Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Green book review week - part 3: A Conservationist Manifesto

Our third book on the green book review week is a very unique book that reminds us of the thing we tend to forget so easily such as the responsibilities we bear for the well-being of future generations. Actually as you'll find out, it's a manifesto.

Our book today is:

A Conservationist Manifesto

Scott Russel Sanders
Scott Russell Sanders, Distinguished Professor of English at Indiana University Bloomington, is the author of 20 books of fiction and nonfiction, including
Writing from the Center (IUP, 1995), Hunting for Hope, and A Private History of Awe. Sanders is winner of the Lannan Literary Award, John Burroughs Essay Award for Natural History, AWP Award in Creative Nonfiction, and the 2009 Mark Twain Award. He lives in Bloomington, Indiana.
Indiana University Press

Published on:
February 2009

What this book is about? (from the the author's website)

A Conservationist Manifesto was published on Earth Day, April 22, by Indiana University Press. The book addresses what I take to be the greatest challenge facing our society, which is to shift from a culture based on consumption to a culture based on caretaking.

What would a truly sustainable economy look like? What responsibilities do we bear for the well-being of future generations? What responsibilities do we bear toward Earth’s millions of other species? In a time of ecological calamity and widespread human suffering, how should we imagine a good life? A Conservationist Manifesto seeks answers to these pressing questions, and more, in writing that’s impelled by a sense of place and a sense of hope.

What we think about it?
This is a warning call, but unlike many others (for example "An Inconvenient Truth"), it's a very poetic one. The call is very much the same call about over-using natural resources and our destructive culture of consumption, but Sanders' writing is unique in the way he is corresponding with traditional American nature world writing
of authors such as Henry Thoreau and John Muir, hence providing us with a powerful and unique message that stands out in what the author calls "our cultural cacophony".

His vision of harmony with nature, living more lightly, putting more focus on community and people and less on consumption is not a new recipe for happiness and better life, but his stories and his personal experience provide a fresh and interesting perspective to this belief.

This book is also in many ways the story of the home state of the author - Indiana, where he lives for almost 40 years. It's interesting not only to Indiana natives and residents, but also to anyone who is interested to better understand present conservation efforts, and not only in Indiana but everywhere, as this is a local story but there are many similar stories elsewhere where the lessons here can apply.

Bottom Line: If you're interested in human-nature relationship and/or the future of this planet, this small book that fit nicely into any bag, can be a good company to your next hiking trip or camping vacation.

If you're looking for other interesting green-themed books, you are invited to check out our green books page on our website's green resources section.

Raz @ Eco-Libris

Eco-Libris: promoting green reading