Monday, June 25, 2007

Book Recommendation: Blessed Unrest by Paul Hawken

In his latest book, Blessed Unrest: How the Largest Movement in the World Came into Being and Why No One Saw It Coming, Paul Hawken provides an optimistic overview of the environmental movement on a global scale. This movement has no particular leader or ideology, yet, as he estimates, there are between one and two million organizations worldwide working on environmental and social justice issues.

The participants of "the largest social movement in all of human history" come from all walks of life, from the farmer in Africa to the urban activists. He looks as some of the roots of the movement as well as indigenous cultures and organizations as they are related to globalization. He then defines this movement as related to two biological terms, "immunity" and "restoration."

He ultimately explores the connection between environmental and social justice issues. The strategy, for instance, of a "zero-waste society" cannot be achieved without reducing both environmental or material waste as well as "waste on a social level"--underemployment and the marginalization of human beings.

This book is timely, given the recent attention to global warming, green living, and green business practices.