Everything Under the Sun: Toward a Brighter Future on a Small Blue Planet

David Suzuki and Ian Hanington. Douglas & McIntyre/Greystone (PGW, dist.), $19.95 trade paper (288p) ISBN 978-1-55365-528-2
It’s difficult to criticize a volume amassed with good intentions and presented earnestly and succinctly, but prolific activist Suzuki (The Sacred Balance) and Hanington, communications specialist for Suzuki’s foundation, simply tried to cover too much material. Each chapter’s contents, a compilation of policy micro-briefs, at once scientific and moralizing, invite the reader to learn about the myriad environmental challenges we face and to consider what can be done to remediate or reverse them. Abrupt transitions, repetition, and sometimes hackneyed topic summations detract from the central crux of the book: that prioritizing short-term economic gain over the long-term planetary health and sustainability is catastrophic and that a commitment to endless economic growth will lead to collapse. Frustration is apparent as blame is cast upon all levels of society, and though some solutions to environmental problems are included, many recommendations lack concreteness and instead call more broadly for renewed dialogue and action. The need for economic valuation of negative externalities is one of the most persuasive ideas Suzuki and Hanington highlight, along with advocating a precautionary approach to management, but as a whole the admonishments here are both sage and surly. (Oct.)
Reviewed on: 03/04/2013
Release date: 07/01/2012
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