In EcoMind, Frances Moore Lappé—a giant of the environmental movement—confronts accepted wisdom of environmentalism. Drawing on the latest research from anthropology to neuroscience and her own field experience, she argues that the biggest challenge to human survival isn't our fossil fuel dependency, melting glaciers, or other calamities. Rather, it's our faulty way of thinking about these environmental crises that robs us of power. Lappé dismantles seven common “thought traps”—from limits to growth to the failings of democracy— that belie what we now know about nature, including our own, and offers contrasting “thought leaps” that reveal our hidden power.
Like her Diet for a Small Planet classic, EcoMind is challenging, controversial and empowering.
In this latest from the prolific author of the seminal vegetarian manifesto, Diet for a Small Planet, Lapp , a self-described "staunch, hard-core, dyed-in-the-wool possibilist," proposes that what's paralyzing meaningful action on climate change, rising food prices, and other global crises is a collective mental map "mal-aligned both with human nature and with the wider laws of nature." She believes that we need to "rethink the premises" underlying our present worldview and develop an "eco-mind," moving from "'fixing something outside ourselves to re-aligning our relationships within our ecological home." The book explores seven "thought traps," challenging their "limiting premises" with alternate transformative "thought leaps." Some of these leaps seem to be achieved mainly by rewording: an unappealing environmentalist posture like the need to limit growth can be transformed by calling growth "waste" and replacing "no-growth" with more positive ideas such as "flourishing" and "genuine progress." Others, such as the proposal that Earth's resources are not limited but rather that we've reached the limits of how much humanity can disrupt the Earth, and that reusing, recycling, and retooling what's now discarded as waste can overcome the problem of an overcrowded planet, may be less convincing. Heavily larded with Web-based references, the book tends toward pep talk, drawing on myriad concepts and inventions likely familiar to the environmentalists and burnt-out activists it targets, but Lapp 's effervescent enthusiasm still inspires.