Press release

The Upside Of Down: Catastrophe, Creativity and the Renewal of Civilization

October 31, 2006

By Thomas Homer-Dixon

Question: What do The Barenaked Ladies, the Dave Matthews Band, Avril Lavigne, Bonnie Raitt and Thomas Homer-Dixon (author of The Ingenuity Gap) have in common?

Answer: Green tours! Each one has committed to doing their tours in an environmentally-friendly way.

Sustainability isn't a term normally associated with band or author tours. Promotional tours generally involve extensive travel and greenhouse gas emissions from planes, busses and cars, not to mention the energy required for an event at each venue.

Thomas Homer-Dixon's newest release, The Upside of Down: Catastrophe, Creativity and the Renewal of Civilization, focuses on the practical realities of climate change and the process by which small changes can add up to large impact. In keeping with the theme of his book, Homer-Dixon has organized one of North America's first book tours that deliberately seeks to minimize carbon emissions.

Working with publisher Random House, the author of widely-acclaimed The Ingenuity Gap, has teamed up with other national and international sustainable development organizations and companies.

Zero Footprint is calculating the carbon emissions of the travel involved on the tour and arranging for the purchase of credits to offset the emissions. Bullfrog Power Ontario's first 100% green electricity retailer, is donating the green power to offset the energy used at the various venues across Canada and the United States. And the International Institute for Sustainable Development is reviewing the green tour plan as well as offering its assistance in promotion. IISD staff travel internationally and have extensive experience in offsetting their travel emissions. To make all aspects of their travel eco-friendly the Institute is currently publishing a green travel guide for staff.

Information about The Upside of Down, Thomas Homer-Dixon, emissions and offset credits, book tour locations and dates, is all available on his website

About IISD

The International Institute for Sustainable Development (IISD) is an award-winning independent think tank working to accelerate solutions for a stable climate, sustainable resource management, and fair economies. Our work inspires better decisions and sparks meaningful action to help people and the planet thrive. We shine a light on what can be achieved when governments, businesses, non-profits, and communities come together. IISD’s staff of more than 250 experts come from across the globe and from many disciplines. With offices in Winnipeg, Geneva, Ottawa, and Toronto, our work affects lives in nearly 100 countries.