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Ecological Intelligence: How Knowing the Hidden Impacts of What We Buy Can Change Everythingby Daniel Goleman
Synopses & Reviews
The bestselling author of Emotional Intelligence and Primal Leadership now brings us Ecological Intelligence—revealing the hidden environmental consequences of what we make and buy, and how with that knowledge we can drive the essential changes we all must make to save our planet and ourselves.
We buy “herbal” shampoos that contain industrial chemicals that can threaten our health or contaminate the environment. We dive down to see coral reefs, not realizing that an ingredient in our sunscreen feeds a virus that kills the reef. We wear organic cotton t-shirts, but dont know that its dyes may put factory workers at risk for leukemia. In Ecological Intelligence, Daniel Goleman reveals why so many of the products that are labeled green are a “mirage,” and illuminates our wild inconsistencies in response to the ecological crisis.
Drawing on cutting-edge research, Goleman explains why we as shoppers are in the dark over the hidden impacts of the goods and services we make and consume, victims of a blackout of information about the detrimental effects of producing, shipping, packaging, distributing, and discarding the goods we buy.
But the balance of power is about to shift from seller to buyer, as a new generation of technologies informs us of the ecological facts about products at the point of purchase. This “radical transparency” will enable consumers to make smarter purchasing decisions, and will drive companies to rethink and reform their businesses, ushering in, Goleman claims, a new age of competitive advantage.
"Two years ago, British fashion designer Anna Hindmarch produced the must-have accessory of the season: a bleached, organic cotton tote manufactured in fair-wage factories, subsidized with carbon offsets and emblazoned with the slogan, 'I'm NOT a plastic bag.' But according to Goleman (Emotional Intelligence), the people who bought the bag were advertising their ecological ignorance, not their consciousness. In this thorough examination of the inconsistencies and delusions at the core of the 'going green effort,' the author argues that consumers are 'collective victims of a sleight of hand,' helplessly unaware of the true provenance and impact of the products they purchase: they reassure themselves by buying 'environmentally friendly' tote bags that, upon ecological assessment, reveal some uncomfortable facts, e.g., 10,000 liters of water were required to grow the cotton for one bag, and cotton crops alone account for the use of about 10% of the world's pesticides. Goleman's critiques are scathing, but his conclusion is heartening: a new generation of industrial ecologists is mapping the exact impact of every production process, which could challenge consumers to change their behavior in substance rather than just show." Publishers Weekly (Copyright Reed Business Information, Inc.)
We recycle bottles, but drive miles in gas-guzzling cars to shop. We take bags to the grocery store, but buy fruits shipped from South America. In ECOLOGICAL INTELLIGENCE Daniel Goleman reveals why “green is a mirage” and illuminates the wild inconsistencies in our response to the ecological crisis.
Drawing on cutting-edge research, Goleman explains why we as shoppers have found it impossible to know the harmful environmental and health consequences of our purchases. Collectively, he says, we are in denial over the hidden impacts of the goods and services we make and consume. The problem is exacerbated by a blackout of information about the detrimental effects of producing, shipping, packaging, distributing, and discarding the goods we buy.
A new generation of technologies informing us of the ecological facts about products will make this vital information available to consumers where it matters most—at the point of purchase. The balance of power, Goleman argues, will shift from seller to buyer. This “radical transparency” will allow consumers to make smarter purchasing decisions, and will drive companies to rethink and reform their business practices.
About the Author
DANIEL GOLEMAN is the author of the international bestsellers Emotional Intelligence, Working with Emotional Intelligence, and Social Intelligence, and the co-author of the acclaimed business bestseller Primal Leadership. He was a science reporter for the New York Times, was twice nominated for the Pulitzer Prize, and received the American Psychological Associations Lifetime Achievement Award for his media writing. He lives in the Berkshires.
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