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parsed(2022-05-03) - pubdate: 05/22
pub date: 1651554000
today: 1721797200, pubdate > today = false

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The Day the World Stops Shopping

May 3, 2022 | Trade paperback
ISBN: 9780735275553
Reader Reward Price: $18.90 info
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Consuming less is our best strategy for saving the planet--but can we do it? In this thoughtful and surprisingly optimistic book, journalist J. B. MacKinnon investigates how we may achieve a world without shopping.

The planet says we consume too much: in North America, we burn the earth's resources at a rate five times faster than they can regenerate. And despite our efforts to "green" our consumption--by recycling, increasing energy efficiency, or using solar power--we have yet to see a decline in global carbon emissions.
    The economy says we must always consume more, because even the slightest drop in spending leads to widespread unemployment, bankruptcy and home foreclosures.
    Addressing this paradox head-on, J.B. MacKinnon asks, What would really happen if we simply stop shopping? Is there a way to reduce our consumption to earth-saving levels without triggering an economic collapse? This question took him around the world, seeking answers: from America's big-box stores, to the hunter-gatherer cultures of Namibia, to communities in Ecuador that consume at an exactly sustainable rate. Then his thought experiment came shockingly true, as the coronavirus brought shopping to a halt and MacKinnon's ideas were tested in real time. As we edge out of the pandemic, governments still hope that kickstarting growth once more will save us.
    Drawing on experts ranging from economists to climate scientists to corporate CEOs, MacKinnon investigates how living with less would change our planet, our society and ourselves. Along the way, he reveals just how much we stand to gain. Imaginative and inspiring, The Day the World Stops Shopping will empower you to imagine another way.

About this Author

J.B. MacKINNON is an adjunct professor at UBC Graduate School of Journalism and a regular contributor to such influential publications as The New Yorker and The Atlantic. He is the author of The 100-Mile Diet, cowritten with Alisa Smith, which catalysed the local foods movement, and inspired a Food Network TV series. He is also the author of The Once and Future World, a national bestseller that was nominated for every major non-fiction prize in Canada, and won the US Green Prize for Sustainable Literature, and Dead Man in Paradise, which won the Charles Taylor Prize for Non-Fiction. He lives in Vancouver with his partner, Alisa Smith.

ISBN: 9780735275553
Format: Trade paperback
Pages: 336
Publisher: Random House of Canada
Published: 2022-05-03



"A well-researched and provocative analysis offering hope and optimism for our future." --Kirkus Reviews (starred review)

"[F]ascinating." --NOW Magazine 

"The Day the World Stops Shopping is a sweeping masterclass in global economics and the anthropology of consumer behaviour. The book is stunning for both its complexity and its clarity. MacKinnon is a deep thinker and a deft prose stylist . . . [and this book is] a deep, disturbing and thoroughly convincing investigation into the systems that support our addiction to consumption, and what we can do to arrest what is fundamentally an all-out attack on nature." --The Tyee

"If the purpose of a thought experiment is to cast new light on familiar phenomena, the better to inspire a cascade of new thoughts on scarcely registered realities, J.B. MacKinnon certainly delivers in The Day the World Stops Shopping." --Maclean's

"MacKinnon has a bricklayer's talent for achieving beauty out of stacks of facts and statistics. . . . In wrestling with the realities of incremental change, examining our collective consumption and his own, MacKinnon says a great deal about what it is to be human during this moment on Earth, and how to live a meaningful life as one consumer among many. Surely part of the trick is to dare to imagine, as MacKinnon does, a scenario in which our prognosis improves, even a little." --Sierra Magazine

"Well-researched and stimulating. Readers will be galvanized to make changes in their own buying habits."  --Publishers Weekly

"Witty and erudite.... Expertly showing the complex relationship between consumer culture and nature, this insightful account offers a starting point for change (and optimism)." --Library Journal

"In a large pool of often simplistic manuals for simple living, this book stands out for its curiosity, humanity and genuinely global appreciation of why we consume too much and what to do about it." --Frank Trentmann, author of Empire of Things: How We Became a World of Consumers, from the Fifteenth Century to the Twenty-First

"A provocative thought experiment that asks us to imagine what currently seems unthinkable, this is a beautifully written and rigorously researched revelation, an extraordinary creative journey to a place we urgently need to go. Full of hope and deep thought, unassuming and devoid of preaching, it is an exciting and truly inspiring read. I couldn't put it down." --Joel Bakan, author of The Corporation: The Pathological Pursuit of Profit and Power and The New Corporation: How "Good" Corporations Are Bad for Democracy

"J.B. MacKinnon's The Day the World Stops Shopping is a welcome and rare mix: a strong environmental argument and a jaunty picaresque. For the former, MacKinnon makes a convincing case that we need to shop less now. Green consumerism, in MacKinnon's telling, isn't just about buying ecologically sound stuff or recycling our rubbish. It's about buying many fewer things, leaving us so much less to recycle in the first place. You will want to buy this book and after you read it, little else." --Alissa Quart, author of Squeezed: Why Our Families Can't Afford America and Branded: The Buying and Selling of Teenagers
"Dissecting the dilemma at civilization's heart--the burden that reckless growth heaps upon the faltering Earth--J.B. MacKinnon lays out a wealth of knowledge and wisdom in a gripping, page-turning read. With wit, precision, and startling insights from around the world, he looks deeply into what we have done, and might do so much better. A model of clarity and grace, The Day the World Stops Shopping is one of the most important and well-written books I have read." --Ronald Wright, author of A Short History of Progress

"The Day the World Stops Shopping is a delight. MacKinnon has given us a powerful exploration of a riddle central to our days and lives: how we are what we buy, and how buying less might make us so much more." --Andrew Blum, author of Tubes and The Weather Machine

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