Friday, March 13, 2009

Book Review - Deep Economy

Deep Economy: The Wealth of Communities and the Durable Future Deep Economy: The Wealth of Communities and the Durable Future by Bill McKibben

My review

rating: 5 of 5 stars
Deep Economy will force you to reevaluate your purchasing patterns and (hopefully) your consumer behavior. He illustrates that the current economic model most nations are using may end up with many more losers than winners. While the world is growing at an enormous rate, we are consuming at an enormous rate. He illustrates how unsustainable this is for the US and the arsenal of countries on the verge of becoming developed.

In exchange, he offers a new way of looking at economics. He develops a model through a local community in place of a growth model. In the first chapter, he shows how our food system could be altered in order to be more sustainable and to build community at the same time. Later he extends this model to other issues pressing our future on the earth: energy production, transportation, etc.

From my perspective growing up on a farm, everything McKibben makes sense: Buy local, and all of the money goes to the farmers in the community and at the same time, food is the freshest. Live within your means in a way that is in concert with the environment. Over consumption doesn't equal happiness, but family, community, and relationships will lead to lasting happiness.

I appreciate that his ideas are not radical nor ideological. McKibben reinforced his ideas with common sense alternatives to our typical consumerism in the United States. I think that you would be inspired after reading this book, and realize how much control we do have to shape the world. Reading this after my recent travels to Nicaragua inspires me to start my professional life living within my means; Central America more than many places shows us the consequences of United States decisions. I will definitely try to thwart off all of the pressures for hyper-consumerism.

My friend recommended this book to me last year and I decided I should pick it up and read it before McKibben comes to my campus in April. The book surely did not disappoint, and I'm excited to see his talk in April.

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