Archive for the ‘Book Reviews’ Category

27.07.12 – Influencing habits   Leave a comment

Take shorter showers. Turn the lights off and switch appliances off at the power point. Drive the car less often. Recycle and re-use.

We have thrived as a species because of our capacity to adapt and change, but are we going to be able to change our behaviours fast enough in the face of evidence that suggests we are living beyond our means? To bring a balance into economic, social and environmental considerations, we face clear challenges requiring changes in our everyday behaviour.

Professor Bas Verplanken provided some interesting insight this week during a public lecture he held in Melbourne on behalf of BehaviourWorks. He is a professor and head of the Department of Psychology at the University of Bath, England, where he specialises in theory-informed applied research, with a particular emphasis on habits in the health, consumer and environmental behaviour fields. Read the rest of this entry »

Posted July 27, 2012 by equilibrium in Book Reviews, Compliance & Management

Building a better future   Leave a comment

A lot of time over summer was spent reading papers, books and watching the news. Maybe it has always been the case, but it seems to have become the fashion for academics, activists, lobbyists and politicians to let us know how everything has, to pardon the expression, “gone to shit”.  In an attempt to put a positive spin on things, Matt Ridley, an English journalist, writer, biologist and businessman, has come out with “The Rational Optimist: How Prosperity Evolves”, a roller-coater history lesson about the extraordinary trajectory of humankind.

While I found myself shaking my head in disagreement at some of his arguments, it’s hard not to have a happier view of the world when reaching the final page, despite all the predicted doom and gloom we keep getting bombarded with:  Malthusian population explosions, poverty, epidemics and pandemics, peak-oil and peak-phosphorous, acid rains, deforestation, urbanisation, financial melt-downs, over-consumption, food crisis, resource price volatility, and the big one on many people’s lips, for believers and sceptics, human-induced climate change. The list is long, and growing. Read the rest of this entry »

Paul Gilding and 1 million women   Leave a comment

A great honour to be invited along to a 1 million women 2nd birthday event in Melbourne last night, an evening with Paul Gilding talking about his recently released book based on 35 years immersed in issues of sustainability and climate change.

The Great Disruption outlines the challenges of continuing along the pathway of infinite economic growth as we come up against the limits of physics, biology, and chemistry. If we continue to draw down our natural capital, heading further and further into debt, we will soon discover we no longer have the capacity to pay off the bill when it arrives in the mail.

According to Gilding, who has closely analysed the sustainability science, all environmental indicators are under stress and we are operating at 150% of the Earth’s capacity and planning to grow further as many of the world’s population aspire to a western style of living. Infinite growth on a finite planet is simply not possible, especially when it begins to lead to environmental and social tensions, within, and between, countries. Read the rest of this entry »

Posted June 24, 2011 by equilibrium in Book Reviews

‘The Necessary Revolution’ by Peter Senge   Leave a comment

Peter Senge is the author of ‘The Fifth Discipline’, nominated as one of the five greatest business books of all time by The Financial Times.

In this book, Senge turns his attention to the ‘necessary revolution’ underway in today’s (and tomorrow’s) organisations, where bold companies around the world are leading the change from dead-end ‘business as usual’ tactics to transformative strategies that are essential for creating a flourishing, sustainable world.

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Posted February 17, 2011 by equilibrium in Book Reviews

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‘Hot, Flat and Crowded’ by Thomas Friedman   Leave a comment

I found this book to be a real eye-opener, so much so that as soon as I finished reading it, I went right back to the start and began reading it again!

Friedman dives into the pressing issues that threaten our current way of life and that of future generations, the combined impacts of the world becoming ‘hot, flat and crowded’: global climate change, the globalisation of developed nations into a world economy, and skyrocketing human populations in denser areas.  These conditions mean it’s becoming increasingly difficult to alleviate key problems such as fierce competition for scarce resources, the balance of wealth being tipped in favor of the oil producing nations, climate change, the uneven distribution of energy, and increased plant and animal extinction rates. Read the rest of this entry »

Posted February 10, 2011 by equilibrium in Book Reviews