The End of Growth

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The End of Growth: Adapting to Our New Economic Reality Cover Image
ISBN: 9780865716957
Availability: IN WAREHOUSE - Usually Ships in 1-5 Business Days
Published: New Society Publishers - New Society Publishe - September 1st, 2011

Richard Heinberg is the man to write this book. Steeped in these issues for decades, he takes the reader step by step through our current and future world. The End of Growth covers economics, the environment and energy and the interplay between them to show why we have entered an era of no growth. This is a sobering book to be sure, but part of the message is that we have to enter the future withe eyes wide open and a plan - or the transition will be worse than it needs to be. He does offer some direction at the end, but there are no easy answers to hang your hat on. The bottom line, according to Heinberg (with ample evidence to back him up) is that we are entering the 5th great era of humanity after 1) fire, 2) agriculture, 3)industrialization and 4) technology. I would recommend this book to anyone who wants to educate themselves about the macro trends which are defining our existence now (and in the near future.) Well written and highly informative. ~ Reviewed by Chris Morrow


Farewell, My Subaru

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Farewell, My Subaru: An Epic Adventure in Local Living Cover Image
ISBN: 9780812977899
Availability: Special Order
Published: Villard - March 24th, 2009

Doug Fine moves to the New Mexican desert with the goal of kicking his fossil fuel habit and getting off the grid. He has no experience whatsoever with ranching, farming, or any of the things people need to be self-sufficient. To top it off, he's a Wal-Mart addict. He kicks his addiction early in the book and makes no secret of the fact that he asks for help whenever he can. He also buys two goats to help him get his other habit off-grid: ice cream.

A few solar panels and one veggie oil run monster truck later, Fine is well on his way to reaching his goals. He plants a garden (several times, due to many crop-decimating hail storms), installs a solar hot water heater and gets himself some chickens. He almost makes the tasks seem simple (given the right friends and enough money, of course). He certainly makes it sound fun, especially with all of the humorous and well-placed recipes (rattlesnake stew when he discovers a rattlesnake near his home, although in this case the rattlesnake escapes unharmed).

The part that I found most interesting was his veggie oil car. I had all but forgotten about these little miracles with my obsession to buy an electric car and power it with solar panels. Of course a much cheaper option is to get an old diesel car and convert it to veggie oil. The image of a massive fuel-guzzling truck roaring around town spurting out chinese food-scented emissions is almost too good to pass up!

My only criticism of this book is the lack of sources. Throughout the story Fine drops a few facts and figures having to do with energy and resource consumption, typical statistics to find in a book on environmentalism, but he sites no sources. Where did this information come from? There is no bibliography, no where to go for further reading. If he picked these facts up from the internet, what are the websites? Who did the studies? Who collected this data? I've never come across a book with facts that lacked sources and I found the whole thing confusing.

All in all, it was a great book. Doug Fine is a humorous writer and a great story teller. At 200 pages it's a quick and enjoyable read but still full of insight. I picked it up, thinking it looked like fun. Turns out you can judge a book by its cover, because fun it is. ~ Reviewed by Krysta Piccoli

The Revolution Will Not Be Microwaved

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The Revolution Will Not Be Microwaved: Inside America's Underground Food Movements Cover Image
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ISBN: 9781933392110
Published: Chelsea Green Publishing Company - November 1st, 2006

If I were to meet Mr. Katz on the street I would thank him, shake his hand and invite him to my house for dinner for writing such an amazing book. ~ Reviewed by Krysta Piccoli


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Eaarth: Making a Life on a Tough New Planet Cover Image
ISBN: 9780312541194
Availability: Backordered
Published: St. Martin's Griffin - March 15th, 2011

This book should be required reading for everyone on the planet. Eaarth makes it clear that we're not saving our children anymore, we're saving ourselves. McKibben uses Vermont as a model for sustainability, but talks about large-scale projects also. No book makes it more clear that it's time to adapt to the world we've created. ~ Reviewed by Krysta Piccoli

No Impact Man

Beavan takes himself and his family on a year-long journey to practice what he preaches and discovers that a less wasteful life is also a more fulfilling one. ~ Reviewed by Krysta Piccoli

Early Spring

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Early Spring: An Ecologist and Her Children Wake to a Warming World Cover Image
By Amy Seidl, Bill McKibben (Introduction by)
ISBN: 9780807085974
Availability: Special Order
Published: Beacon Press - March 1st, 2010

Seidl, an environmental research scholar at Middlebury, notes the subtle, incremental seasonal changes in the central Vermont hollow where she lives with her husband and two young daughters, showing how these changes are altering the way we live. ~ Reviewed by Louise Jones


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