Last week Cambridge University published their list of the 50 Most Influential Books on Sustainability. This list was compiled by soliciting the favorite book from over 2000 of the leading experts on sustainability on the planet, then a shortlist was compiled.
I was a little disappointed to see only one book on the list by Buckminster Fuller. That book was, Operating Manual for Spaceship Earth.
In an excerpt from Time Magazine, Vol.83 no.2, January 10, 1964, Buckminster Fuller was described as:
“He has been called “the first poet of technology,” “the greatest living genius of industrial-technical realization in building,“ “an anticipator of the world to come–which is different from being a prophet,” “a seminal thinker,” and “an inspired child.” But all these encomiums are fairly recent. For most of his life, R. Buckminster Fuller was known simply as a crackpot.
He is also something more than the mere sum of his praise and criticism. He is a throwback to the classic American individualist, a mold which produced Thomas Edison and Thoreau–men with the fresh eye that sees and questions everything anew, and the crotchety mind that refuses to believe there is anything that cannot be done. What Fuller sees excites him with the vision of man’s potentialities, and he has made it his mission to help man realize them. Says he: “Man knows so much and does so little.”
So while the Cambridge list is magnificent and I have gone through it checking off the books I have read and noted the ones yet to be read, I wish to offer a list of some of my favorite Buckminster Fuller books. Anyone who could see where we were headed in the 1940s and still pigheadedly insist that we could use technology to turn it all around deserves his own book list. Crackpot or not. So here is my offshoot to the Cambridge 50 Most Influential Books on Sustainablity a la Buckminster Fuller:
1) Operating Manual for Spaceship Earth
2) And It Came to Pass – Not to Stay
3) Critical Path
4) Grunch of Giants
What books on ecology, sustainability, conservation and keeping the planet and humanity going have influenced you?