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Good News for a Change: How Everyday People Are Helping the Planet [School & Library Binding]

David T. Suzuki , Holly Dressel
5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)

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Book Description

September 2003 0613920821 978-0613920827
We all know the bad news;we read reports of the damage that industrial development is wreaking on our soil, air, and water. The good news is that thousands of individuals, groups, and businesses are already changing their ways. There is a spontaneous global quest for ways to survive sustainably, and, say Suzuki and Dressel, many of the technologies that we need to realize our goals are already within our grasp.
--This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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With Good News for a Change, scientist and environmentalist David Suzuki sheds his town crier image and, along with co-author Holly Dressel, accentuates the positive. Good News chronicles those individuals and companies who have come to terms with their place in the schematics of life. Together they have found not only better solutions, but profitable ones. The Better Buildings Partnership in Toronto, for example, is a mandated consortium to retrofit existing mega-structures. Not only have the BBP projects saved consumable energy with proper insulation and ventilation systems, thus financial savings, but the BBP itself has created thousands of jobs.

One of the most telling statements comes from an environmental ethicist who provides workshops to companies. In these workshops, employees are asked to sustain a fictional finite world. The participants surprisingly devise ingenious environmentally positive solutions. As Suzuki and Dressel recount, once placed in small groups, even those who are corporate-oriented seem to know what is "right." Yet these very participants, as part of the larger corporate entity, balk at the same solutions in the real world. The authors conclude, "As a society … we are not very bright." But there is hope, they say, in small steps. --Tim Tokaryk --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From the Publisher

Inspiring stories about the people who are making positive environmental and social contributions to our world, illustrating the hundreds of working solutions that can help all of us to achieve a better future. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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It seems to be a fact of life that we can only survive by using up and destroying things, if only the food we consume. Read the first page
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5.0 out of 5 stars An upbeat amalgamation of working solutions Sept. 23 2003
Format:Paperback
The collaborative effort of environmental scientist David Suzuki and writer/researcher Holly Dressel, Good News For A Change: How Everyday People Are Helping The Planet is an upbeat amalgamation of working solutions for the improvement human life while enhancing the quality of the environment. Successful plans to save species, conserve soil, and right social wrongs, range from keeping the ocean stocked with fish to preserving biodiversity among grasses and carnivores alike. Good News For A Change is a welcome and timely addition to Environmental Studies collections, as well as recommended for concerned environmental activists as being especially uplifting and inspirational reading.
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5.0 out of 5 stars First book of the genre I bought Aug. 31 2005
Format:Paperback
I'm beginning studies in Environmental Science and this is the first book I've read along the lines of sustainability. I have to say it was an amazing read. Positive and optimistic but without losing site of how wrong things are right now and of how bad they can potentially get. Very realistic.
There seems to be a focus on sustainable agriculture and foresting, which was enlightning because I had never read much on those particular subjects. There are other interesting topics that are explored in this book.
A must-buy, no doubt about it. Thank you David, for an insightful read... and for fueling my optimism about our future.
Was this review helpful to you?
Format:Paperback
Good News For A Change isn't just another account of disasters and future problems; instead it provides a positive focus and a blueprint for survival by gathering the stories of everyday people and how they are helping to change their world. The solutions to saving the planet exist, the authors maintain: they just have to be identified and implemented on a range of levels. An intriguing survey results.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
Amazon.com: 4.6 out of 5 stars  7 reviews
5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Provides a positive focus and a blueprint for survival Sept. 23 2003
By Midwest Book Review - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback
Good News For A Change isn't just another account of disasters and future problems; instead it provides a positive focus and a blueprint for survival by gathering the stories of everyday people and how they are helping to change their world. The solutions to saving the planet exist, the authors maintain: they just have to be identified and implemented on a range of levels. An intriguing survey results.
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars An upbeat amalgamation of working solutions Sept. 23 2003
By Midwest Book Review - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback
The collaborative effort of environmental scientist David Suzuki and writer/researcher Holly Dressel, Good News For A Change: How Everyday People Are Helping The Planet is an upbeat amalgamation of working solutions for the improvement human life while enhancing the quality of the environment. Successful plans to save species, conserve soil, and right social wrongs, range from keeping the ocean stocked with fish to preserving biodiversity among grasses and carnivores alike. Good News For A Change is a welcome and timely addition to Environmental Studies collections, as well as recommended for concerned environmental activists as being especially uplifting and inspirational reading.
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars First book of the genre I bought Aug. 31 2005
By Denis Heraud - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback
I'm beginning studies in Environmental Science and this is the first book I've read along the lines of sustainability. I have to say it was an amazing read. Positive and optimistic but without losing site of how wrong things are right now and of how bad they can potentially get. Very realistic.
There seems to be a focus on sustainable agriculture and foresting, which was enlightning because I had never read much on those particular subjects. There are other interesting topics that are explored in this book.
A must-buy, no doubt about it. Thank you David, for an insightful read... and for fueling my optimism about our future.
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Hope for Changing our Troubled Planet Dec 17 2004
By Env Soc - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback
While consumptive and wasteful practices continue to plague the global world, there is new hope that has emerged among many people adapting to a more environmentally friendly attitude. In Good News for a Change, the two authors show how new practices focus on the idea of sustainability. Local values have returned ecosystems to their natural states and has allowed for long-term productivity. Together, we are finding ways in which to live that does not have to compromise quality of life.

The improvements to our everyday life have affected such things as habitat destruction, global warming, toxic waste and resource depletion. Until recently, many people were unaware of their effects and often were not discussed. However, a recent surge in the environmentalist movement has placed these issues into the minds of people across the world. No longer do we have to discuss how our natural world is changing. Instead, we have the knowledge to implicate plans that change the world in which we live.

Many of these environment problems stem from new dishonest corporate values that have displaced traditional home values. Not only do corporate values pollute water and the air we breathe, but they also create social inequalities that are hard to notice. Desires for money and the flaunting of luxurious items have been regarded as the road to happiness. Private interests have dominated policy-making and have changed the way we conduct business in the industrial world.

Multinational corporations' separation of human activities and nature has led to different attitudes and values from the workplace than those at home. If viewed together, people would realize that sustainable living should not incorporate money into the value system. Instead, wealth would be valued as a helping tool; something that can bring uplift to a community or an area in need. Human happiness could be preserved without hurting our natural resources which we rely on.

However, the western value system continues to threaten our natural resources as material wealth and consumptive practices seem to be the road to security. This will have serious impacts on future generations. Each day, we continue to lose species that once roamed on Earth. Humans have yet to understand the complex natural system in which they live. Efficiency must be increased and waste must be kept in check. By doing so, future generations will have access to unpolluted water, good soil for food production and also clean air to breathe.

Suzuki and Dressel approached developing business values in a variety of ways throughout the book. Particular issues discussed include restoration of biodiversity, saving water supplies and new growing methods for food production. They also touched on specific examples on how to manage forests, fisheries, and wildlife. In closing, the development of new technologies and the green revolution were discussed in full. This new revolution gives new options which enhance quality of life.

Being concerned over the environment, I approached this book thinking it would summarize the issues at hand and not give reasonable solutions. However, this book showed many examples of how change is occurring throughout the world at different levels that restored my faith that nature still can be protected. I agree with the authors that change must start at the local levels. When businesses start to go public, they fail to meet local concerns or lose the foundation on which the business was built upon.

The authors point out how money should be invested or shared into community needs and interests. They often drew upon examples of businesses with profits. It is easy to share when you have big profits. However, they rarely discuss what is to be done for people without such businesses. Everyday people that want to make a change are often unable to do so because of the lack of financial backing. Certain new technologies cost more and are not accessible by all. What is to be done when newer technologies benefit the natural world but are not accessible by all?

Sustainable living and development is the point of the book. Although this idea seems rather obvious to many environmentalists, it has yet to leave an impact where we need it the most. Corporations still focus on policies that give them the biggest yields or biggest profits. If a policy hurts the quarterly earnings, it is seen as a negative. They fail to meet standards that most people feel is essential to the environment. Without changing corporation's values, our environmental problems will continue to plunge into the future.

Good News for a Change is an encouraging book that establishes hope that change is occurring amongst a troubled, unhealthy planet. It is important to reestablish local values and rid global private interests. Natural capitalism can be used to restore ecosystems and discover new technologies. People have already started to lead us in the green revolution. It is time to preserve equality and limit the impacts on the environment. It is a daunting task, but it must be done to preserve human happiness for both our generation and future generations to com
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Inspiration, Hope, Encouragement, and Action For The Environment Nov. 8 2006
By Bugs - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
Dr. David Suzuki and co-author Holly Dressel have put together a series of examples of good environmental stewardship going on all over the world for a refreshing break from the usual enviro bad news we are constantly being pelted with.

From individuals with small projects on up to larger multi-national efforts, there are a host of positive accomplishments covered and this is not just "Good News"- it's excellent, uplifting and inspiring great news- the kind of good news that everyone concerned with the health of the world needs for inspiration on continued action for the environment.

The authors conclude with the idea that teaching children from early age about the workings of nature by immersing them in it, will enhance and spread a new sense of awe, respect and good environmental stewardship of the Earth. Many examples of current enviro-education are cited. This attitude parallels the thoughts of Dr. David W. Orr in his books "Ecological Literacy", "Earth in Mind", et al. Teach your children well!

There are several resources for environmental action cited at the end of this fine book.

David Suzuki is the Chair of the David Suzuki Foundation (google it). This website is full of resources for environmental education, action and involvement.
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