Molly Scott Cato embarked on a mammoth task when she aimed to explain in depth the concept of a bioregional economy. Her book ‘The Bioregional Economy’ is subtitled ‘Land, liberty and the pursuit of happiness’. Somehow I expected a book about an economy that is entirely locked into a geographical region and its geology and landscape. I suppose I had in mind the country divided into watershed defined regions/economies. But that is not the whole story! While there is something about geography in the definition of bioregionalism as developed in this book, as is also explained in it, there cannot really be hard and fast boundaries in bioregionalism. Continue reading Thoughts about an ecologically benign future from Molly Scott Cato
First published in 1972, but still highly relevant, ’The Comedy of Survival’ by Joseph W Meeker does not fit ‘comfortably’ within the normal pattern of books on nature and the environment. In fact its main thrust is within the arts and in particular literature. What the author is aiming to do is point in the direction of a synthesis between art and ecological engagement and philosophy. I have not come across another book which tackles this complex and difficult subject area, for which it must be a seminal text. Meeker, however, touches on deep aspects of our attitude to and understanding of nature and the environment as he tries to develop what he sees as an explanation of our fundamental attitudes to the more than human world through artistic conventions. Along the way, his thoughts certainly challenge the reader’s preconceptions about how we understand and relate to nature. Continue reading Art and ecology discussed in a fundamental way
Havergey; Burnside, John; Little Toller Books, 2017
I have to say that I chose this book to read because I was seduced by its cover. I can only add that it turned out to be a whimsical and seemingly gentle novella, but one that in the end packs a big punch. If I write too much here about why I’ve added it to my list of ‘influential’ books, I fear that I will spoil its impact. Environmentalists and ecologists please read!
Jeremy Lent set out to prove a theory about humanity that interprets the history of the human race as a search for meaning based on certain long-term “big ideas”. Whether he proves this theory or not, this wide ranging account of history and prehistory throughout the world creates a wonderful background for developing an understanding of where we have come from and who we are. Continue reading If you are looking for food for thought, here is a feast!
This is a very readable book. Not because Berry writes in an easy journalistic way, he certainly doesn’t, but because the book feels like someone is just talking to you in a very direct way about their life and values. It makes the reader think hard about the way both s/he and Mr Berry see the world. His point of view is, at the same time, both radical and conservative. It is hard hitting and he certainly doesn’t suffer fools gladly. Continue reading Bluntly expressed, but carefully honed, here are messages that are impossible to deny!
The term ‘ideagram’ is an invented word derived from the merging of ideogram, diagram and idea. It will become clear that I use it to denote a form of graphic that incorporates aspects of all three forms. Continue reading Ideagrams – what are they?