Our Blog | June 2009

Convergence on Zero: Transition to Zero Emissions

by: EJ on 06/15/2009
Posted in: Events

New Society authors Richard Heinberg and Albert Bates will be speaking at the Convergence on Zero: Transition to Zero Emmissions conference at the Smithsonian National Museum for Natural History on June 25-26th. The conference is organized by the Centre for Alternative Technology in the UK. The goal is to bring leading voices from both sides of …

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New Society Publishers - From Candlelight to Leading Lights

by: Heather on 06/11/2009
Posted in: Events

The latest BC BookWorld contains a profile of New Society Publishers from the point of view of our principals - Chris and Judith Plant. Written by Chris, this retrospective is a rare opportunity for an overview of the evolution of a remarkable company and the equally remarkable lives that shaped it. Enjoy!


How the activist agenda of New Society Publishers has been embraced worldwide

Twenty years ago, when Judith Plant published her first book, Healing the Wounds: The Promise of Ecofeminism with New Society Publishers in Philadelphia, she and her partner Chris Plant wrestled with a publishing decision that changed the course of their lives, leading them out of the backwoods to the forefront of the Sustainability Movement. Here Chris Plant recalls the evolution of their remarkable imprint.

When Judith published her first book, we were living in the mountains north of Lillooet, where we had published The New Catalyst magazine for four years.

Perched on a rocky bluff by the side of a mountain stream, we generated enough electricity from a micro-hydro system to power our household and our fledgling business. Having to sometimes type by the light of two candles placed on either side of our portable Osborne computer, we called this our Paleotechnic era.

That summer we received a visit from the chief New Society editor and his partner, who was the finance manager for their book publishing operation. They had recently left the East Coast to open a West Coast office in Santa Cruz, California. David Albert suggested that instead of publishing our quarterly magazine on tabloid newsprint, we should consider packaging the material in book form. That way it would last longer and have more shelf appeal.

It was an opportunity we couldn't refuse. We decided to open up a Canadian office for New Society Publishers, acquiring editorial projects ourselves and marketing the whole of NSP's list to the Canadian market.

That's how New Society Publishers Canada officially opened for business in 1990. The first project we undertook was to edit, with our good friends Van Andruss and Eleanor Wright, the first anthology on bioregionalism, Home! A Bioregional Reader.

As promoters of the bioregional idea (we had organized the third continent-wide North American Bioregional Congress in 1986), this was a project close to our hearts. We then got to work on the new series. The first volume involved the transformation of some past New Catalyst material into book form. Turtle Talk: Voices for a Sustainable Future comprised a collection of interviews we had conducted with key characters in the sustainability movement that had appeared in the centerfold of The New Catalyst magazine. The book came off the press at the very time that we moved from the Lillooet area to our new home on Gabriola Island, and we spent many hours around the dining room table packaging up copies to send out to our 2000-odd subscriber list, conscripting my visiting aunt into the mailing process.

Other volumes followed in close succession-- including Our Ecological Footprint, by Bill Rees and Mathis Wackernagel. We released two titles per year, sold by subscription and direct mail, as well as through the conventional book trade. We originated other B.C. titles, too, including Colonialism On Trial, something of a pre-Manga cartoon record of the Gitksan Wet'suwet'en land claims court case, and Clayoquot Mass Trials which documented a watershed phase in the environmental movement.

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Green Careers - Choosing Work for a Sustainable Future

by: EJ on 06/10/2009
Posted in: New Books

In a recent interview with Alice Rush on "Get Unstuck", Voice America's Nick Montoya called Green Careers: Choosing Work for a Sustainable Future, "One of the only books out there that details what those green careers and green jobs are all about". In this interview, Alice outlines how she and co-author Jim Cassio have approached the green career …

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Celebrate Our Oceans Today

by: EJ on 06/08/2009
Posted in: Events

Happy World Oceans Day everyone!

Yesterday I attended our community celebration for World Oceans Day as a volunteer with the Georgia Strait Alliance. Our event was part of an overall effort to educate people about our precious oceans and how our daily lives are connected to the waters that nourish our earth. The Strait of Georgia is the body of …

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Living Green Book Launch Events in San Francisco

by: EJ on 06/05/2009
Posted in: Author Events

Jennifer Fosket and Laura Mamo are hosting three events this month to launch their new book, Living Green: Communities that Sustain. Their first event at the San Francisco Center for the Book celebrated the book's release with Margaret Fabrizio, artist and musician, who showed a silent film and gave an inspiring speech. The story of Margaret's …

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