Monday, February 23, 2009

The daily photo from Malawi, Africa

We hope you're enjoying our daily presentations of photos from Malawi, Africa, where our planting partner RIPPLE Africa has finished another successful planting season. About 1.5 million trees being planted on December and January!

Today we have another photo that combines hope on one side and the devestating reality on the other side. The photo is of Chiefs Forest guards that RIPPLE Africa organized to visit recently destroyed forests.

We'll continue our celebration this upcoming week with new photos from RIPPLE Africa.

Raz @ Eco-Libris

Monday's green books series: 'Ecological Debt' by Andrew Simms

We see these days what happens to the economy and to us as a whole when many individuals and companies don't operate within their financial means.

Can we imagine what will happen if we don't live within your environmental means? is it already happening and we're in environmental debt? our green book for this week is seeking the answers.

Our book for today is:

Ecological Debt: The Health of the Planet and the Wealth of Nations (second edition)

Author: Andrew Simms

Andrew Simms is the new economics foundation's (nef) Policy Director and head of nef's Climate Change programme. He is the author of numerous other publications about human development and the environment. He is co-editor of, Do Good Lives Have to Cost the Earth? (2008), and author of Tescopoly: How one shop came out on top and why it matters (2007).

Andrew studied at the LSE and has worked for a variety of development and environmental organisations, including Oxfam and the International Institute for Environment and Development and has been a regular contributor to the International Red Cross’s annual World Disasters Report. Andrew is a board member of Greenpeace UK and The Energy and Resources Institute (TERI) Europe. Previously, Andrew led campaigns for the development agency Christian Aid which included being one of the original organisers and leading advocates for the Jubilee 2000 Coalition debt relief campaign, the precursor to the Make Poverty History campaign.

Publisher: Pluto Press

Published on: February 17, 2009 (first edition was published on May2005)

What it is about (from
Borders website):
This is the second edition of Andrew Simm's highly regarded guide to ecological debt. Simms shows how millions of us in the West are running up huge ecological debts: from the amount of oil and coal that we burn to heat our houses and run our cars, to what we consume and the waste that we create, the impact of our lifestyles is felt worldwide. Whilst these debts go unpaid, millions more living in poverty in the majority world suffer the burden of paying dubious foreign financial debts.

The book explores a great paradox of our age: how the global wealth gap was built on ecological debts, which the world's poorest are now having to pay for. Highlighting how and why this has happened, he also shows what can be done differently in the future. Now updated throughout, this is a clear and passionate account of the steps we can take to stop pushing the planet to the point of environmental bankruptcy.

Why you should get it:
Nowadays when everyone is worried about the economy it seems that our usage of the planet's resources is getting pushed a little bit to the side, but it shouldn't be this way. This is not the 'real' world. This is a kind of a bubble. And we all see now what happens when one day reality knocks on the door. And you cannot nationalize planet earth, with or without calling it nationalization, until things will get better. It just doesn't work this way.

The recession might be actually a good timing to read the second edition of this book that looks even more relevant and more urgent in its call for action. Simms believes that
our economy, resource base and biosphere are interdependent and hence the solution is integrative and include social, environmental and economic dimensions that enforce each other and can actually make it work. How developing countries should exactly reboot themselves to live within their economic and environmental means? and is sustainability the answer? the book is definitely a good place to start understanding these questions and figuring out the replies.

What others say about the book (its first edition):
"Creative and compelling."

"Essential reading." Head of the IPCC

"A new phrase has entered the language." Anita Roddick

Want to learn more about the ideas an concepts Simms presents in the book? check out this video of Resist Network:

More videos with Simms can be found at

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

Plant a tree for every book you read!