Books

Stop Signs: Cars and Capitalism on the Road to Economic, Social and Ecological Decay

Yves Engler and Bianca Mugyenyi
Coming back to Brisbane, Australia after living in London for a few years was a bit of an automotive culture shock. The landscape of Brisbane and the lives of its people have always been based around cars (since I moved here in the mid 90s), but in the few years I had been gone, a conservative politician had taken parts of this to the next level, creating massive tunnels, extra bridges and elevated freeway ramps reminiscent of Los Angeles.

A New Green History of the World

Clive Ponting
The importance of humanity's relationship with our environment didn't start with the release of Silent Spring, or the industrial revolution. How we have treated our environment has been effecting the rise and fall of civilisations for thousands of years. This wonderful book talked in detail about a number of things I've already been aware of, our extinction of species which has a long history is illustrated with tales such as the demise of the American Passenger Pidgeon. These were profound and will stay with me forever.

The International Politics of Whaling

Peter J. Stoett
After reading this book, you should find you are abreast of most of the issues surrounding whaling, and its history. It offers a reasonably even handed approach, whilst informing the reader that the blue whale has never recovered from the slaughter that went on unimpeded from the 18th to the 20th centuries, he also asks the question of how the whaling moratorium can continue when some species have made good recoveries.

Affluenza : The All Consuming Epidemic

John De Graaf, David Wann, Thomas N. Taylor
Affluenza (Affluence + Influenza) takes the point of view that ever increasing consumption is a disease, caused by greed, spread by advertising, it's symptoms are ever increasing piles of stuff we never use, and it's logical end is the destruction of the natural world in which we live. On average we have twice as much 'stuff' now as we did fifty years ago, yet studies show we are no happier now than we were then.

Global Spin : The Corporate Assault on Environmentalism

Sharon Beder
This is one of the most important books I have ever read, I just can't recommend it highly enough. Sharon Beder outlines how corporations are waging a very conscious war for the public mind against environmentalism, with regard for only themselves. They have resources and media at their control that groups reliant on public donations can only dream about, and when they can't squash the truth with law suits, advertising and political meddling, they take on the facade of traditional grass roots activism and make it their own.

Memo for a Saner World

Bob Brown
Bob Brown stands head and shoulders above the leaders of other parties in this country, morally, intellectually and philosophically. Memo for a Saner World is a collection of disparite thought, though with a clear call within it for a more understanding and ecologically sound world. Detailing some of Bob Brown's struggles thoughout the years, he has risked his own safety for higher causes, and has had some stunning successes. For those seeking a deeper understanding of what the Green party is all about, I recommend Memo for a Saner World.

Seeds of Deception

Jeffrey M. Smith

"Exposing Industry and Government Lies About the Safety of the Genetically Engineered Foods You're Eating". I was manning my first Greenpeace stall at a cool place called "Northey Street City Farm", which is this organic farming cooperative thing, on some reclaimed flood land in the heart of Brisbane where I live. The theme of the day was a "GE Free Picnic" and there were a number of speakers, by far the best was the author of this book. The purpose of the book is to try and get some information out about all the problems that genetically modified foods have had.

The Future Eaters

Tim Flannery
"An Ecological History of the Australian Lands and People". If you are an Australian you should read this book, because it contains many of the things we need to know about our real history, not that concerned only with white men and power. We have stewardship of this land, and we are destroying it because we know nothing about it. This book will get you up to speed on the last few millenia, so that you can start creating a better future. Full of interesting and heartbreaking stories, it might make you understand why so many people are voting Green.