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BOOKS: Dewey Decimal Numbers, (DDN), given to help find these at your library. These are books that educate and elucidate as to the often interrelated origins and causes of problems that affect the economy and the environment. The first in the list are the most important in our opinion. Environmental enthusiasm is wonderful but knowledge is also required to get things done and help teach others to do what you believe in.

Support your local library and independent bookstore. If your library doesn't have your favorite book, why not buy it, read it and then donate it to them? How about subscribing to a magazine you wish everyone else could read through the library?

Some articles reprinted in full without permission for the purposes of discussion and review, as permitted by Section 107 of the U.S. Copyright Act of 1976.


Beyond the Limits. Donella Meadows, Dennis Meadows and Jorgen Randers. Chelsea Green Publishing. DDN 338.9. ISBN 0-930031-55-5. This is an ESSENTIAL book that puts into rational global long-term perspective everything that the science and the philosophy of environmentalism represents and hopes to achieve. It offers a positive vision of why change is important and what can be done by changing consumption patterns worldwide. It backs this up with unimpeachable numbers that clearly define the outcome of differing patterns of human behavior.

Beyond the Limits Lots of quotes.

Beyond the Limits Reader. A website about the book, it's so good.

Sustainability and controlling your personal environment

The Safe Shoppers Bible, Dr. Samuel Epstein, Macmillian, 1995.DDN 640.73. A decades in the making detailed listing of thousands of household and consumer products, their chemical ingredients, from Manufacturer's Safety Data Sheets and their associated health risks. Epstein's scientific credentials are impressive. He names names and details the health threats, or safety, of thousands of brand name products backed up by hard (lawsuit proof) science. Non-toxic or least toxic alternatives categorized and analysized. An essential reference for your library to order if they don't have it already.

Staying Well in a Toxic World, DDN 616.98 Lynn Lawson, 1993. DDS#616.98. An impressive compilation of multiple daily exposures to poisonous substances that we come into contact with in our daily activities as well as consumer products and the resulting acute and chronic health problems that these can cause. Large reference, association, bibliography, tips, and further action sections on how to avoid these exposures.

Natural history and ecology.

A Green History of The Earth, Clive Ponting, 1994.DDN 304.28
A thoroughly readable and exquisite natural history of the world. This books lays out in chronological order the geological, botanical, and animal history of the Earth. Wonder what it was like where you live before the Industrial Revolution arrived? The book chronicles the rise of civilizations, their effect on nature and fall due to environmental abuses and overpopulation. Historically rich descriptions of how country becomes city: i.e. Villages become greater London.

Geodestinies: The inevitable control of Earth Resources over Nations and individuals. 1997. National Book Company.

This book is a fabulous education. Hard cold numbers put a unique and yet totally lucid perspective on world history. Easy to read and packed with information. Thoroughly footnoted.
Here 's an example:

Here 's all of chapter 27:
" Myths and Realities of Mineral Resources."

Cadillac Desert, The American West and its Disappearing Water. 1993 Marc Reisner., DDN 333.91 Much of the Western United States is Unsustainable. It has no future except as a desert. Learn about the settlement of the West and the water projects that made it possible as well as some possibilities in this thoroughly readable and comprehensively researched book that will change your view of what one takes for granted in the west.

State of the World 1998 , DDN 338.9 Worldwatch Institute publishes this annually, giving trends positive and negative, with a high level of detail and country specific information. State of the World 1998
Also by Worldwatch,
How Much Is Enough? Allan Durning,1992. DDN#333.713, This is a very detailed analysis of Consumerism's various effects on society and the world. A thorough treatment of the subject by category with lots of footnotes and graphs.

Power Surge Christopher Flavin and Nicholas Lenssen, 1995, DDN 333.7,
This very through book covers all aspects of energy production and future positive trends in sustainability and alternate sources. This is a book about alternative energy production. The next book is about why it isn't more commonplace and some of the things that people will have to be ready to fight before it's more commonplace.

Who Owns the Sun? People, Politics and the Struggle for a Solar Economy. Daniel M. Berman and John T. O'Connor. Chelsea Green Publishing. 1996. DDN#333.792. Has the solar revolution begun? This book catalogues the reasons why it could be snatched from our hands by the same forces that have led this country down the road towards fossil fuel dependency. partial review from The Nation
Plus our collection of

from this book.

The Case Against the Global Economy and For a Turn to the Local. Edited by Jerry Mander and Edward Goldsmith. Sierra Club Books. 1996. DDN363.7. "Each of the 43 chapters in this book takes one part of the story and delves into it, to show both the root assumptions of globalism and its multiple failures." Detailed interview with the author about the subject of the book.

The Ecology of Commerce. Paul Hawken, 1993.DDN 658.408
A philosophical and practical overview of environmentally and socially harmful BUSINESS PRACTICES AND ALTERNATIVES IN SUSTAINABILITY that can be used by business. ISBN # 0-88730-655-1
Review of The Ecology of Commerce
an illustrative quote

Gaia; An Atlas of Planetary Management. Norman Myers.DDN 333.7
A superbly illustrated large volume of ecological principles, processes, statistics and scientific knowledge. Simple enough visually for a child to appreciate but with enough background for an adult to learn from.

Permaculture, A Designer's Manual.Bill Mollison. DDN#631.5. An enormous compendium of amply illustrated information about healing the earth and making land prolific for farmers and gardeners. This book makes fine (in depth) reading for ecologists and natural historians. Here's the chapter headings:

Contents: Concepts and themes in design -- Pattern understanding -- Climatic factors -- Trees and their energy transactions -- Water -- Soils -- Earthworking and earth resources -- The humid tropics -- Dryland strategies -- Humid cool to cold climates -- Characteristics of a humid cool climate -- Landform and water conservation -- Settlement and house design -- The home garden -- Berry fruits -- Glasshouse growing -- Orchards -- Farm forestry -- Free-range forage systems -- The lawn -- Grasslands -- Rangelands -- Cold climates -- Wildfire -- Designers' checklist -- Aquaculture -- the strategies of an altenative global nation -- Plant list by common name -- Plant list by species name -- Glossary -- Resources -- References.

A quote from the last chapter's introduction:

[First] we must learn to grow, build, and manage natural systems for human and earth needs, and then teach others to to do so. In this way we can build a global, interdependent, and cooperative body of people involved in ethical and land resource use, whose teaching is founded on research but also locally available everywhere, and locally demonstrable in many thousands of small enterprises covering the whole range of human endeavors, from primary production to quaternary system management; from domestic nutrition and economy to a global network of small financial systems. Such work is urgent, important and necessary, and we cannot leave it to the whims of government (always short-term) or industry as we know it today.

We know how to solve every food, clean energy, and sensible shelter problem in every climate; we have already invented and tested every necessary and technical device, and have access to all the biological material that we could ever use.

The tragic result is that very few sustainable systems are designed or applied by those who hold power, and the reason for this is obvious and simple; to let people arrange their own food, energy and shelter is to lose economic and political control over them. We should cease to look to power structures, hierarchical systems or governments to help us, and devise ways to help ourselves.

Thus, the very first strategies that we are those that put our own house in order, and at he same time do not give credibility ot distant power-centered or unethical systems. in our present fiscal or money-run world, the primary responsibility that we need to take charge of is our wealth, which is the product of our sweat and our region, not representable by valueless currency.

Philosophy and History

Home From Nowhere, Remaking Our World for the 21st Century.James Howard Kunstler.DDN 307.12. This is an important, freshly insightful and a profound, yet sometimes laugh out loud book about the tragic decline of our small towns and city neighborhoods brought about by the greed, stupidity and blindness of developers, zoning commisions and unaware citizens. An incredible illustrative essay that defines how zoning and sprawl has ruined our towns and cities and what can be done to restore them. Home From Nowhere: A chapter from the book. This is a long file, but well worth the wait.

The Noam Chomsky Archive, an endless torrent of brilliant commentary. You'll love him or you'll hate him, but you will not be bored.

The Prosperous Few and the Restless Many Noam Chomsky.DDN 330.904
Advanced reading for those interested in society, economy and environment. This book is a short compilation of some of the tenets of Chomsky's other throughly detailed and foot-noted (long) books.

"Rollback" On the 1994 "conservative revolution." Pts.1-4. A most serious read. This is a transcript of spoken words and it flows better if one just reads and enjoys it without slowing down.

Manufacturing Consent, Noam Chomsky, DDN 302.904.
THE analysis of media manipulation, bias and public thought control through concision etc. Throughly researched, foot-noted and substantiated. See also the video documentary by the same title. All the news that's fit to print will never look the same again.


The Next American Nation Michael Lind. 1995, Compelling historical analysis, exquisite summation of present day economic and political power structures and hyper detailed options for the future.
Excerpt of The Next American Nation
Also here is an (TrueSpeech Audio) Interview with Michael Lind on the National Public Radio program BRIDGES [hit #108}

Your Money or Your Life, Joe Dominguez & Viki Robin, Viking 1992. DDN 332.024. The authors have created a detailed step-by-step programfor extricating oneself from consumerism, obtaining time to enjoy life and a philosophy of saving money for independence. Based on the author's ideas is the program of the New Road Map Foundation


Work and the Economy.


CORPORATION: An ingenious device for gaining individual profit without individual responsibility.
Ambrose Bierce, The Devil's Dictionary.

If you're not satisfied with your career and job prospects, no matter how hard you try to advance, you owe it to yourself to read these books.

One World Ready or Not; the Manic Logic of World Capitalism. William Grieder, Simon&Schuster, 1997. DDN 330.122. Big, dense book, covering the economic scope of all the world, that lays out in exquisite detail the motivations, processes and mechanics of the dismantling of the the American and European economies in favor of the great world jobs auction and race for the bottom. You have to know your enemy before you can fight them. If your going to read one book about the world economy, make it this one.
Some choice passages from the book.

Greider's Bio

The End of Work: The Decline of the Global Labor Force and the Dawn of the Post-Market Era, Jeremy Rifkin foreword by Robert Heilbroner, Putnam. DDN 331.137. From the author of Beyond Beef, comes this work that chronicles the decline of the job, career, employment and the security that allows society to function. Carefully studied alternatives are offered in job sharing, part-time work and the realignment of employment practices.

Flesh Peddlers and Warm Bodies; The Temporary Help Industry and Its Workers,
Robert E.Parker, 1994, Rutgers U. Press. DDN 331.257. Documents what a trend toward a cheap, docile, flexible workforce implies for the economy. Temporary agencies reap profits as they depress U.S. wages, commoditize and depersonalize workers and further erode our ability to earn a decent wage and advance in our chosen field.

The Overworked American Juliet Schor, 1991, Basic Books.DDN 306.481 A well researched portrait of the overworking, (or total rejection), of the American worker and why and how it is necessary for the maintainance of corporate profits.

The End of Affluence, Jeremy Madrick. DDN 330.973. An economic analysis that details what has happened to the American standard of living through detailing the economic changes in growth and productivity that we have enjoyed and suffered. Don't be put off by the opening chapter!

A Dream Deferred, Philip Slater, (Beacon, 1991),DDN 306.0973
an expose of authoritarian hierarchical power structures that have impeded the progress of grass roots Democracy. Wicked analysis of corporate self-justification and propaganda.
Quotes from the book



Worldwatch Institute. Publishes its Bimonthly magazine World Watch . This thoroughly details various human threats to the environment.
1776 Massachusetts Ave, N.W.,
Washington DC 20036-1904.
800 825-0061

The Earth Island Journal, Local news from around the world. Details grassroots efforts to preserve species, habitat, develop alternate energy and work for environmental justice. Articles by local authorities and alternate voices.
Quarterly, Published by the Earth Island Institute, 300 Broadway, Suite 28,
San Francisco, CA 94133 Ph. 415-788-3666. Site temp. down as of 3/22/99

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