Books to NOT enjoy by the beach.

David Quilty

1 Comment

June 22, 2006

* I received a few emails about this book list, so I wanted to move it up to the top again as people were going to refer others to it.

Well, here it is…the book list everyone has been waiting book list that is not really made for lounging at the beach drinking a margarita…I put links to the books on Amazon in the right margin, in case you are interested in picking one of them up!

The UNTIED States of America by Juan Enriquez

I just finished this book this weekend, and well, I was impressed. The writing style was completely foreign to me, as the entire book was broken up into snippets of information, all leading into the next little piece. It was hard to read at first, but once I got going, it flowed easily. Enriquez explores the downfall of civilizations, both past and present, and writes about how so many countries disappear and/or combine into other countries, and how the United States might be headed towards the same fate. Due to political unrest, trade agreements, international wars and our financial system, he spells out the reasons why the United States could be broken into several different countries. Americans think their country is immune to such things, but when Enriquez takes the time to explore what happened to other countries in the past 100 years, and what has been going on in this country lately, you can see that he might have a point. Highly recommended.

The Long Emergency by James Howard Kunstler

This one I read a lot about before picking it up. Some people said it was a bible as to what will happen when the oil runs out, others said it was too over the top to be realistic. I tend to think its a combination of both. He knows what he is writing about, no doubt, and he makes MANY valid points. We need oil to make everything we use, from the obvious (gasoline) to the not so obvious (solar panels). Thus, his point….all the people talking about how some scientist will come up with a replacement for oil are dead wrong, as we need the oil to make a replacement. We need it to make food, make goods, make the cars themselves (never mind the gas), build roads, make clothes, buildings, houses, etc etc. So unless we start TODAY making a replacement for oil while we still have some, we wont have the ability to maintain our society in the future. Suburbs will die out, people worldwide will starve (anyone know the percentage of food that we eat that comes from foreign countries?), and we will return to a horse and carriage lifestyle. As much as I would like to think this was all fiction, I tend to believe a majority of the information in the book. Check it out if you have been reading about “peak oil” and what might happen when it runs out.

Cradle to Cradle by William McDonough and Michael Braungart

I read this one a few months ago, and I still recommend it to my green friends. Published with recycled resins and plastics turned into pages, with soy as an ink, the entire book is recycleable. This is the main point of the book, that we dont need to settle on the way things are now, but rather that most things we use can be made with materials that start off as “environment-friendly” and end up being used as something else, or better yet returned to the earth. Thus the title, “Crade to Cradle”. What we are doing now is “down-cycling” which just produces inferior products down the line, as materials break down. They make some great points about what we can all do, along with pointing out projects they have built (one is an architect and one is a chemist) that are so green they make grass jealous. Highly recommended for anyone looking to learn about true sustainability.

Phew…onto my next 3 books this week!