BOOK REVIEW…This Changes Everything: Capitalism vs. the climate

This is the first book I have read by Naomi Klein and it came with a recommendation to stop reading everything and read this instead. The message she gave was too urgent and life-changing to wait. The lasting impression I felt is a feeling of appreciation for those who give their time to protest, and I was grasping the relevance of political participation more than ever before. Continue reading

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Is it possible to clean the house and the body without dirtying the planet?

I have now been trying to reduce the clutter in my house for over 13 months and I have started reaching the end of cleaning products, shampoos and make up. I had a drawer full of plastic bottles, some of them probably a decade old, plus huge amounts of cleaning products under the sink. The majority of the products I owned were transnational mega-brands, mostly owned by Procter and Gamble. From now on, I will be Continue reading

BOOK REVIEW… The Lugano Report on Preserving Capitalism in the Twenty-First Century

Author: Susan George

ISBN: 0-7453-2206-9

This is the most intense, chilling books I have ever read, leaving me speechless for hours. It appears to be morphing from fiction to non-fiction as time moves on. George’s astute observations of our world helped her foresee the path we have stumbled along since 1999, when the first edition was published. Reminiscent of Swift’s A Modest Proposal, the straight-faced satirical style led to difficulties if readers did not finish the book and believed the report to be real. The new edition, published in 2003, includes an introduction by the author to avoid this misunderstanding.

The premise of the book is that a group of experts have been asked to determine how capitalism can survive in the 21st Century, what the threats are to its long-term preservation and what actions should be taken now to reduce the risks of these threats. See this excellent summary by Frances Hutchinson, for more details.

Following the book, you may feel as powerless and wordless as I did. I recommend visiting these sites for further guidance on what can be done.

TNI: Transnational Institute of Policy Studies.

Feasta: The Foundation for the Economics of Sustainability

Whilst the messages in the book are not the easiest to digest, it is a superbly written book that I couldn’t put down until I had finished. Read it, and then lend it to a friend.

Influencing industry: How to bank for the climate

If your political involvement extends no further than turning up to vote, then you are missing a significant lever for influencing change.

Your money does not sit idly in a bank vault somewhere waiting for you to take it out. Giving your money to a bank means they can be sending it off to do all sorts of mischief on your behalf. By choosing your bank and your pension, you are also voting for what your money invests in. Banks invest in warrainforest destruction or anything else that will make them money such as those shown in the video below.

To make financial investment and banking decisions, visit Ethical Consumer for the best advice. As the concept of ‘ethical’ can mean different things to different people, you can choose what areas of ‘ethical’ are most important to you. They also filter through the greenwash to help understand how a company has come up with the term ‘ethical’.

And as a further prompt, if you still bank with the big high street banks, take a look at this video…