Archive | books RSS feed for this archive

Inheritors of the Earth, by Chris D Thomas

We are in the middle of the 6th great extinction event in the planet’s history, according to biologists and conservation agencies. It was in the news again last week, thanks to a new report that uses headline-grabbing phrases like ‘assaults on biodiversity’ and ‘biological annihilation’. And let’s not beat about the bush – we’ve seen […]

5 Comments Continue Reading →

Sound System – the political power of music, by Dave Randall

At some point this evening the election results will be announced, and our Prime Minister will come out to do a victory speech. If previous occasions are anything to go by there will be balloons and cheering supporters, and a popular song will be ruined for everybody. A politician will give into the temptation to […]

3 Comments Continue Reading →

Seven years to save the planet – did we do it?

While I was going through some books recently, trying to clear some space on the shelves. Among those on the clear-out list is Bill McGuire’s climate change Q+A book Seven Years to Save the Planet. A lot has changed since it was published in 2008, so it can’t serve as a reference. And it’s not […]

1 Comment Continue Reading →

Prosperity without growth – foundations for the economy of tomorrow

One of the books I recommend most often on this blog and elsewhere is Tim Jackson’s Prosperity Without Growth. It came out in 2009 and introduced a whole new audience to the dilemma of economic growth on a finite planet. If you haven’t read it yet, now’s a good time, because a new edition has […]

1 Comment Continue Reading →

Basic Income: and how we can make it happen, by Guy Standing

I forget where it was that I first came across the Basic Income, but it seemed obscure at the time. There was almost no debate about it in mainstream media outlets. The idea has a rich history and it clearly had supporters, but the organisations campaigning for it had websites that looked niche and out […]

19 Comments Continue Reading →

Doughnut Economics, by Kate Raworth

You may remember the doughnut, an innovative framing of social and environmental challenges that I’ve written about a number of times over the last few years. It’s the brainchild of Kate Raworth, who saw that if the planetary boundaries form a kind of upper limit that we shouldn’t exceed, there’s also a social foundation that […]

6 Comments Continue Reading →

Five business responses to the environment

This week I’ve been reading Doughnut Economics, by Kate Raworth. It’s a fine piece of work which I shall review shortly, but today I wanted to pass on something that I found useful. In a chapter on regenerative business and the circular economy, Kate describes five different responses that businesses might have to the environment […]

3 Comments Continue Reading →

Book review: People Power, by Dan Jellinek

I picked up People Power: A User’s Guide to Democracy from the library recently. It promises to explain “how democracy in the UK works, in the hope that if we understand it better, we can help make it work better”. The next day the general election was announced, so it feels like a good time […]

2 Comments Continue Reading →

Book review: The Struggle for Democracy, by Roger Mason

I have been, of late, rather disappointed in the state of democracy in the English speaking world. I’m frustrated by partisan divides, the way campaigns can lie with impunity, and parties that only support reform that would directly benefit them. When the British government finds itself in court fighting for the right to make major […]

6 Comments Continue Reading →

The four phrases of a new climate normal

In his book Thank You For Being Late, Thomas Friedman tells a story of visiting Greenland and hearing first-hand how people could see their environment changing. He noticed that there were four recurring statements that showed how climate change is redefining what we consider ‘normal’. I expect you’ll have heard similar things yourself: “Just a […]

5 Comments Continue Reading →