The Bridge at the Edge of the World: Capitalism, the Environment, and Crossing from Crisis to Sustainability
Professor James Gustave Speth | ISBN: 0300136110 | PDF | 319 pages | 2008 | 2 MB
Acclaimed environmentalist Speth asserts that our capitalist economy, with its emphasis on continuous robust growth, is at loggerheads with the environment. He minces no words as he writes that to destroy life as we know it, all we have to do is “keep doing exactly what we are doing today.” Observations from nineteenth-century naturalists, such as Audubon writing about the passenger pigeon, reveal humanity’s failure to understand the repercussions of environmental destruction, a lack of foresight now exacerbated by the whirlwind demands of modern consumerism. Quotes from economists, political philosophers, and technology experts offer erudite analyses of a realization set out in Bill McKibben’s Deep Economy (2007) and now gaining momentum: society’s slavish devotion to economic growth does not allow for critical environmental protections. We need look no further than the controversial Kyoto Protocol, Speth reminds us, as evidence. If Americans do not rein in spending, only one result is assured. If we do not learn to consume less, we will consume the biosphere itself in our binge.