Ecological Debt : Global Warming and the Wealth of Nations : second edition
Andrew Simms, Pluto Press, UK, April 2009
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.
An article linked to the book appears in this week’s print and web edition of New Scientist magazine. The book includes an assessment of how to achieve the twin objectives of tackling climate change whilst promoting human development, set in the context of the current global economic turmoil.