My first book, What Is Sustainable, presented an introduction to genuine sustainability, with an emphasis on food. In the old-fashioned sense of the word, sustainability has to do with living in a way that doesn’t diminish the ecosystem during the passage of thousands of years. Good old-fashioned fundamentalist sustainability has nothing to do with industrial civilization, solar panels, wind turbines, or the lame parade of sustainable oxymorons (“sustainable growth,” etc.).
Sustainable or Bust is a collection of 64 book reviews, and 16 rants. It’s a gallery of thinkers, scholars, and ideas intended to explore important notions that are routinely swept under the carpet. It’s a book for pilgrims who are awake, alive, intensely skeptical, and hungry for outside-the-box ideas. The earlier book does not need to be read first, but folks who like one will like both.
I’ve been studying the Earth Crisis for over 20 years, and have read hundreds of books. Sustainable or Bust is a sampler of provocative thinking. It provides no silver bullet cures for all that ails us. It intends to provide a broader understanding of our predicament, in the hope that we can move forward without repeating many serious mistakes.
Clearly, the “normal” way of life is entirely unsustainable, and it has an expiration date. At present, few are devoting much thought to genuine sustainability, because it is so different from the status quo. It would be wise to learn, and Sustainable or Bust is a useful tool for the job.
Seven-point-something billion people can’t switch to sustainable living this afternoon, because it’s temporarily impossible. But the collapse of industrial civilization is now in its early stages, and when it’s done, the human sphere will be much smaller, slower, and simpler. Decades down the road, many new options will become possible, including genuine sustainability.
We could help our descendants find a more direct path to health and balance by learning about sustainability now, and sharing this wisdom with the young ones. There’s never been a better time to hit the books and feed our minds — before the lights go out. Nothing can change until ideas change.
I don’t expect to see the end of the collapse. What the survivors, if any, choose to do is entirely beyond my control. I am not responsible for the decisions they make, but I am responsible for doing what I can to help them understand their history, predicament, and options. Who are we? Where are we from? How did we get here?
Sustainable or Bust is available as a modestly priced paperback, or as a bargain priced Kindle download. At the Amazon page for this book, the Look Inside feature is enabled, which allows you to examine the table of contents, and view sample sections.
Kindle downloads can be read on your computer, tablet, or phone using free software — you don’t need to buy a Kindle. Lending is enabled, so buyers can temporarily “lend” the digital book to a friend. Also, Amazon Prime members can “borrow” the book from Amazon, free of charge. This book is enrolled in the Kindle MatchBook program, which allows those who have purchased the paperback to buy the Kindle version at a large discount.
The paperback should be available via most independent booksellers. Approved booksellers can buy books at wholesale prices via CreateSpace Direct.