Sustainability and the Question of 'Should' with John Inserra

Dec 23, 2013

Credit Josh Raulerson / 90.5 WESA

Business and technology teacher John Inserra of City Charter High School gives a reading list that advocates for broader thinking and sustainable living. 

David Orr, “The Nature of Design: Ecology, Culture, and Human Intention

The environmental movement has often been accused of being overly negative--trying to stop "progress." "The Nature of Design," on the other hand, is about starting things, specifically an ecological design revolution that changes how we provide food, shelter, energy, materials, and livelihood, and how we deal with waste. Astute yet broadly appealing, "The Nature of Design" combines theory, practicality, and a call to action.

~Oxford University Press

David Kahneman, “Thinking, Fast and Slow

In the international bestseller, "Thinking, Fast and Slow," Daniel Kahneman, the renowned psychologist and winner of the Nobel Prize in Economics, takes us on a groundbreaking tour of the mind and explains the two systems that drive the way we think. System 1 is fast, intuitive, and emotional; System 2 is slower, more deliberative, and more logical. The impact of overconfidence on corporate strategies, the difficulties of predicting what will make us happy in the future, the profound effect of cognitive biases on everything from playing the stock market to planning our next vacation—each of these can be understood only by knowing how the two systems shape our judgments and decisions.

~Macmillan Publishers

Andres Duany, Elizabeth Plater-Zyberk, and Jeff Speck, “Suburban Nation: The Rise of Sprawl and the Decline of the American Dream

A manifesto by America's most controversial and celebrated town planners, proposing an alternative model for community design. There is a growing movement in North America to put an end to suburban sprawl and to replace the automobile-based settlement patterns of the past fifty years with a return to more traditional planning principles. This movement stems not only from the realization that sprawl is ecologically and economically unsustainable but also from a growing awareness of sprawl's many victims: children, utterly dependent on parental transportation if they wish to escape the cul-de-sac; the elderly, warehoused in institutions once they lose their driver's licenses; the middle class, stuck in traffic for two or more hours each day.

It is an indictment of the entire development community, including governments, for the fact that America no longer builds towns. Most important, though, it is that rare book that also offers solutions.

~Macmillan Publishers