Monday, June 1, 2015

Long-Term Thinking for a Short-Sighted World – A Review

First off, the recommendation:  Buy three (3) copies of this book.  Seriously.  Why?  Because you’re going to want to keep a copy for yourself; you’ll want to share a copy with a kindred spirit; and I’m asking you to share a copy with a spirit who is kindred, but who may be a doubter.

In Long-Term Thinking for a Short-Sighted World Jim Brumm explores the complex relationship between mankind and our proclivity to take actions that ultimately will be of limited benefit.   

Profits?  Yes.  Satisfaction?  For a time.  Convenient?  Usually.  But when viewed within the scope of the passage of time, the health of the planet or the future on our species, much of what we do is counter to our own well-being.  Examples?  Our 100-plus-year love affair with fossil fuels.  Our economy-of-scale mega-farming practices of the last half century.  Our need to consume. [Truth out I: The week I acquired this book, I also acquired a washer, a dryer, a refrigerator and a new Subaru.  So, ouch!]

Using a blend of historic incidents, examples of it-sounded-good-at-the-time thought gone awry, economic collapses, repercussions and conflicts, and quotes from a wide variety of scientists, artists, philosophers and authors, Brumm details how choices we make as corporate, governmental institutions and as individuals serve as votes for the future we will create.  At issue is that the future is likely to become one of scarcity and impoverishment if we don’t look to the long term and change those choices.

Key is the need to transform from a species demanding instant reward and gratification to one which understands our time on the planet is very limited, the impact of our time great, and our responsibility to those who will follow incredibly imperative.

Jim’s style is at times light, thought provoking, personal, global and compelling.  His words don’t threaten the reader; rather they help awaken the reader.  Long-Term Thinking for a Short-Sighted World very approachable and proves to be a volume that may reinforce holistic long-term views of how we might reorder our purpose while serving as a gentle way to coax those non-believers into, perhaps, a healthier view of man’s place on the planet.

Truth out II:  I met Jim the other day as he shepherded my wife and me through the purchase of her new Subaru Forester at the Santa Rosa, CA dealer.  I’d given him my card with contact information.  Through that he accessed the blog, and in our subsequent “business meeting” we bird-walked a bit about quite a few things including writing’s joys and frustrations.  It was delightful to meet a like-minded individual from, more or less, out of the blue.

Long-Term Thinking for a Short-Sighted World.  Jim Brumm.  Muse Harbor Publishing. 2012. $16. 

Muse Harbor Publishing is a small “house” – one that could really benefit from your purchase.  Order (3 of ‘em, remember?) through your local bookseller.

© 2015
Church of the Open Road Press

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