A random sampling of inspirational people, writings, and resources that offer new ways of thinking, doing, and living.
Janine Benyas, Biomimicry: Innovation Inspired by Nature, 1997
This was turned into a 2-hour PBS called The Nature of Things by David Suzuki. Easy to read stories of visits with people who are doing exciting things that could revolutionize how we grow grain, how we make things, and how we harness energy.
Gunter Pauli, NERI, Upsizing: The Road to Zero Emissions, 1998 and others
An Austrian, putting biomimicry to work in many parts of the world! Gunter is a wizard at taking a problem and turning it into a solution that gets people on board BECAUSE it is a solution that creates jobs, income, food, and rejuvenates the earth!
Dr. Art’s Guide To Planet Earth, by Art Sussman
“This is an outstanding book. Vividly, clearly and concisely Art Sussman explains how our planet works and what can happen when the balance of nature is upset. It will capture the imagination of readers of all ages and invoke a sense of wonder. I absolutely recommend Dr. Art’s Guide to Planet Earth – it deserves a place not only in every classroom but also every home. Get it now!” says Dr. Jane Goodall. www.planetguide.net has activities and brain teasers for students!
David Korten, Businessman who saw the light. His message is that we need to change how we relate to each other – cooperate not compete. His thesis is that competition is the root of governmental oppression, and the power of corporations etc. Cooperation is the answer! The Great Turning. In 2008 he spoke in Bernardston, His talk was videoed by GCTV volunteer, and can be purchased from him. Please make check out to Carl Doerner and mail it to him at 137 So. Shirkshire, Conway, MA 01341.
Van Jones, Special Advisor to the White House on Green Jobs, formerly with the Ella Baker Center, CA, and a powerful speaker! His vision is to use the energy and climate crisis to create equity and solve the racial and economic/class issues in the country. He sees millions of green collar jobs being created, that if offered to the disenfranchised, would create a better world. A 21st Century FDR New Deal. www.ellabakercenter.org and www.vanjones.net. 2008 new book: The Green Collar Economy: How One Solution can Fix our Two biggest Problems.
David Engwicht, Reclaiming our Cities and Towns, 1992. David is an Australian. He uses data from studies to explain what happens to the fabric of community when streets are widened, traffic quickens, and makes a case for what to about it.
Richard Register, Ecocities: Rebuilding Cities in Balance with Nature, 2006. Great graphics of what our communities could look like, and how they could work from a transportation / energy point of view. Clearly written by a left-leaning person from Berkeley who is long-winded, his work is used extensively in a more measured and useful book for citizens and their governments by Mark Roseland, in Toward Sustainable Communities, 2007.
Ken Downs, www.TransitionAndSocialChange.org
System/process for handling change based on work of William Bridges on Managing Transitions, Elizabeth Kubler-Ross On Death and Dying and ARIA-C3. I personally found this VERY helpful framework with worksheets etc. on the process of community consensus building.
Jared Diamond, Collapse: How Societies Choose to Fail or Succeed, 2005
I confess I have not read this…but it puts our society in the context of history … and he talks about societies that avoid collapse through change, so it is not all gloomy!
Donella & Dennis Meadows et al Limits to Growth, the 30-Year Update, 2004
Originally published in 1972 as an outcome of a PhD thesis, this book is the “Silent Spring” of climate change. It recognized that our earth is finite, and looked at a pile of “what ifs.” In this new, updated version, they recognize that the need for change is more urgent than ever. They offer 5 tools for transition to sustainability: Visioning, Networking, Truth Telling, Learning, and Loving. Interesting – nothing about technology! Sadly Donella died in 2001. One of the most useful things attributable to her is the insight that the fastest and best way to intervene in a system is to change the goal. Hmmm….it gets the brain moving in interesting ways!
Lester Brown, with the Earth Policy Institute, formerly with World Watch Institute, has several books out called Plan B 3.0 etc. They tend to focus on big picture policy /economic solutions.
Pat Murphy, director of Community Solutions, co-producer and writer of the film, the Power of Community: How Cuba survived Peak Oil, released a book called Plan C, in 2009 for citizen organizers and Town officials.
Transforming Big Business: GreenOrder is a strategy and management consulting firm specializing in sustainable business. Their web site, under publications, has links to interesting articles about big business trends and the benefits of going green. Founder and President, Andrew L. Shapiro is the author of The Control Revolution (1999), and www.GreenYour.com, the web-based guide to green anything. Other members of the team are equally interesting.
The Zero Waste Alliance – The zero waste movement started in New Zealand. Great web site on how to, and what various communities around the world have achieved!
The Bioneers holds annual conferences around the country which give a platform to visionary thinkers. They also have, CD’s of conference speakers for radio at no cost.
Factual information – focus on “energy technology solutions”
McKinsey Report - Reducing U.S. Greenhouse Gas Emissions: How Much at What Cost, 2007. Excellent joint effort of the Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC) and Environmental Entrepreneurs (E2). It looked at the economics of 250 measures, and their return on investment. The goal was to give the government and business communities the tool they needed to understand the economic implications of action or inaction. The case for action is clearly made.
Tackling Climate Change in the U.S. Potential Carbon Emissions Reductions from Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy by 2030, Ed. Charles F. Kutscher, 2007. A compilation of papers by experts in the field from the National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) and with maps, charts, and commentary on the potential for most renewable technologies with the exception of water.
Please send us blurbs on your favorite solution thinkers!