Compiled by the Sustainable World Coalition (with a Foreword by Paul Hawken)

ISBN: 978-0983830436  

Reviewed by Marian Van Eyk McCain


A sweeping overview of the most urgent environmental and related social issues we face, along with their solutions, is the way its compilers describe the Sustainable World Sourcebook. And yes, it is a ‘sweeping overview’ as there are so many issues it has to include. But it is thoughtful, comprehensive and succinct overview that presents facts in an easily-grasped way without oversimplifying. If you wanted to explain these things to someone who had never read or heard anything about social/environmental issues, or to a student who had recently taken an interest in what sustainability entails, this would be your perfect resource book. It is, in fact, a one-stop shop for all things green. It covers social justice, energy, climate change, economics, communities and all aspects of the environmental issues that our world is currently facing.

This is the fourth edition of the Sourcebook, and with every year it gets bigger and better. This new edition is 164 pages long and packed with valuable information. The best thing about it, in my opinion, is that—as the blurb promises—it does not merely list and describe the problems: it also explains ways in which each and every one of us can play our part in fixing them.

The book’s compilers—the Sustainable World Coalition—describe it as …an interactive tool with “Explore & Engage” sections after each chapter featuring questions to ask, videos to watch and actions to take; “Engagement Circles” for use in small study groups; a Resource Directory with over 500 organizations and contact information; and End Notes providing detailed credits for all information found in the book.

To make this book even more of an interactive resource, readers can go to the ‘Resources’ page on the Sustainable World Coalition’s website and request a free pdf of the Directory with clickable links to five hundred relevant organizations.

The Sustainable World Sourcebook would be an ideal resource for groups—such as, for example, local GreenSpirit or Transition groups—who want to express their love of the Earth in tangible, practical ways and who are eager for suggestions regarding activities and discussion topics for meetings. This is a skilfully-written and inspirational book. It is also a potential attitude-changer, for it shows us how to ‘connect the dots’ and to realize how our every word, thought and action has an effect on that greater Self we all share, which is the Earth.