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the end of plenty

The End of Plenty, by Joel K Bourne

Joel Bourne is an agronomist and farmer’s son who decided to go into journalism rather than farming. He edited farming trade magazines and then wrote for National Geographic. While covering the food crisis in 2008, he began to see the strain on our food systems, and The End of Plenty: The race to feed a […]

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The Winning of the Carbon War, by Jeremy Leggett

It’s a little early to be reviewing Jeremy Leggett’s book The Winning of the Carbon Wars, because he hasn’t finished writing it yet. The book is a work in progress, and an interesting experiment – every month Leggett adds another chapter, drawn from his diaries and detailing his on-the-ground view of the front lines of […]

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green parenting

The no-nonsense guide to green parenting, by Kate Blincoe

Becoming a parent can be a bit of a shock for those living a green lifestyle. Worthy attempts to walk or cycle go out the window. Ambitions to eat seasonally and cook fresh wilt in the battle to get kids to eat at all. So many green alternatives just require that little bit of extra […]

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adam smith

How Adam Smith can change your life, by Russ Roberts

Adam Smith is well known as the father of modern economics, but his famous The Wealth of Nations is not his only book. In its shadow is The Theory of Moral Sentiments, a work of moral philosophy that was successful in its time, but is more of less forgotten today. Russ Roberts is an economist […]

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Spiritual activism, by Alastair McIntosh and Matt Carmichael

What can spirituality contribute to activism? That’s the central question of Spiritual Activism, the new book by Alastair McIntosh and Matt Carmichael. It’s a question that will immediately resonate with some and alienate others, but the deeper you get into the book, the more obvious it becomes that this isn’t a niche concern. “To be […]

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sustainable materials

Review: Sustainable Materials Without the Hot Air

A couple of months ago I reviewed the volume on urban transport, and here’s another in the series from UIT Cambridge – Sustainable Materials Without the Hot Air, by Julian Allwood and Johnathan Cullen. They and their team of eight spent five years researching sustainable materials, and this is the result. The book looks at […]

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How to be Wild, by Simon Barnes

Simon Barnes is an unusual writer. He was a sports writer and editor for the Times for over 30 years, and he also had a birdwatching column, and writes books about horses and about conservation. Sports and ecology aren’t worlds that don’t often go together, but Barnes writes with passion and flair about both. How […]

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Book review: Overdevelopment, Overpopulation, Overshoot

A few weeks ago I received a copy of Overdevelopment, Overpopulation, Overshoot in the post. Overweight, one could add to that list – this is a hefty tome. The Population Media Center must be spending a fortune posting these things out. The book is a coffee-table style volume about population and its impact on the […]

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the most good you can do

The Most Good You Can Do, by Peter Singer

Five years ago Peter Singer made a compelling case for giving in The Life You Can Save. A large number of people paid attention to that book, and along with other pioneers and experimenters, Singer now finds himself at the forefront of a movement towards ‘effective altruism’. This follow up book explores what this emerging […]

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promoting sustainable living

Promoting Sustainable Living, by Justyna Karakiewicz

Suburbia is not a sustainable pattern of living. Too much transport is involved, too much land and energy. A more sustainable way of life will mean settlements with greater density, but that’s not what most of us want. We’re still pretty wedded to the semi-detached house with a garden. People can’t be talked into wanting […]

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