‘Doughnut Economics’ by Kate Raworth – 11th Oct 2018

Our next book has made quite a splash in the sustainability world since its launch last DE Coveryear: Doughnut Economics by Kate Raworth who describes herself as a ‘renegade economist’. It was reviewed by George Monbiot in the Guardian with the headline “Finally, a breakthrough alternative to growth economics – the doughnut”.

Whether you like to eat doughnuts or not, please join us to discuss this book at the welcoming Tyneside Coffee Rooms on 11th October 2018.

Gather from 7pm to start the discussion at 7.30pm. Light meals and drinks are available.

The meeting is free but please let me know if you can make it so that I can plan numbers for the venue.

marek@green-thinkers.org

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Next Green Thinkers: ‘Pandora’s Seed’ by Spencer Wells – 5th July

I find myself increasingly fascinated by history: the ups and downs of civilisations that considered themselves to be immortal; the telltale traces that ancient humans left behind as they explored Britain, from cave paintings at Creswell Crags to middens of hazelnut husks on Colonsay; and the rapid growth in human population over the last 1000 years. For roughly 199,000 years we numbered less than 300 million, yet in the last 1000 years (or 0.5% of our time on the earth) we have added an extra 7.3 billion. Can an exploration how we got to here, inform us about the direction humanity takes in the 21st Century?

Our next book “Pandora’s Seed” by Spencer Wells, may help us to answer this question by examining the seismic shift humans made from hunter-gathering to farming, beginning about 10,000 years ago. What effect did this change in lifestyle have on us as a species and what effect did it have on the planet that sustains us?

We will meet to discuss this book on 5th July 2018 at ‘The Tyneside Coffee Rooms’ on the second floor of the Tyneside Cinema. Gather from 7pm to start the discussion at 7.30pm. Light meals and drinks are available.

The meeting is free but please let me know if you can make it so that I can plan numbers for the venue.

 

Next Bookclub: ‘A World of Three Zeroes’ by Yunus – 22nd March 2018

Following the collapse of Carillion, our next book ‘A World of Three Zeroes’ by Muhammad Yunus is prescient. Nobel Prize-winning Yunus pioneered the lending of microcredit in Bangladesh through a bank with the aim of improving social capital. Since then he has successfully extended the social business model into areas as diverse as farming, health-care and green-energy. 

In the book, he makes the case for governments to outsource to social businesses in preference to profit-driven business. Do you think that this could work in the UK?

Yunus also argues that entrepreneurial-driven social businesses are better able to reduce poverty, create employment and solve environmental problems than either governments or profit-driven businesses alone. An interesting proposition for capitalists and socialists alike. Do you agree?

Our next meeting will be on 22nd March 2018 at 6.30pm, at a new venue for us, ‘The Tyneside Coffee Rooms’ on the second floor of the Tyneside Cinema. Light meals and drinks are available, handy if you need to come straight from work.

The meeting is free but please let me know if you can make it so that I can plan numbers for the venue.

Feel free to pass this message on to friends who might be interested.

Marek Bidwell

marek@green-thinkers.org

“Unfair Trade” by Conor Woodman on 1st June 2017

Our next book will be a new topic for Green Thinkers, delving into the world of social responsibility and global supply chains. Investigative journalist ‘Conor Woodman’ gets under the skin of ethical business in an attempt to find out if the claims stack up.

When: 1st June 2017 (7-9pm)

Where: Town Wall Pub (Library Room, Pink Lane, Newcastle upon Tyne)

Booking: Free event, but spaces limited – email: marek@green-thinkers.org to book a place

“Don’t Even Think About It” – Questions

Our next meeting is this Thursday (2nd March) to discuss “Don’t Even Think About It: Why Our Brains Are Wired To Ignore Climate Change” by George Marshall. In order to whet your appetite, or in case you can’t make it to the meeting, these are a few of the questions we will discuss:

  1. What do climate change skeptics and climate change campaigners have in common?
  2. Daniel Kahneman (respected psychologist and the author of our last book) said that he is “thoroughly pessimistic about climate change” – discuss
  3. Have you ever struck up a conversation with a stranger about climate change? What was the result?
  4. Do you think that labelling Carbon Dioxide as a pollutant is helpful in aiding people’s understanding of the impact of the gas?
  5. Have you watched Leonadaro DiCaprio’s films ‘The 11th Hour’ or ‘Before the Flood’? Do you think that apocalyptic imagery is helpful in getting the message of climate change across to the average person?
  6. Do you think that Marshall is right to dismiss the optimism of groups like ‘Sustainia‘ so readily?
  7. International agreements on climate change would be more effective if they focused on the extraction of fossil fuels rather than GHG emissions (the subject of ‘The Burning Question’ by Mike Berners-Lee and Duncan Clark) – discuss
  8. Were you surprised that Marshall reports that people with children are on average less concerned about climate change than people without children?
  9. Have you ever read a book about climate change on an aeroplane?! – Why is there such a large gap between what we know about the subject and what we do?
  10. Do you agree that the climate change movement could learn useful lessons on communication and conviction from religious groups?

Don’t Even Think About It

Our next Newcastle Green Thinker’s meeting follows seamlessly on from our previous book “Thinking Fast and Slow”, looking at the psychology of climate change, and climate change denial.

Book: “dont-even-think-about-itDon’t Even Think About It: Why Our Brains Are Wired to Ignore Climate Change” by George Marshall

Date and time: 2nd March 2017, 7-9pm

LocationThe Town Wall pub, Pink Lane, NE1 5HZ. (In the Library Room)

Cost: Free!

To Book: Space limited so book with marek@green-thinkers.org to assure your place.

On the same theme, I would also encourage people to listen to a Radio 4 broadcast called ‘Nothing but the Truth’ by Jo Fidgen about ‘Post Truth’  There is a fascinating story about a republican politician (Bob Inglis) who was voted out of the party after changing his mind to believe in man-made climate change. So, Mr Inglis has a unique take on group-think as it cost him his job.

Marek Bidwell