Published 21 October 2019 ● Last Updated on 15 June 2021
After hearing Greta Thunberg (and seeing her mega fast-expanding audience!), we are certain that today more people in the world are willing to pause, listen and act to embrace pro-environmental behaviours, provided the speaker makes sense! So we decided to ask inspiring eco warriors based in Singapore, to share their favourite book – fiction or nonfiction – which centres around our planet or our environment. Secondsguru will be running a ‘Readers’ Corner’ as a regular feature. The recommendations come from people who work in the space of sustainability and even those who lead ultra busy lives but still take steps to tackle the issue of Climate Change in their own big-little-ways. Expect these books to range from serious climate change books to Cli-fi aka Climate Fiction. [What is Climate Fiction?]. We are very excited about this series! Hope you enjoy the recommendations too!
In the first of the series, we sat down with Michael Broadhead [MB] – an educator, a climate warrior, a fierce protector of the planet and a vegan by choice – and asked him to tell us about the book on sustainability that inspired him the most and one that he thinks each of us should read.
In conversation with Michael Broadhead:
SG | Tell us about your work and yourself.
MB | I work as the Sustainability Lead of an international school in Singapore and teach Chemistry with the hopes of the next generation being inspired to chart a new course. My volunteer work has led me to create EarthFest, Animal Allies, and various events – with the eventual objective to raise awareness of the impact diet has on the planet.
SG | Can you recommend a book to our readers (who are on various stages of their personal sustainability journeys) – fiction or non-fiction – which centres around our planet or our environment?
MB| Sure! Earlier on in my journey to learn about sustainability, I was becoming more interested in economic and political systems that might incentivise the right, more sustainable behaviours. One book that I recall was a great starting point for me was The New Economics: A Bigger Picture.
SG | Your version of what the back cover should read to convince everyone to pick it up right away!
MB | Feel like our systems are heading us towards a cliff? Wondering if there’s a better way? “New Economics” contrasts the issues our current state of capitalism creates and shows possible solutions by exploring experiments and examples from around the world. Together, it brings forth ideas and solutions to inspire us further.
SG | When did you first read this book? One or few lines from the book that strike a chord with you.
MB | Oh I think about 2011… “Policy regards people simply as passive consumers of goods or services, which are ‘delivered’ to them by service providers. Energy consumption is profitable under this narrow interpretation of economics, but energy conservation is more problematic, so we consume. Health care consumption is profitable in the short term for providers, preventative health is not, so we become consumers of health ‘solutions’.”
SG | If you were the author of this book, is there anything that you would have done differently?
MB | I probably would have explored more on psychology that leads to the current systems, but there are entire books on that.
SG | If you could change the title of the book, it would be called ____________.
MB | Solving Economic Mysteries and Creating the Future of Wealth.
Image Credits: Featured Image titled “Darjeeling Tea and Books”by Anjana Bhattacharya