After reading Chris Hedges' Empire of Illusion, I'm still feeling a bit numb and reluctant to more scathing social criticism, but it's definitely under consideration a little later on. Right now I'm reading David Owen's The Conundrum: How Scientific Innovation, Increased Efficiency, and Good Intentions Can Make Our Energy and Climate Problems Worse. I've read Owen before (his The Green Metropolis: Why Living Smaller, Living Closer, and Driving Less are the Keys to Sustainability is a favorite), and here he makes the same argument in part. Sustainability is a context, not a product: we can't buy our way out of the building climate crisis. He's pointed out so far that our achievements in using energy efficiently only result in our using vastly more energy than we would if it were more expensive. Also, I received Waste and Want: A Social History of Trash in the mail today, which made me quite happy. I've been looking forward to reading Strasser. She has books on the social history of housekeeping and consumption, as well. Next week I'm going to finish off Germany: Unraveling an Enigma, which I read most of yesterday. I like to celebrate various countries and cultures by doing themed reading around them, and in week and a half I'll be doing a German set for Reunification Day. Unraveling is the first, but I'm also expecting Five Germanies I Have Known in the post, and will complement that with something from the library.