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Book Review: Green Gone Wrong

May 26, 2011
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Book Review: “Green Gone Wrong: How Our Economy Is Undermining the Environmental Revolution” by Heather Rogers (Scribner – April 20, 2010)

Heather Rogers does it again. She writes the book that deals with the topic everyone concerned with ecology knows they should be talking about but doesn’t know how to talk about. Her first book, Gone Tomorrow, dealt with garbage and the uncritical ways we approach recycling and waste creation and “management.” Green Gone Wrong addresses the greening of capitalism and  the implications that trying to sell and buy and trade our way through ecological crisis ignores that the logic of our economy is what got us into this mess in the first place (and it is not going to get us out).

The book is structured around case-studies of new so-called “green industries” like natural building, electric cars and organic agriculture. In each case we are presented with contradictions about labor, regulatory and environmental abuses too blatant to ignore. The pattern seems to suggest that the green-capitalist mantra that eco-friendly practices can still be competitive and successful business practices.

As Rogers concludes towards the end of the book “Meaningful transformation requires not just unconventional products, but the creation of an alternative logic, where consuming less would improve the standard of living and where success was defined quite differently.” She continues, “So we can vote with our wallets all we want, but the people with the most money – precisely those who lavishly benefit from a system built on ransacking nature – will inevitably control the most votes. Only when we rethink how and what we value – so that we no longer bas well-being and quality of life on excess production, consumption and wasting – will we truly be able to address global warming and other forms of ecological ruin.”

This book is highly recommended to anyone hoping to make money and do good in the world as well as those who think that is an impossibility.

For more information see heatherrogers.info

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2 Comments leave one →
  1. klem permalink
    May 26, 2011 3:53 pm

    “Only when we rethink how and what we value – so that we no longer bas well-being and quality of life on excess production, consumption and wasting – will we truly be able to address global warming ..”

    I agree, so perhaps we can dispense with all of the wind turbines and the solar panels now.

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