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Ch. 5 - The Durable Future 
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Post Ch. 5 - The Durable Future
Ch. 5 - The Durable Future


Please use this thread for discussing Chapter 5: The Durable Future. You're always welcome to create your own threads if you don't want to post in the chapter threads. ::44




Fri Apr 06, 2007 11:44 pm
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Post Good ending
After putting the book aside for a month, I read this chapter today. McKibben made a convinging case for an environmentally friendly, locally oriented, community focused economy. I'm not sure how to get there from here, but it's good to have a mental picture of a better way of doing things.

In terms of the big picture, I've always been an old-fashioned big-government liberal, who believed in the ideals of FDR's New Deal, LBJ's War on Poverty, and the European welfare states. I still agree with the goals of those programs -- ensuring that everyone's physical needs are satisfied -- and am outraged by the right-wing shift of the US since Reagan took office. Still, this book brings up important issues regarding the environment and local communities, which I'd like to reconcile with my worldview.




Sun May 27, 2007 7:50 pm
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Post Re: Good ending
Well, I finished reading the book a good while ago and I'd like to write a couple of lines concerning the whole experience.

Despite my criticism on the idea of community presented by the author, which I still hold, I am quite happy to have read the book. It has given me plenty of ideas and examples of how alternatives to present-day economic policies are possible and the advantages they might bring to us and to our planet. Maybe he is not bringing up any new ideas, as some of you have criticised here, but if books were only written because their ideas are new, we would really have very few books to read. I think McKibben brings his own view of things and his way of expressing them in his book, which is in itself new, and we, readers, seem to internalize things by means of repetition. I enjoyed McKibben's sense of humor, which at some times becomes more apparent than others.

As for my dissatisfaction with the suggestions presented for future communities, I guess I should try and find other authors dealing with this aspect. I do not presume that one book should give satisfying answers to all my questions. ::05




Fri Jun 08, 2007 11:22 am
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Post Re: Good ending
MCkibben's thesis is finalized with a careful examination of multiple examples across the planet where local economies are transforming the lives of individuals and communities, and providing the framework for a durable, sustainable future. Also, he highlights the ways in which reproducing the dominant economic model across the planet will lead to catastrophe: individually, communally, and ecologically. Imagine India and China on par with the production and consumption habits of the USA?!

McKibben is not ideologically blinded contra capitalism, but pragmatically committed to short term happiness and long term survival...both of which are simply not sustainable if we continue to follow the dominant economic system of "more equals better" and "efficency requires distance" and "greater profit for the few equals greater choices for the many".

Deep Economy is not simply about envisioning a better way to do economics: it is a challenge to confront the dangerous future facing all of us and imagining ways of living that will not succumb to dispair or hide in denial. I think McKibben's prescription for local economies rooted in community living guided by daily democracy is spot on: as is his understanding that no one model will suit every circumstance or provide answers for the entire planet.

I do not think McKibben's book is just a reshash of old arguments: I think it is a fresh look at multiple examples of local economies across the planet, utilizing the latest technological advances and geared to address the frightening up to date climate change indicators. Obviously, "more does not equal better" is hardly a new inisght...but the many examples from around the world of how communities work together to embody this principle is fresh and exciting and an education in itself.

I am grateful that McKibben avoided doom and gloom anti-capitalism and vitriol for the West, especially the USA. His tone was consistently hopeful and constantly bringing the reader back to actual examples and practical solutions in the real world. Still, he was clear about the responsibility the West and the USA holds in adding to the impending crisis we all will be facing, and that if real leadership were truly sought...then embracing local economies rooted in community democracy would be precisely what the USA would offer to the world. And not because we have anything to teach the world...but because our consumption and production habits are the lion's share of the problem.




Tue Jun 26, 2007 3:11 pm
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