Friday, October 05, 2007

Book of the Week – “Capitalism as if the World Matters”

Jonathon Porritt
Capitalism as if the World Matters
Earthscan, 2005, 330.122 POR
Chairman of the UK Ecology – now Green – Party from 1978 to 1984, Director of Friends of the Earth from then until 1990, and co-founder of Forum for the Future in 1996, Jonathon Porritt turned his attention in his most recent book, Capitalism as if the World Matters, to arguing for just that: a reorganisation of the capitalist system to take account of the value of the raw natural resources it extracts from the earth, and an environmentalism that acknowledges the reality of capitalism’s widespread, dominant, popular position as “the only economic game in town.”

Instead of what he sees as Green politics’ negative emphasis and traditional refusal to engage with businesses, – preferring to look down on them only as the causes of climate change – Porritt argues for what he has been working to achieve in his role as a consultant to businesses and chair of the Sustainable Development Committee; a constructive engagement with the systems that generate pollution, to find workable solutions to the problems facing the planet today.

Porritt’s goal is a politically engaged green movement that capitalises on the current importance of enviromental issues to electorial politics by talking of the positive benefits that the challenge of climate change could bring society, by providing an opportunity to tackle social inequalities, correct the work-life balance and reorganise communities in line with the principles of sustainable development.

Jonathon Porrit blogs here, and will be presenting a talk on the book at the RSA on Thursday, 25 October. Précis of the book are available from The Observer and openDemocracy, the latter also featuring six responses.

To borrow a copy of Capitalism as if the World Matters, please contact the RSA Library.

No comments: