Wednesday, July 2, 2008
Deep Economy: The Wealth of Communities and the Durable Future / Bill McKibben -- NY: Times Books, 2007.
Bill McKibben's Deep Economy is an important and abitious attempt to unsettle the economic paradigm that values economic growth above all other values. He especially seeks to remind us that our satisfaction and quality of life often have more to do with our relations to other people than how many possessions we have accumulated. At the same time, he does not question the need for greater wealth among the planet's least well off. McKibben argues that to address the two most pressing problems of the 21st Century (Peak Oil and Global Warming), we must rediscover the values of local economies. At times Deep Economy advocates sweeping changes that are hard to know how to apply. This leads McKibben to reiterate his advice, "patronize your local farmer's market" as the prime exemple of how to alleviate the world's ills; but in the end, McKibben's main claims and arguments are absolutely right. Unfortunately, it's up to us to work out the details of creating effective local economies.