EcoMind: Changing the Way We Think, to Create the World We Want

EcoMind: Changing the Way We Think, to Create the World We Want

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by Frances Moore Lappe
     
 

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In EcoMind, Frances Moore Lappé—a giant of the environmental movement—confronts accepted wisdom of environmentalism. Drawing on the latest research from anthropology to neuroscience and her own field experience, she argues that the biggest challenge to human survival isn’t our fossil fuel dependency, melting glaciers, or other

Overview


In EcoMind, Frances Moore Lappé—a giant of the environmental movement—confronts accepted wisdom of environmentalism. Drawing on the latest research from anthropology to neuroscience and her own field experience, she argues that the biggest challenge to human survival isn’t our fossil fuel dependency, melting glaciers, or other calamities. Rather, it’s our faulty way of thinking about these environmental crises that robs us of power. Lappé dismantles seven common “thought traps”—from limits to growth to the failings of democracy— that belie what we now know about nature, including our own, and offers contrasting “thought leaps” that reveal our hidden power.

Like her Diet for a Small Planet classic, EcoMind is challenging, controversial and empowering.

Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher

Jane Goodall
"Powerful and inspiring, Ecomind will open your eyes and change your thinking. I want everyone to read it." 


Vandana Shiva, Ph.D, is a philosopher scientist, activist and most recently, author Staying Alive: Women, Ecology and Development
"Frances Moore Lappé brings us yet another gift in EcoMind. She cautions us to avoid the mental traps that block our thinking. She awakens us to our immense possibilities and potentials. She invites us to release our latent energies to be the change we want to see."
 
Olivier de Schutter, the UN Special Rapporteur on the Right to Food
"Frances Moore Lappé's exceptionally thought-provoking book is a message of hope. It shows how change is possible, once we open our eyes, look around, and see that we depend on others and on nature. This book obliges us to re-imagine our world, brick by brick, by first re-imagining ourselves."
 
Mollie Katzen, author of the Moosewood Cookbook
"This book is pivotal in the most literal sense. As I read it, I find myself turning the crucial 180 degrees from frustration and fear to a sense of constructive possibility. Frances's ability to express the most complex, existential yearnings is epic—matched only by her courage. Nothing I can say will do justice to how this book continues to affect me.
 
Peter Barnes, author of Capitalism 3.0: A Guide to Reclaiming the Commons
"Lappé shows how by seeing the big picture we can change it. It's a clarion call in this rising age of rising despair."
 
John Gershman, Clinical Associate Professor, Robert F Wagner Graduate School of Pubic Service, New York University
"Frances Moore Lappé has done it again. As she has done so insightfully with respect to food, hunger, and democracy, Lappé now turns her sights on the contemporary ecological crises. Her accessible and provocative analysis demonstrates how the ways many people think and talk about these crises – especially the dominant narratives of scarcity – obscure the inequalities of power that lie at the root of these crises and inhibit rather than inspire the kind of effective movements necessary to confront them. EcoMind  is a profound  example of how analysis breeds not paralysis but rather informed and inspired action, and is on track to do so in the 21st century just like Diet for a Small Planet  and Food First did in the 20th. 
 
Michael Brune, Executive Director, The Sierra Club
"EcoMind reminds us that the most important resource for restoring a clean and healthy planet is the one sitting between our ears. Frances Moore Lappé brilliantly challenges the negative "thought traps" of doom-and-gloom environmental messages and emerges with a positive, people-powered approach."
Kirkus Reviews

A pioneer of environmental education inspires advocacy on both local and national levels.

Small Planet Institute founder Lappé, a "dyed-in-the-wool possibilist," believes the problem with seeking solutions to crises lies not in the difficulty of implementation, but in the limiting rhetoric of consumerism, blame and shortage that discourages people from learning what teamwork can accomplish. Fostering guilt for wasting resources is not the way to inspire action; she proposes that the average person will better learn to change their practices toward the earth if discussions are framed in terms of ecology rather than economy. Personalizing relationships with nature allows individuals to view themselves as participants in an evolving web with room for growth, rather than as destructive forces on a nonstop collision course. Though"eco-mind"initially sounds like a buzz word for ancient ideas of caretaking, harmony, respect, community-building and the search for more meaningful life, the concepts laid out in well-organized chapters are worth revisiting for veteran activists, or discovering anew for those who have shied from the subject. Lappé backs positive thinking without soft-pedaling over harsher realities. She cites examples of corporate hubris, avoids dry statistics and provides ample stories of progress in countries as diverse as Brazil and India. She also encourages the effort to shift the focus from remedying wrongs to rooting out common causes. The "thought traps" frequently encountered in dialogue on the environment—most of which curtail ingenuity—are exchanged for "thought leaps," which provide starters for further exploration. Comprehensive, practical suggestions fall beyond the book's scope, though Lappé includes a list of additional resources.

An accessible introduction to the psychology of this "historic challenge," providing an enthusiastic shove toward reflection.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9781568586830
Publisher:
Nation Books
Publication date:
09/13/2011
Edition description:
New Edition
Pages:
304
Product dimensions:
6.30(w) x 9.40(h) x 1.10(d)
Age Range:
18 Years

Meet the Author

Frances Moore Lappe is the author of 17 books and cofounder of Food First: The Institute for Food and Development Policy, the Small Planet Institute, and the Small Planet Fund. She works in Cambridge, Massachusetts.

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EcoMind: Changing the Way We Think, to Create the World We Want 5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 2 reviews.
RRR33 More than 1 year ago
This is not an book about our physical environment. it is about our mental environment -- the ways we think about ourselves and the rest of nature -- so many ways that we trap ourselves into powerless depression. Here's what Booklist says about EcoMind: In her eighteenth book, the paradigm-altering Lappe? asks why we've failed to effectively address environmental problems. Delving into neuroscience, anthropology, and history, and sharing her own extensive field experiences, she argues that perception is key. She surgically disassembles "seven thought traps," or discouraging environmentalist messages that arouse guilt, fear, and despair instead of a sense of mission. On the positive side, she presents fascinating interpretations of "six human traits we can count on," including cooperation, empathy, fairness, creativity, and the fact that we are "doers." Brimming with useful information and analysis pertaining to developing renewable energy and eradicating waste, Lappe?'s lucid extrapolation of the core lesson of ecology, that everything is connected, also offers galvanizing dissections of the intensifying influence of corporations on government and the derailment of democracy. Equally compelling are her insights into how accelerating wealth inequality contributes to environmental degradation as well as poverty and why struggling people support "policies that hurt them." Lappe?'s recalibrated guide to becoming ecominded affirms our "capacity to rethink our world" and provides many urgent reasons to do so.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago