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

Deep Economy: The Wealth of Communities and the Durable Future
Bill McKibben
Times Books
272 pages
March 2007
rated 4 of 5 possible stars

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In a post-modern world of global economy, global warming, depleted energy reserves, increased war and violence and deepening poverty, Bill McKibben’s Deep Economy shines a ray of hope. Using examples, stories and personal experiences, McKibben makes the news stories and statistics real. He brings the reality of the global condition down to a personal level. We meet the people who are affected by global economic trends—and the people who are finding creative solutions for a new economic reality. McKibben’s point is not that growth economy is bad; in fact, he shows how it works very well up to a point. We have, however, passed that point. Growth economy no longer works because

  • The earth cannot sustain Western-style economic growth for all people.
  • Economic growth improves quality of life to a point. After that point has been reached, however—as it has in developed countries—continued growth diminishes quality of life.
  • We are rapidly approaching peak oil and energy reserves, and supplies will begin to dwindle soon.
  • Economic growth fosters isolation and individualism, which are disadvantageous in a global economy.
McKibben is not a Luddite or back-to-nature freak. He believes that all people can enjoy many of the comforts and luxuries of developed countries by developing local economies. He shows example after example of how that is already happening all over the world. We meet Paul Weertz, who farms ten acres scattered over empty Detroit lots. We learn how Cuba survived the end of Communist Russia by developing local agricultural economies. We meet Guatemalan farmers who turn discarded bicycles into farm machinery that increases their productivity without requiring them to buy expensive energy.

Deep Economy doesn’t prescribe a solution to our current world economic problems. Instead, it shows how people are coming up with creative local solutions that improve the economic well-being of their friends and neighbors. Bill McKibben shows us how local economies

  • Are sustainable
  • Can provide a good quality of life for all people
  • Are not dependent on oil reserves
  • Foster community and relationship.
Deep Economy is a book of warning and of hope. There is a clear warning that, if humanity continues to pursue the economy of more, we will not survive. There is also the hope of a possible future for the human race that is rapidly becoming a present reality, a future where people are more interconnected in both local and global ways. A future where humans and the world that nurtures and feeds us still exist.

Originally published on Curled Up With A Good Book at © Penny Watkins, 2007

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