Synopses & Reviews
, Frances Moore Lappe a giant of the environmental movementconfronts accepted wisdom of environmentalism. Drawing on the latest research from anthropology to neuroscience and her own field experience, she argues that the biggest challenge to human survival isnt our fossil fuel dependency, melting glaciers, or other calamities. Rather, its our faulty way of thinking about these environmental crises that robs us of power. Lappé dismantles seven common thought traps”from limits to growth to the failings of democracy that belie what we now know about nature, including our own, and offers contrasting thought leaps” that reveal our hidden power.
Like her Diet for a Small Planet classic, EcoMind is challenging, controversial and empowering.
"In this latest from the prolific author of the seminal vegetarian manifesto, Diet for a Small Planet, LappÃ©, a self-described 'staunch, hard-core, dyed-in-the-wool possibilist,' proposes that what's paralyzing meaningful action on climate change, rising food prices, and other global crises is a collective mental map 'mal-aligned both with human nature and with the wider laws of nature.' She believes that we need to 'rethink the premises' underlying our present worldview and develop an 'eco-mind,' moving from ''fixing something outside ourselves to re-aligning our relationships within our ecological home.' The book explores seven 'thought traps,' challenging their 'limiting premises' with alternate transformative 'thought leaps.' Some of these leaps seem to be achieved mainly by rewording: an unappealing environmentalist posture like the need to limit growth can be transformed by calling growth 'waste' and replacing 'no-growth' with more positive ideas such as 'flourishing' and 'genuine progress.' Others, such as the proposal that Earth's resources are not limited but rather that we've reached the limits of how much humanity can disrupt the Earth, and that reusing, recycling, and retooling what's now discarded as waste can overcome the problem of an overcrowded planet, may be less convincing. Heavily larded with Web-based references, the book tends toward pep talk, drawing on myriad concepts and inventions likely familiar to the environmentalists and burnt-out activists it targets, but LappÃ©'s effervescent enthusiasm still inspires. (Sept.)" Publishers Weekly Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.
"Powerful and inspiring, Ecomind will open your eyes and change your thinking. I want everyone to read it."
Vandana Shiva, Ph.D, is a philosopher scientist, activist and most recently, author Staying Alive: Women, Ecology and Development
"Frances Moore Lappé brings us yet another gift in EcoMind. She cautions us to avoid the mental traps that block our thinking. She awakens us to our immense possibilities and potentials. She invites us to release our latent energies to be the change we want to see." Olivier de Schutter, the UN Special Rapporteur on the Right to Food
"Frances Moore Lappé's exceptionally thought-provoking book is a message of hope. It shows how change is possible, once we open our eyes, look around, and see that we depend on others and on nature. This book obliges us to re-imagine our world, brick by brick, by first re-imagining ourselves." Mollie Katzen, author of the Moosewood Cookbook
"This book is pivotal in the most literal sense. As I read it, I find myself turning the crucial 180 degrees from frustration and fear to a sense of constructive possibility. Frances's ability to express the most complex, existential yearnings is epic—matched only by her courage. Nothing I can say will do justice to how this book continues to affect me. Peter Barnes, author of Capitalism 3.0: A Guide to Reclaiming the Commons
"Lappé shows how by seeing the big picture we can change it. It's a clarion call in this rising age of rising despair." John Gershman, Clinical Associate Professor, Robert F Wagner Graduate School of Pubic Service, New York University
"Frances Moore Lappé has done it again. As she has done so insightfully with respect to food, hunger, and democracy, Lappé now turns her sights on the contemporary ecological crises. Her accessible and provocative analysis demonstrates how the ways many people think and talk about these crises – especially the dominant narratives of scarcity – obscure the inequalities of power that lie at the root of these crises and inhibit rather than inspire the kind of effective movements necessary to confront them. EcoMind is a profound example of how analysis breeds not paralysis but rather informed and inspired action, and is on track to do so in the 21st century just like Diet for a Small Planet and Food First did in the 20th. Michael Brune, Executive Director, The Sierra Club
"EcoMind reminds us that the most important resource for restoring a clean and healthy planet is the one sitting between our ears. Frances Moore Lappé brilliantly challenges the negative "thought traps" of doom-and-gloom environmental messages and emerges with a positive, people-powered approach."
About the Author
Frances Moore Lappe is the author of 17 books and cofounder of Food First: The Institute for Food and Development Policy, the Small Planet Institute, and the Small Planet Fund. She works in Cambridge, Massachusetts.