Prosperity Without Growth: Economics for a Finite Planet by Tim Jackson
Prosperity Without Growth is extremely well written, with straight-forward logic and research to back it up, showing that it is not only imperative that we transition to a non-growing economy, both of ecological and social reasons, but that we can do it. Jackson explains why further growth is actual harmful and how our society’s growth addiction is not conducive to prosperity and human well-being any longer.
Managing without Growth: Slower by Design not Disaster by Peter Victor
Peter Victor challenges the priority that rich countries continue to give to economic growth
as an over-arching objective of economic policy. The challenge is based on a critical analysis of the literature on environmental and resource limits to growth, on the disconnect between higher incomes and happiness, and on the failure of economic growth to meet other key economic, social and environmental policy objectives.
Plenitude: The New Economics of True Wealth by Juliet Schor
In Plenitude: The New Economics of True Wealth, economist andbestselling author Juliet B. Schor offers a groundbreaking intellectual statement about the economics and sociology of ecological decline, suggesting a radical change in how we think about consumer goods, value, and ways to live.
Humans are degrading the planet far faster than they are regenerating it. As we travel along this shutdown path, food, energy, transport and consumer goods are becoming increasingly expensive.
Wellbeing should be counted in net terms — that is to say we should consider not only the accumulated stock of wealth but also that of “illth;” and not only the annual flow of goods but also that of “bads.” The fact that we have to stretch English usage to find words like illth and bads with which to name the negative consequences of production that should be subtracted from the positive consequences, is indicative of our having ignored the realities for which these words are the necessary names.
The Collapse of Complex Societies by Joseph A. Tainter
Any explanation of political collapse carries lessons not just for the study of ancient societies, but for the members of all complex societies in both the present and future. Dr Tainter describes nearly two dozen cases of collapse and reviews more than 2000 years of explanations. He then develops a new and far-reaching theory that accounts for collapse among diverse kinds of societies, evaluating his model and clarifying the processes of disintegration by detailed studies of the Roman, Mayan and Chacoan collapses.
JARED DIAMOND Collapse: How Societies Choose to Fail Or Succeed
What caused some of the great civilizations of the past to collapse into ruin, and what can we learn from their fates? Diamond weaves an all-encompassing global thesis through a series of historical-cultural narratives. Moving from the prehistoric Polynesian culture of Easter Island to the formerly flourishing Native American civilizations of the Anasazi and the Maya, the doomed medieval Viking colony on Greenland, and finally to the modern world, Diamond traces a pattern of catastrophe, spelling out what happens when we squander our resources, when we ignore the signals or environment gives us.
RONALD WRIGHT A Short History of Progress
In A Short History of Progress Ronald Wright argues that our modern predicament is as old as civilization, a 10,000-year experiment we have participated in but seldom controlled. Only by understanding the patterns of triumph and disaster that humanity has repeated around the world since the Stone Age can we recognize the experiment’s inherent dangers, and, with luck and wisdom, shape its outcome.
ANTONIO R. DAMASIO Descartes’ Error
Since Descartes famously proclaimed, “I think, therefore I am,” science has often overlooked emotions as the source of a person’s true being. Even modern neuroscience has tended, until recently, to concentrate on the cognitive aspects of brain function, disregarding emotions. This attitude began to change with the publication of Descartes’ Error in 1995. Antonio Damasio—”one of the world’s leading neurologists” (The New York Times)—challenged traditional ideas about the connection between emotions and rationality. In this wondrously engaging book, Damasio takes the reader on a journey of scientific discovery through a series of case studies, demonstrating what many of us have long suspected: emotions are not a luxury, they are essential to rational thinking and to normal social behavior.
BRUCE E. WEXLER Brain and Culture
In Brain and Culture, Bruce Wexler explores the social implications of the close and changing neurobiological relationship between the individual and the environment, with particular attention to the difficulties individuals face in adulthood when the environment changes beyond their ability to maintain the fit between existing internal structure and external reality. These difficulties are evident in bereavement, the meeting of different cultures, the experience of immigrants (in which children of immigrant families are more successful than their parents at the necessary internal transformations), and the phenomenon of interethnic violence