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