the guardian Fri 03 July 2009
Or, how to save the world by shopping. Goleman, renowned author of Emotional Intelligence and probable future author of Entomological Intelligence, has little patience with critiques of corporatism. "By imagining some disembodied power that has victimised us - 'those greedy corporations,' say - we avoid having to examine our own impacts," he tuts (though Rushkoff, reasonably, thinks we can do both). This book is a sleek pop exegesis of the discipline of industrial ecology, with heartwarming stories from visionary businessfolk in the fields of paper-making or detergents, topped by a thin psychological gloss (evolution has ill-prepared us to notice gradual threats). We learn about detailed product Life Cycle Assessments, and see signs of a new "radical transparency" in manufacturing, which will provide "complete information" about a product's history. I for one hadn't noticed that you can already see the carbon emissions of a packet of crisps printed on the packet. That's really going to harsh my snacking mellow.