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The Five-Ton Life: Carbon, America, and the Culture That May Save Us

Our Sustainable Future
Narrated by: Rosemary Benson
Length: 8 hrs and 17 mins
3.5 out of 5 stars (4 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

At nearly 20 tons per person, American carbon dioxide emissions are among the highest in the world. Not every American fits this statistic, however. Across the country, there are urban neighborhoods, suburbs, rural areas, and commercial institutions that have drastically lower carbon footprints. These exceptional places, as it turns out, are neither “poor” nor technologically advanced. Their low emissions are due to culture.

In The Five-Ton Life, Susan Subak uses previously untapped sources to discover and explore various low-carbon locations. In Washington, DC, Chicago suburbs, lower Manhattan, and Amish settlements in Lancaster County, Pennsylvania, she examines the built and social environment to discern the characteristics that contribute to lower greenhouse-gas emissions. The most decisive factors that decrease energy use are a commitment to small interiors and social cohesion, although each example exhibits its own dynamics and offers its own lessons for the rest of the country.

Bringing a fresh approach to the quandary of American household consumption, Subak’s groundbreaking research provides many pathways toward a future that is inspiring and rooted in America’s own traditions.

The audiobook is published by University Press Audiobooks.

“A wonderfully crafted book.... It's a great, very readable addition.” (Johannes Stripple, Editor of Governing the Climate: New Approaches to Rationality, Power, and Politics)

©2018 Susan Subak (P)2018 Redwood Audiobooks

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George Washington & Climate Change?

Subak's heart is in the right place, but as someone fighting global warming, she's very weird. She claims Washington was a low-carbon guru, but never mentions it wouldn't be if not for his slaves. She ignores the fossil fuel industry, and thinks if we all suffer, it will fix global warming.

1 of 2 people found this review helpful