Product Code: 4346
ISBN: 9780807085950
Format: Paperback
Publisher: Beacon Press
Published Date: 10/01/2009
Pages: 288
Availability: Not currently available.
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Price: $20.00

Where does everything in our daily lives come from? The clothes on our backs, the computers on our desks, the cabinets in our kitchens, and the spices behind their doors? Under what conditions-environmental and social-are they harvested or manufactured?

In Confessions of an Eco-Sinner, Fred Pearce shows us the hidden worlds that sustain a Western lifestyle, and he does it by examining the sources of everything in his own life; as an ordinary citizen of the Western world, he, like all of us, is an "eco-sinner." In conversational and convivial prose, Pearce surveys his home and then starts out on a global tour to track down, among other things, the Kenyans who grow and harvest his fair trade coffee (which isn't as fair as one might hope), the women in the Bangladeshi sweat shops who sew his jeans, and the Chinese factory cities where the world's computers are made. It's a fascinating portrait, by turns sobering and hopeful, of the effects the world's more than 6 billion inhabitants-all eating, consuming, making-have on our planet, and of the working and living conditions of the people who produce most of these goods.

To read "Dinner Dilemmas", an article from UU World about ethical eating, click here.

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Part One: Introductions
1. Footprints: Me and My Stuff
2. Gold: A Lodestone for My Journey
Part Two: My Food
3. Coffee: Throwing a Hand Grenade into the Cozy World of Fair Trade
4. Wild Things: The Last Roundup on the High Seas and in the Hills
5. Curried Crustaceans: The Weird World of Mr. Prawn
6. Scorched Earth: A Sticky End with Palm Oil and Sugar
7. Unzipped: When the Banana Lost Its Seeds and Other Tales from the Orchards
8. Montezuma’s Magic: How Joseph the Cocoa Farmer Became an Unlikely Green Warrior 9. Air Miles: Why Eating Kenyan Beans is Good for the Planet
Part Three: My Clothes
10. Drought and Dirty Secrets in the World of King Cotton
11. Behind the Label: Bless My Cotton Socks
12. Trouser Truths: The Unscrupulous World of Sweatshops
13. White Gold: My T-Shirt, Slave Labor, and the Death of the Aral Sea
Part Four: The Chinese Dragon
14. Computing Power: Mice, Motherboards, and the New Emperors of Suzhou
15. Zhangjiagang: The World Capital of Rain-Forest Destruction
16. The Great Mall: Toothpicks to Placentas, Everything Must Go
Part Five: Mines, Metals, and Power
17. My Beer Can: Giant Footprints in Bloke Heaven
18. Shock and Ore: Where My Metal Comes From
19. Footprints in the Snow: Finding the Last Oil
20. My Electricity: Old King Coal Lives On at Drax
Part Six: Downstream
21. My Rubbish: Down the River and across the World
22. Trade Not Aid: Joining the Great Global Rummage Sale
23. Beyond the Grave: A New Life for Joe’s Old Phone
24. Unexpected Heroes: The Queen of Trash and Other Chinese Titans of Recycling
25. E-Waste: What to Do with That Old Computer
Part Seven: My Species and Saving the Planet
26. Good News from Africa: Why We Can Feed the World
27. Beyond the Clockwork Orange: Why We Can Green Our Cities
28. Zero Carbon: Why We Can Halt Climate Change
29. Defusing the Bomb: Why We Can Halt Population Growth-and Save the World
Sources and Acknowledgements
“The hot new green book on the market . . . A riveting, well-written and witty account of the origin of some of the common objects in people’s homes.” —GreenMuze
Confessions of an Eco-Sinner . . . displays a refreshing ability to defy conventional green wisdom. . . . Pearce scores an inspiring read here, with a gift for getting to the heart of the matter in just a few words.” —David Valdes Greenwood, Body + Soul
“With a straightforward writing style and a pace that circles breezily from travelogue to statistics to history and back, Pearce . . . [offers] hope for a more just and healthy future.” —Molly Reid, The Times-Picayune
“Sometimes frightening, always enlightening, [Confessions] will teach you more about other people’s lives than you ever thought possible.” —Catherine Brahic, New Scientist
“Far from merely presenting a litany of consumer sins . . . Pearce discusses a range of socio-economic solutions, including recycling alternatives, agricultural initiatives and population issues.” —Ted Hainworth, The StarPhoenix
“If you’ve ever wondered where all your stuff comes from . . . and where it all goes, Fred Pearce has beaten you to it, been there, cast a critical eye over it and published it here. Armed with a sense of his own ignorance and fallibility . . . [t]o his great credit Pearce has no fear of statistics and is skilled at making them more manageable, less illusory and, yes, sometimes more shocking. . . . Essential reading.” —New Agriculturalist
“It’s official: Everyone is going green. Sometimes, though, learning which behaviors really make a difference seems an impossible task. In Confessions of an Eco-Sinner, Fred Pearce is determined to find the truth by following his possessions from the cradle to the grave. What he learns is sometimes disturbing, occasionally rewarding, and always eye-opening.” —Rachel Tavares, Changing Hands Bookstore, Tempe, AZ
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