Author(s): Tom Prugh
Citizens expect their governments to lead on sustainability. But from largely disappointing international conferences like Rio II to the U.S.'s failure to pass meaningful climate legislation, governments' progress has been lackluster. That's not to say leadership is absent; it just often comes from the bottom up rather than the top down. Action--on climate, species loss, inequity, and other sustainability crises--is being driven by local, people's, women's, and grassroots movements around the world, often in opposition to the agendas pursued by governments and big corporations. These diverse efforts are the subject of the latest volume in the Worldwatch Institute's highly regarded "State of the World" series. The 2014 edition, marking the Institute's 40th anniversary, examines both barriers to responsible political and economic governance as well as gridlock-shattering new ideas. The authors analyze a variety of trends and proposals, including regional and local climate initiatives, the rise of benefit corporations and worker-owned firms, the need for energy democracy, the Internet's impact on sustainability, and the importance of eco-literacy. A consistent thread throughout the book is that informed and engaged citizens are key to better governance. The book is a clear-eyed yet ultimately optimistic assessment of citizens' ability to govern for sustainability. By highlighting both obstacles and opportunities, "State of the World 2014" shows how to effect change within and beyond the halls of government. This volume will be especially useful for policymakers, environmental nonprofits, students of environmental studies, sustainability, or economics--and citizens looking to jumpstart significant change around the world.
"This book is a manifesto of practical hope published in the shadow of accelerating environmental catastrophe. It tells us that we do not have to sit on our hands and close our eyes as we wait for the deluge. Instead, we can govern and lead with some courage in the interests of all humanity."--Senator Jamie Raskin "n University "
Founded in 1974 by farmer and economist Lester Brown, Worldwatch was the first independent research institute devoted to the analysis of global environmental concerns. Worldwatch quickly became recognized by opinion leaders around the world for its accessible, fact-based analysis of critical global issues. Now under the leadership of population expert and author Robert Engelman, Worldwatch develops innovative solutions to intractable problems, emphasizing a blend of government leadership, private sector enterprise, and citizen action that can make a sustainable future a reality.