Our Second Chance, Print Edition
Changing Course and Solving the Value Crisis

Andrew Welch     

Captus Press, ISBN 978-1-55322-420-4 (2022)
286 pages, 410 g, 6 X 9, $21.95 (US$21.95)
eBook subscription $21.95 (US$)

An accessible and well-researched exploration of ecological economics from a human perspective —
one that will challenge students' thinking and set the stage for lively discussions
around the values of our future.

The world is finally waking up — millions are calling for change.  They know what the problems are, but what to do now?

This is the long-awaited sequel to The Value Crisis (2014).  In Our Second Chance, Andrew Welch continues the ground-breaking conversations that got book clubs and progressive thinkers so hooked on his first work.  Having created a powerful new perspective on the problem, this sequel now focuses on the practical (and proven) solutions.

The field of ecological economics, as pioneered by Daly, Schumacher, Cobb, and others, has proposed powerful systems for solving our greatest environmental and financial challenges.  Yet change is not happening fast enough to defuse the looming disasters.

This work delves into the heart of the value crisis that prevents us from taking the action that is so urgently needed.  Using anecdotes from his own lived experience to illustrate the best ideas from those pioneers, this work breaks through with solutions that anyone can apply to their everyday lives.

Of particular academic note are two innovative concepts:

  • Graphing qualitative values — The book proposes a new and powerful theory for the best way to graphically view changing qualitative values over time.  (Being non-numeric, these were traditionally thought to be ungraphable.)  By providing a roadmap for visualizing ‘unsolvable’ problems, it allows qualitative value management to leverage the extensive work that has already been done on polarity management.
  • Qualitative economies — The author defines a new type of economics, based on non-numeric qualitative values.  Specific examples are given, incorporating both sharing and gift economies.  One particularly exciting conclusion is that qualitative economies can exist simultaneously with traditional economics.

The proposals are both fantastic and fantastical — and trials through history have shown that they actually work — they just need broader implementation and support.

By making ecological economics accessible to the wider population, this book inspires all readers to take effective action right now.  In doing so, they may not only bring more joy into their lives — they might save our world at the same time.

Useful Features

  • Highlighted Key Ideas throughout text
  • Pauses where controversial ideas get a second look
  • Pandanecdotes apply concepts to our new reality
  • What to do right now action lists close every essay
  • Summary of Key Ideas
  • Bibliography for more detailed reading

To subscribe to an online eBook of Our Second Chance (ISBN 978-1-55322-419-8), click here.

Table of Contents   top


Values-by-Number: overview of the value system distinction

Wealth of Possibilities: introduction to different concepts of wealth

Enough Stuff: exploring our relationship with things

Head Buts: dealing with personal value conflicts

The Game Changer: discussion of a basic income

Occupational Therapy: society's obsession with jobs

Political Climate Change: thoughts on decision-making

Gift Ideas: the basis of a different value system

An Unquantified Success: introduction of qualitative economies

Incorporating Changes: the role of corporations

Land Mine: ownership of natural resources

Money for Nothing: rentiers and economic rent

Frei at Last: review of 'new' ideas from history

Key Ideas Summary

Instructor Resources   top

Related Resources   top

The author’s website contains information on other publications, speaking engagements, blogs, and podcasts:

About the Author   top

Andrew Welch is a speaker, facilitator, disaster management leader, theatre director, designer, actor, handyman, experiential educator, council-appointed town crier, and SAR instructor, to name a few of his pursuits.  He formed his first company (Caduceus Medical Software) in 1984, and now operates Intellact, an entity whose projects are as diverse as Andrew’s interests.  He was most widely known for creating WattPlot, a software suite sold around the world for monitoring renewable energy systems.

Welch ‘retired’ just before reaching 40, when he learned from his father and others that retirement does not mean you have to stop working.  Instead, it can mean that you stop doing what you don’t want to do, you no longer take on long-term work commitments, and you are free to do your own thing for extended periods, like studying philosophy and ecological economics, and writing a book or two.