February 18, 2009

The Bridge at the Edge of the World

This book begins with the observation that although our understanding of the environment has grown, environmental destruction is continuing at an alarming rate. If we continue to do exactly what we are doing right now--without any population growth or changes in the way we treat the earth--scientists estimate that the planet will be unfit for human life by the second half of this century. But, the population is not remaining constant. Instead, it is growing rapidly, and with it, pollution is increasing, natural resources are being used up, and biological species and habitats are disappearing. Speth believes that these are caused by capitalism as it now operates and the political systems that support it. His book provides "operating instructions" for changing human societies and behavior before it is too late. In the first part, he analyzes the system, pointing out how capitalism is at the root of today's environmental problems. In the second part, he suggests corrections for economic and market systems that promote the well-being of both people and nature, but are not driven by accumulation and growth. In the third part, he asserts that these economic changes must be supported by fundamental changes in human consciousness and changed political systems.

This book can be found in HECSA Library:

The Bridge at the Edge of the World: Capitalism, the Environment, and Crossing from Crisis to Sustainability
James Gustave Speth
HC 79 .E5 .S6652 2008