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Invisible Walls: Why We Ignore the Damage We Inflict on the Planet . . . and Ourselves Paperback – June 1, 2001
The Amazon Book Review
Author interviews, book reviews, editors picks, and more. Read it now
"...interesting reading...I recommend the book with the realization that Seidel rejects some basic Christian axioms." -- Perspectives on Science and Christian Faith, June 2000
"If you seek an insightful, down-to-earth study of ourselves, and our destructive habits, you can find it here." -- The Social Contract, Spring 1999 --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
From the Publisher
"This book is remarkable...[It] might well lead to the turn-around in public awareness and attitudes that is needed to lead mankind to its survival in the coming century."--John H. Herz, professor emeritus, political science, Graduate School, City College of New York
"A huge achievement!...Provocative and well researched...[Invisible Walls] describes the limits of our brains, our conventional ways of thinking, and our institutions, none of which are well equipped to deal with the world they have created. It proposes creative, thoughtful solutions."--David F. Ricks, professor emeritus, University of Cincinnati (psychology)
"A must read...This well-written book is filled with fascinating facts and ideas that make it hard to put down."--Donald Mann, president, Negative Population Growth
"Wonderful book! I sat right down and read it. Seidel is to be congratulated for doing some important thinking."--Richard D. Lamm, former governor of Colorado
"This is a wonderful book...[that should be read] by all the makers, planners, and politicians...to turn them into what they actually should be: the positive elite which the world so urgently needs. I believe that Peter Seidel's book will be an important contribution to the mastering of the human problems of the near future."--Rudolf A. Treumann, senior researcher, Max-Planck Institute for Extraterrestrial Physics (geophysics)
Top customer reviews
The danger of perpetual growth syndrome, over population, sprawling cities, global warming, misuse of democracy, manipulation of minds by advertising, ills of materialism and consumerism are the main subject matter. Another important discussion in the book is how non sense and temporary solutions are adopted instead of long term solutions for permanent change and also how as citizens we can be manipulated and our priorities are changed by constant advertisement of consumerism is explained in detail. As concerned citizens we have to keep ourself aware of politics without which the face of democracy will change completely unless protected
by informed citizens. Although a good read about the problems and our limitations to deal with them, the solution to the problems are hard to implement in a society completely overtaken by temporary gratification.
We need enlightened leaders who can be tough and steer the way to a better future and ideals for the society.
". . . if nature is harmed, in time people will suffer."
"An important task for our thinkers, professionals, and other motivated individuals should be to challenge muddled thinking. The proponents of harmful thoughts should be asked difficult questions and be forced to defend their positions."
"The papacy and others who oppose artificial birth control should be asked to explain what should be done when human numbers increase to a point where there is no possible way to prevent mass starvation."
On occasion Seidel seems to get confused between what's necessary to stop the downhill slide of environmental degradation, and the goals of traditional liberalism. He is hardly alone in this. (Take the Sierra Club's recent refusal to take a stand on the question of immigration.) For example, Seidel complains about violence on TV; but there simply isn't any strong evidence that TV violence leads to real violence. Japan watches a lot of violent TV, but has a society with far less real violence than the U.S. does. Seidel also assumes Social Security is a great program. I disagree.
Some of Seidel's suggestions are a bit too vague to be useful, such as suggesting that government must be structured to protect our future. True, but that won't take us very far. In my opinion, what is needed today is more research on how to teach environmentalism to people effectively. It has become abundantly clear in recent years that without solid public support, environmentalism cannot make progress. Religions do scientific research on the best way to convert people to their ideas (I know this as a former missionary). Environmentalists need to do the same, and stop assuming that just being right will win out in the end.
Ecological economics is my own area of research. I think Seidel doesn't say enough on the need to reform the economics profession. Conventional economists have gotten away for far too long with absurd and destructive policy recommendations, together with widespread use of misleading statistics such as the GDP.