A particularly timely book

Hervé Kempf’s 2007 book is timely in face of Occupy Wall Street movement

The time has come
French author (and environmental editor of Le Monde) Hervé Kempf’s 2007 book How the Rich Are Destroying the Earth has become particularly timely considering the anti-corporate-greed message of the ongoing Occupy Wall Street and other Occupy (fill in city name) groups across the country and around the world. Kempf’s concise book delivers some serious goods, with a foreword by widely known investigative reporter Greg Palast (“The landlords do what they want with their property. To get at their gold, they dump arsenic in our drinking water; to get at their oil, they melt our polar ice caps and barf soot into our lungs.”).

The degradation of the environment has advanced at only a slightly slower pace than that of economic growth in developed countries, points out Kempf in the chapter titled “How the Oligarchy Exacerbates the Ecological Crisis.” Overfishing, pollution of underground water supplies, greenhouse-gas emissions, household- and radioactive-waste production, soil erosion and more have “been increasing constantly since 1980,” he writes.

“How is that possible?” asks Kempf. “Because the ‘volume impacts of the growth in total production and consumption have more than compensated for the efficiency gains per unit produced.’ If, for example, technological improvement decreases each automobile’s pollution, that reduction is not adequate to compensate for the overall increase in the number of cars.”

Additionally, he points out, the consumption of natural resources is steadily increasing in OECD (Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development) countries—including the United States, the United Kingdom, Germany, Mexico, South Korea and Japan.

“[T]he coming crises, environmental and social, are going to subject our democratic system to severe tensions,” Kempf warns.

The book is available at Lyon Books, of course. More good-to-know info at www.gregpalast.com.

GreenHouse reader Dan LaVerne at Helldorado Days in Tombstone, Ariz., on Oct. 23.

PHOTO courtesy of dan laverne

Small world
Turns out one of my readers, Dan LaVerne, who is director of maintenance, operations and transportation for the Paradise Unified School District, was also at the recent three-day, Old West whoop-fest called Helldorado Days in Tombstone, Ariz., where I was lucky enough to spend part of my recent vacation (as you all know). I didn’t see Dan there (well, maybe I did and didn’t know it), but he sent me this photo of him standing on Allen Street on Oct. 23 right next to the same street musician I walked past the previous day.

“The superior man seeks what is right; the inferior one, what is profitable.”—Confucius

“Your descendants shall gather your fruits.”—Virgil