Greed to Green: Solving Climate Change and Remaking the Economy

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While society turns to technology solutions to solve global warming, Charles Derber in this unique and uplifting book shows that the real and achievable solution is to be society itself. "Why," Derber asks, "is society not taking the urgent actions needed to save itself when much of the technology already exists?"

The answer lies in overcoming deep yet profound denial and hopelessness. In the first book to intensively explore the "denial regime" surrounding global warming Derber moves beyond the "science deniers" to explore the personal denial most of us feel, consciously and subconsciously.

Global Warming-capitalism's time bomb-can and must be solved through both individual and institutional change. People have more power than they think. The solution requires individuals to release themselves from the bonds of hopelessness and denial; to transform themselves toward green lifestyles; and to pursue the pathways currently available to work with: national and local governments, schools, churches, corporations, and other institutions. Derber passionately describes and models these personally transforming changes from his own life and from the lives of neighbors, friends, and colleagues who have discovered the joys of becoming part of the solution and have learned to live powerful, democratic, change-minded lives.

Listen to an interview with Charles Derber on Santa Fe public radio: Santa Fe public radio interview

Watch Charles Derber speak at an August 19, 2010 talk at the Somerville Public Library in Boston: Climate Change talk

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
Derber, professor of sociology at Boston College, makes a radical but persuasive argument that our current form of capitalism, with its short-term thinking, is the cause of climate change, and that we can't solve the latter without confronting the former. He contends that in order to be moved to action sufficient to avert calamitous global warming, we need to feel the crisis viscerally, not just understand it intellectually, and forge solutions that “not only ward off the long-term catastrophe but also help solve today's most burning crises: economic deep recession, vanishing jobs, unstable oil prices, Middle East wars, rotten education, deteriorating public infrastructure, poverty, and financial insecurity.” Derber is optimistic about Obama's strategies but foresees “enormous structural obstacles” to their implementation, and concludes that social justice and environmental movements—however riddled with weaknesses—are our “best last hope for solving global warming on the urgent time scale required.” Despite the urgency and seriousness of his message, Derber conveys an appealing enthusiasm that may inspire concerned citizens to action rather than apathy or despair. (Mar.)
Library Journal
Bringing a sociological imagination to the climate change debate, activist and academic Derber (People Before Profit) argues that as a symptom of underlying capitalist disease, global warming cannot be solved by green technology alone: social and political innovation is also necessary. His critique is trenchant, but proposed solutions (e.g., nationalization of big banks and energy companies, rewriting company charters for the greater benefit of stakeholders, forcing all federal agencies to cut 90 percent of greenhouse emissions by 2050, and mobilizing progressive grassroots movements on a global scale) are vague and, at times, fanciful. Derber's core strategy, though, is what he calls "time trickery"—a feat wherein a long-term crisis like climate change can be attacked by "hitching a ride on the back of short-term issues [like jobs, poverty, and crime]…." Does this represent a breakthrough or is it hogwash? Because the idea is not adequately developed, this reviewer remains unsure. VERDICT Derber writes in a lively, "hurry-up" style reflecting, no doubt, the urgency of the global warming problem, but it tends to work against the big ideas he proposes. For a weightier discussion, readers will want to consult James Gustave Speth's The Bridge at the End of the World.—Robert Eagan, Windsor P.L., Ont.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781594518126
  • Publisher: Paradigm Publishers
  • Publication date: 2/28/2010
  • Pages: 272
  • Product dimensions: 12.20 (w) x 8.10 (h) x 1.00 (d)

Meet the Author

Charles Derber, Professor of Sociology at Boston College, has written twenty books,including bestsellers with multiple translations and editions. He has also written opinion pieces for the New York Times, the Boston Globe, the Christian Science Monitor, Newsday, and other newspapers and magazines. His most recent book is Capitalism: Should You Buy It? An Invitation to Political Economy (Paradigm 2014).

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