Our Blog | Guest Posts

Guest Post - Jenn Savedge - My Plastic Free February

by: EJ on 02/01/2011
Posted in: Guest Posts

Each week I receive Green Parent Daily Tips from Jenn Savedge. Jenn is a full-time mom, environmentalist and author who researches and writes about the two topics that are closest to her heart: children and the environment. Her book, The Green Teen: The Eco-Friendly Teen's Guide to Saving the Planet, was published by New Society Publishers in …

read full article

Guest Post - John Restakis - Humanizing the Economy

by: EJ on 10/27/2010
Posted in: Guest Posts

Humanizing the Economy by John Restakis has just been released and was launched to celebrate Co-op Week on October 21st. In this guest post, author John Restakis explains his motivation for writing the book and his hopes for the future.

In the fall of 2008, I was fortunate enough to be able to take a year long sabbatical to research and write about the role of the co-op model in today’s global era. When I left Vancouver for my outpost on the quiet mountain slopes of eastern Tuscany, things were just beginning to look bad on Wall Street. By mid November, the financial systems of the world’s leading economies were on the verge of collapse. I followed the events on a tiny television from the kitchen of a small stone farmhouse surrounded by thick woods and deep snow but still able to receive the satellite signals of the BBC and Al Jazeera. It was a perfect instance of the perks and perils of our global era. Deeply affected by what I was witnessing, as were millions of others, I decided to frame the narrative of the book I was writing within the crisis of capitalism and the utter lack of any consequential discussion of an alternative. Two years on, the meltdown seems to have been stemmed. But the deeper crisis of a system in dysfunction continues to unfold. Meanwhile, opposition to the status quo has become a permanent and growing feature of any international economic gathering. Most recently, at the June meetings of the G20 and G8 in Toronto, the security measures surpassed $1 billion in costs and turned the city’s core into an armed camp.

In fact, the rising crescendo of protests that commenced at the Battle of Seattle a decade ago are only the most recent outcries against a model of economic and social organization that has drawn determined opposition and resistance for the last two hundred years. But the tangible effects of this global economic order, the marks that it scribes on the lives and livelihoods of billions of people the world over, are felt not in the realm of ideology, trade policy or politics. The effects are visible in the wages people earn if they are lucky enough to have a job, in the prices they get for their coffee beans, in the cleanliness of their drinking water, in the quality of their shelter and whether or not their children will go to school. These are the battles for survival and the prospect of life with dignity that billions of people the world over have to wage day in and day out. Today, with a global economic crisis destroying the livelihoods and pulling the foundations from under millions in developed and poor economies alike, the pitfalls of the new economic order are plain for all to see.

I wrote Humanizing the Economy to talk about an alternative. At its heart, it is a story about how a revolution in human society that began with the rise of democracy in politics continues to unfold as the democratic idea struggles to find its place in the world of economics. If economic democracy is the hidden face of this ongoing revolution, then the history of the co-operative idea is its most durable expression.

read full article

Guest Post - Richard Heinberg - Peak Everything

by: EJ on 08/23/2010
Posted in: Guest Posts

Richard Heinberg's Peak Everything: Waking Up to a Century of Declines will be available in paperback September 3rd. As with many New Society books, the original hard cover version of Peak Everything was published at a critical time and introduced a startling new concept to our readers. With the release of Peak Everything in paperback, we are …

read full article

Guest Post - Guy Dauncey - The Oil that Must Awaken Us

by: Heather on 05/28/2010
Posted in: Guest Posts

Guy Dauncey, editor of The101SolutionsSeries is the next New Society author to weigh in on the catastrophic spill in the Gulf. This article also appears in the June 2010 issue of EcoNews and is reprinted here by permission. Thanks Guy!

What a mess. Where can we find the appropriate analogy to describe what's happening in the Gulf of Mexico, where …

read full article

Guest Post - Melissa Everett- Letter to the Class of 2010

by: EJ on 05/21/2010
Posted in: Guest Posts

With the end of the educational year fast approaching, many students are already having their graduation ceremonies and thinking about their next steps. Melissa Everett, author of Making a Living While Making a Difference: Conscious Careers in an Era of Interdependence sent us this post for the graduates of the class of 2010.

A radio interviewer recently shocked me with a question about an energy challenge campaign I was promoting - which was really a question about human nature. On the subject of cutting our carbon footprint a mere ten percent, he asked, "Frankly, don't you think our generation is too selfish and set in its ways? It's going to have to fall on the young people to make real change."

That's too easy. My generation, the Boomers, and those before ours, helped to build a world of fossil fuel use and industrial agriculture and financial institutions that have gambled with the futures of the generations to come. You do not want to hear the state of the world; you probably don't want to hear us apologizing for our short-sightedness - or, from those of us who have devoted our lives to creating more sustainable approaches, apologies for not being more successful.

You are entering the labor market before much of the Class of 2009 has been fully absorbed into meaningful employment. You are hearing a buzz about green jobs - renewable energy installation, smart grid engineering, transportation modeling, and materials research to produce better stuff with fewer toxics, to name some key opportunities . However, for the most part, the overall economic situation, and the slow movement of environmental policy, have kept the performance of the green economy far below its promise. As graduates, you are bringing your calm and accepting sensibilities out into a very competitive environment.

This predicament has already taking a toll with the class of 2009 and probably with you. According to a recent Business Week article, young people are less and less likely to vote, and are paying less attention to the big picture, than they were even a year or two ago. You're saving your strength for finding work.

It is not the business of the older generation to ask you to change that.

But there is one question that's in your best interest to consider, if you want to see a stronger economy, and especially a stronger innovation sector. Where will all the green jobs come from?

read full article