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Ecologic: The Truth and Lies of Green Economics (Eden Project Books) Paperback – 30 Jan 2009


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Product details

  • Paperback: 352 pages
  • Publisher: Eden Project Books (30 Jan. 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 190581125X
  • ISBN-13: 978-1905811250
  • Product Dimensions: 13.6 x 2.7 x 21.4 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 3.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (7 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 1,264,787 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Brian's most recent book is The Quantum Age. He has written many other science titles, including the bestselling Inflight Science, The God Effect, Before the Big Bang, Ecologic, A Brief History of Infinity, Build Your Own Time Machine, The Universe Inside You, Gravity, Extra Sensory and Dice World, which is on the longlist for the 2014 Royal Society Winton Prize for Science Books.

Born in Rochdale, Lancashire, UK, Brian read Natural Sciences (specializing in experimental physics) at Cambridge University. After graduating, he spent a year at Lancaster University where he gained a second MA in Operational Research, a discipline developed during the Second World War to apply mathematics and probability to warfare and since widely applied to business problem solving.

From Lancaster, he joined British Airways, where he formed a new department tasked with developing hi-tech solutions for the airline. His emphasis on innovation led to working with creativity guru Dr. Edward de Bono, and in 1994 he left BA to set up his own creativity consultancy, running courses on the development of ideas and the solution of business problems. His clients include the BBC, the Met Office, Sony, GlaxoSmithKline, the Treasury, Royal Bank of Scotland and many others.

Brian has also written regular columns, features and reviews for numerous magazines and newspapers, including The Observer, Playboy, Nature, The Times, Personal Computer World, BBC Focus, BBC History, Good Housekeeping and House Beautiful. His books have been translated into many languages, including German, Spanish, Portuguese, Chinese, Japanese, Polish, Norwegian, and Indonesian.

Brian has given sell-out lectures at the Royal Institution in London and has spoken at venues from Oxford and Cambridge Universities to Cheltenham Festival of Science. He has also contributed to radio and TV programs, and is a popular speaker at schools. Brian is also editor of the successful www.popularscience.co.uk book review site and is a Fellow of the Royal Society of Arts. Brian lives in Wiltshire with his wife and twin children. When not writing, he spends time on music, having a passion for Tudor and Elizabethan church music.

Product Description

Review

A rational, nuanced analysis of green issues...separating facts from myths and sober fears from irrational panics...Provocative but realistic about what's necessary and what's achievable. -- Independent on Sunday

A sporadically challenging book
-- Independent

Debunks a host of climate change myths through the window of human psychology and economics. Read and be shocked. -- Emporium magazine

This book crackles. Every paragraph pits your heart against your head...A cracking read.
-- BBC Focus Magazine

Review

A rational, nuanced analysis of green issues...separating facts from myths and sober fears from irrational panics...Provocative but realistic about what's necessary and what's achievable.

Customer Reviews

3.3 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Robertomelbourne on 6 July 2009
Format: Paperback
Brian Clegg, who has a background in natural sciences and experimental physics, has written an eminently readable book investigating the various claims and counter claims about green and environmentally sustainable business practices.

He looks at the logic of green and sustainable practices, while trying to remove the often emotive (greenwashing) element in popular debate about environmental management, such as the assertion that "natural is always better than chemical".

Clegg is not a climate-change skeptic, but does suggest that significant `greenwashing' takes place. He states the practice may not only reinforce false and misleading claims, but may also lead to further environmental damage. Clegg highlights examples of "greenwashing" in the carbon pollution debate, the fair-trade movement, organic farming and international travel and transport.

He concludes with an interesting take on the green debate, in which he proposes a strategy called "Going McGreen". He suggests following certain practices established by business systems as followed by McDonald's. He argues that such an approach may provide useful economic and business practices that are market-based and deliberately factor in consumers' sensitivities to price and choice. Recognising price sensitivities of both business and consumers, Clegg suggests, is an important consideration for better design and management of environmental practices.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Big Jim TOP 50 REVIEWER on 13 Feb. 2009
Format: Paperback
This appears to be an honest appraisal of both sides of the ecoligical argument but by painting with a broad brush he skips too lightly over some serious points. Having said that this could serve as a useful introduction to the subject and may lead you to read some of the alternative views put over by many other authors name checked and sourced in here.
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Format: Paperback
A very well written book that probes the current assertions that exist about green-ness and examines whether they actually stand up to scrutiny. For example many companies advertise their green credentials but such statements, whilst no doubt being valuable for the companies' bottom lines, are not necessary all that truthful or supported by green evidence. Likewise, carbon offsetting is often praised but it does have several downsides - often the trees that are supposed to be planted to compensate for the CO2 emitted for a flight are not planted; even if they are planted it will take many year for them to capture the CO2.

The book raises some difficult dilemmas and often makes uncomfortable reading - I had felt changes that I had made were maybe making a difference but now I am far more sceptical about the green-ness of several of the green ideas promoted by the media etc. The section on organics and fair trade is particularly interesting and it is worth reading the book for these bits alone! Did you know that about 95% of potentially cancer causing chemical that one consumes are taken into the body through alcohol? Whereas only about 3% are from pesticides on fruit and vegetables (and presumably if you wash the fruit etc before eating it this is further reduced)?

However, it is not entirely a counsel of despair and I would recommend anyone interested in making a genuine effort to 'green-up' their lifestyles to read this probing, entertaining book.
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Format: Paperback
I borrowed this book from the library, but, although I enjoyed it to some extent, I am not sure whether I found it useful or not, or whether I discovered anything that I did not already know.

The basis of the book is do not believe everything you read - an old adage, and surely not something to base an entire book on. The author uses some good examples to show how surveys, 'scientific data' and everyday media reporting cannot be taken at face value - look to see if there is a hidden agenda and who is paying for the research.

There are some good points to the book, it is easy to read, and does not contain anything that requires any previous environmental or scientific knowledge to understand. It does have an introduction to a topic before launching a critique of the media coverage, and the author does appear to be fairly objective about the topics covered - and there is a huge raft of topics covered in the book.

The thing that stops me giving it four stars is that to me, everything is fairly obvious, but, I do read a lot of information about environmental issues. However, if you are feeling a little overwhelmed by the arguments and counter arguments that are in the media these days about issues from global warming to organic farming and alternative energy sources then this is probably a good place to start to get a balanced view (at the very least borrow it from your library).
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