The structure of this book is simple, with the scarcity and waste of different resources – food, water, hydroelectricity, land, forestry, coal, oil, minerals, roads and oceans – all dealt with in their own individual chapters. Ample data and case studies are presented for each.
The cultural and systemic roots of this behaviour also are examined. As the authors say, scarcities and abundance do not, in themselves, lead to frugality or waste, and this counter-intuitive fact is an overlooked vulnerability. They hold that, rather than pointing fingers at those responsible for waste, we need to re-examine the laggard cultural beliefs and educational direction that has led to it.
Towards the end of their book, the authors express a wish to see a sustainable and conserving society – as will the reader.
Guan Zhonglian and Tu Fangxiong
Haiyang Press, 2007
— By Li Siqi