Fred Pearce, “Confessions of an Eco-Sinner: Tracking Down the Sources of My Stuff”
Beacon Press | 2008-10-01 | ISBN: 080708588X | 276 pages | PDF
A global journey to find the sources of all the stuff in one man’s life—and its social and environmental footprint
Where does everything in our daily lives come from? The clothes on our backs, the computers on our desks, the cabinets in our kitchens, and the spices behind their doors? Under what conditions—environmental and social—are they harvested or manufactured?
In Confessions of an Eco-Sinner, Fred Pearce shows us the hidden worlds that sustain a Western lifestyle, and he does it by examining the sources of everything in his own life; as an ordinary citizen of the Western world, he, like all of us, is an “eco-sinner.” In conversational and convivial prose, Pearce surveys his home and then starts out on a global tour to track down, among other things, the Kenyans who grow and harvest his fair trade coffee (which isn’t as fair as one might hope), the women in the Bangladeshi sweat shops who sew his jeans, and the Chinese factory cities where the world’s computers are made. It’s a fascinating portrait, by turns sobering and hopeful, of the effects the world’s more than 6 billion inhabitants—all eating, consuming, making—have on our planet, and of the working and living conditions of the people who produce most of these goods.
“In tracing the lineage of his “stuff,” Fred Pearce’s graceful and engaging book illuminates the invisible ways in which our ordinary possessions connect us to workers we will never know and forests we will never explore. Starting at the intersection of environmental threats, excessive consumption and exploited workers, Confessions points us toward a far more nurturing, meaningful and humane future.” —Ross Gelbspan, author of The Heat Is On and Boiling Point
“Required reading for anyone who’s ever worn a t-shirt, used a cell phone or computer, sipped a cup of coffee, or taken out the garbage. Pearce travels beyond the carbon footprint of our consumer society to explore the forgotten social footprint, bringing us to the unlikely and sometimes unseemly places where our stuff is born, and where it goes to die.” —William Alexander, author of The $64 Tomato: How One Man Nearly Lost His Sanity, Spent a Fortune, and Endured an Existential Crisis in the Quest for the Perfect Garden
“More and better stuff - the promise of our age. But where does it come from and what does it cost, ecologically and in human suffering? Fred Pearce decided to find out and the story is compelling but not pretty. With any luck, this brilliant book will change our insatiable demand for more material goods and guide us, and our planet, to spiritual and eco health.” —Maude Barlow, author of Blue Gold: The Fight to Stop the Corporate Theft of the World's Water