Every now and again, an uncomparable book passes through my fingers by chance, like finding Fast Food Nation among the magazine racks at a big-box super-market, Deep Economy (the wealth of communities and the durable future), by Bill McKibben was not vernacular to the Economics section of the Beverly Hills library. I thought I knew what to expect from this book, but it surprised me at every turn with striking, well researched figures and poignant analysis of both global economics and that of communities. Although it became evident that the author had been jet-setting to almost every continent to scribe this work, I could think of no better way to use that fossil fuel than educating Americans of the massive situation that our mindsets and industries consume and waste, and illustrate vibrant solutions to problems that plauge both worlds, the first and the third, with surprisingly similar solutions.
Bill touched on the sentimentality of use of the word community. I have been weary of the term and how it has been raped by the corporate media to legitimize their dominance and attempt to dispel the obvious and widely accepted truth that multinational corporations have destroyed community and ecological infrastructure since their outset as "beings" in the earlier twentieth century. From food to fuel and plastic to pensions, he covers so many aspects of the financial reality of American life and it's enormous effect on the rest of the world. As Eric Scholsser Francis Moore and Michael Pollan wrote of the bleak post of American agribusiness and still were compelled to end on a positive note, McKibben has done the same for globalization. Answering with flying colors the undisputed rhetoric of Adam Smith and his modern economic cheerleaders equatable to Ben Friedman in his take on global economics "The Lexus and the Olive Tree" and "The World is Flat".
Inspiring words and stories that valued the marginal and embraced, small, slow and sometimes up side down in a mono-directional speedway of monetary growth. Like Paul Hawkins' Blessed Unrest, this book paints a picture not often seen by Americans who watch TV and commute in an SUV, that another pond is possible, and if you dip your foot in it may not be as cold as you think. Among the dense, stellar research and scathing figures are heart warming stories that anyone can enjoy.
Although I was familiar with Bill McKibben before this book, I had not read any of his previous books and I was delighted to hear someone put into readable print the idea that the developing world and the over-developed world must come to a compromise. We first worlders change our highest values from net worth to net connection. Putting value back into our bioregional and keeping it there will benefit our short term economic woes, as well as our long term global environmental crisis.
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