cover image Environmental Debt: The Hidden Costs of a Changing Global Economy

Environmental Debt: The Hidden Costs of a Changing Global Economy

Amy Larkin. Palgrave Macmillan, $27 (256p) ISBN 978-1-137-27855-5

Is corporate America ready for some tough love from Greenpeace? Award-winning environmental activist Larkin, business advisor for Greenpeace International, and former director of Greenpeace Solutions, wants to connect business profitability with the survival of the natural world rather than its destruction. For anyone interested in environmental and economic policy, this is a fascinating, provocative book. Brisk, bold, and blunt, Larkin is a devastating critic of current business practices, but she wants to inspire, not scold. Her profiles in corporate courage include Unilever, which lobbies for stronger government regulation, and Puma, the “[first multinational] to create an integrated report that converted environmental [data] into monetary terms,” as well as some unlikely heroes, such as McDonald’s, Wal-Mart, and former California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger, who inspired the California Solar Initiative with his call for the creation of a million solar roofs in the state by 2016. Some good news: renewable energy is a true job creator. The ultimate renewable energy source Larkin celebrates is the power of thoughtful people with a common goal. In the words of McDonald’s vice-president for corporate responsibility, “Odd couples can add out-of-the-box thinking that leads to innovative win-win scenarios.” Agent: Laura Yorke, Carol Mann Agency. (June)