at tasty luncheons, brunches and dinners before various corporate audiences, much the same as James Howard Kunstler - - and neither one of them has ever made a dent into such audiences, not surprisingly! McKibben still believes Hillary Clinton is a liberal (within a year of leaving the presidency, the Clintons were worth a cool $100 million, and that did not come from his giving speeches). Probably doesn't realize that Al Gore's multi-billion dollar hedge fund which he started with his two Goldman Sachs buddies won't have any effect on pollution. This guy is a clown. Not a completely misleading type like a Jeremy Rifkin or Noam Chomsky, but also not a serious heavyweight.

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ghreads
Jan 16, 2012

This book is depressing and uplifting at the same time. The author describes all the problems the world faces – Peak Oil, climate change, the worship of economic growth, growing income inequity, corporatization and globalization, hyper-individualization and the breakdown of communities. He also describes the glimmers of hope that are appearing – the advent of “ecological economics”, the fact that farmers’ markets are one of the fastest growing businesses, experiments with alternative energy, the development of economic indexes which measure both economic and social well-being as opposed to only economic activity.

The primary thesis is that we have to stop worshipping economic growth. Poor countries must pursue growth so that they can provide their citizens with a dignified standard of living; rich countries must eliminate our excess consumption and generation of pollution and greenhouse gases and work towards a more ecologically and socially sustainable local and community-based economy.

I highly recommend this book to anyone interested in analyzing the current dismal state of the world and looking for potential solutions to the problems.

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laurathelib
Dec 16, 2011

“For most of human history, the two birds More and Better roosted on the same branch. You could toss one stone and hope to hit them both. That’s why the centuries since Adam Smith have been devoted to the dogged pursuit of maximum economic production. The idea that individuals, pursuing their own individual interests in a market society, make one another richer and the idea that increasing efficiency, usually by increasing scale, is the key to increasing wealth has indisputably produced More. It has built the unprecedented prosperity and ease that distinguish the lives of most of the people reading this book...” from page 1 of Deep Economy: the wealth of communities and the durable future by Bill McKibben, Times Books/Henry Holt & Co., c2007.

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