The Bridge at the Edge of the World: Capitalism, the Environment, and Crossing from Crisis to Sustainability

The Bridge at the Edge of the World: Capitalism, the Environment, and Crossing from Crisis to Sustainability

by James Gustave Speth, J. G. Speth
     
 

How serious are the threats to our environment? Here is one measure of the problem: if we continue to do exactly what we are doing, with no growth in the human population or the world economy, the world in the latter part of this century will be unfit to live in. Of course human activities are not holding at current levels—they are accelerating,

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Overview

How serious are the threats to our environment? Here is one measure of the problem: if we continue to do exactly what we are doing, with no growth in the human population or the world economy, the world in the latter part of this century will be unfit to live in. Of course human activities are not holding at current levels—they are accelerating, dramatically—and so, too, is the pace of climate disruption, biotic impoverishment, and toxification. In this book Gus Speth, author of Red Sky at Morning and a widely respected environmentalist, begins with the observation that the environmental community has grown in strength and sophistication, but the environment has continued to decline, to the point that we are now at the edge of catastrophe.

Speth contends that this situation is a severe indictment of the economic and political system we call modern capitalism. Our vital task is now to change the operating instructions for today’s destructive world economy before it is too late. The book is about how to do that.

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Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780300151152
Publisher:
Yale University Press
Publication date:
03/10/2009
Pages:
320
Sales rank:
385,014
Product dimensions:
5.40(w) x 8.20(h) x 1.00(d)

Table of Contents

Preface ix

Acknowledgments xviii

Introduction: Between Two Worlds 1

Part 1 System Failure

1 Looking into the Abyss 17

2 Modern Capitalism: Out of Control 46

3 The Limits of Today's Environmentalism 67

Part 2 The Great Transformation

4 The Market: Making It Work for the Environment 89

5 Economic Growth: Moving to a Post-Growth Society 107

6 Real Growth: Promoting the Well-Being of People and Nature 126

7 Consumption: Living with Enough, Not Always More 147

8 The Corporation: Changing the Fundamental Dynamics 165

9 Capitalism's Core: Advancing beyond Today's Capitalism 183

Part 3 Seedbeds of Transformation

10 A New Consciousness 199

11 A New Politics 217

12 The Bridge at the Edge of the World 233

Notes 239

Index 281

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