On April 16, the Brookings Institution hosted James Gustave Speth, dean of the Yale School of Environment & Forestry, for a discussion of his new book The Bridge at the Edge of the World: Capitalism, the Environment, and Crossing from Crisis to Sustainability (Yale University Press, 2008).
In The Bridge at the Edge of the World, Dean Speth argues that no matter how hard activists have worked to stop the tide of environmental destruction, the current has simply been too swift and too deep. In order to preserve a livable planet, the tide itself must be altered – American-style consumer capitalism must change. Speth’s view is a broad one that recognizes the connections between environmental issues and other human welfare challenges such as health, freedom, peace, stability and community. Dean Speth has been a leader in the environmental movement for more than 30 years. He is a former administrator of the UN Development Program, former chair of the White House Council on Environmental Quality and a co-founder of the World Resources Institute and Natural Resources Defense Council.
Brookings Senior Fellow David Sandalow, author of Freedom from Oil (McGraw-Hill, 2007), provided introductory remarks and moderated the discussion. After the program, Dean Speth took audience questions.
“The 21st century has revalued these small geographies. That’s what the 21st century demands,” Katz said, noting that these days, “[w]e aren’t innovating in isolated business parks” in the suburbs.