No Man's Garden - Daniel B. Botkin - 2000 - ISBN: 1559634650
In No Man's Garden, ecologist Daniel Botkin takes a fresh look at the life and writings of Henry David Thoreau to discover a model for reconciling the conflict between nature and civilization that lies at the heart of our environmental problems. He offers an insightful reinterpretation of Thoreau, drawing a surprising picture of the "hermit of Walden" as a man who loved wildness, but who found it in the woods and swamps on the outskirts of town as easily as in the remote forests of Maine, and who firmly believed in the value and importance of human beings and civilization.
Botkin integrates into the familiar image of Thoreau, the solitary seeker, other, equally important aspects of his personality and career-as a first-rate ecologist whose close, long-term observation of his surroundings shows the value of using a scientific approach, as an engineer who was comfortable working out technical problems in his father's pencil factory, and as someone who was deeply concerned about the spiritual importance of nature to people.
This new view of one of the founding fathers of American environmental thought lays the groundwork for an innovative approach to solving environmental problems. Botkin argues that the topics typically thought of as "environmental," and the issues and concerns of "environmentalism," are in fact rooted in some of humanity's deepest concerns-our fundamental physical and spiritual connection with nature, and the mutually beneficial ways that society and nature can persist together. He makes the case that by understanding the true scientific, philosophical, and spiritual bases of environmental positions we will be able to develop a means of preserving the health of our biosphere that simultaneously allows for the further growth and development of civilization.
No Man's Garden presents a vital challenge to the assumptions and conventional wisdom of environmentalism, and will be must reading for anyone interested in developing a deeper understanding of interactions between humans and nature.
Collapse: How Societies Choose to Fail or Succeed - Jared Diamond - 2004 - ISBN: 0670033375
Jared Diamond's Collapse: How Societies Choose to Fail or Succeed is the glass-half-empty follow-up to his Pulitzer Prize-winning Guns, Germs, and Steel. While Guns, Germs, and Steel explained the geographic and environmental reasons why some human populations have flourished, Collapse uses the same factors to examine why ancient societies, including the Anasazi of the American Southwest and the Viking colonies of Greenland, as well as modern ones such as Rwanda, have fallen apart. Not every collapse has an environmental origin, but an eco-meltdown is often the main catalyst, he argues, particularly when combined with society's response to (or disregard for) the coming disaster. Still, right from the outset of Collapse, the author makes clear that this is not a mere environmentalist's diatribe. He begins by setting the book's main question in the small communities of present-day Montana as they face a decline in living standards and a depletion of natural resources. Once-vital mines now leak toxins into the soil, while prion diseases infect some deer and elk and older hydroelectric dams have become decrepit. On all these issues, and particularly with the hot-button topic of logging and wildfires, Diamond writes with equanimity.
Because he's addressing such significant issues within a vast span of time, Diamond can occasionally speak too briefly and assume too much, and at times his shorthand remarks may cause careful readers to raise an eyebrow. But in general, Diamond provides fine and well-reasoned historical examples, making the case that many times, economic and environmental concerns are one and the same. With Collapse, Diamond hopes to jog our collective memory to keep us from falling for false analogies or forgetting prior experiences, and thereby save us from potential devastations to come. While it might seem a stretch to use medieval Greenland and the Maya to convince a skeptic about the seriousness of global warming, it's exactly this type of cross-referencing that makes Collapse so compelling. --Jennifer Buckendorff
The Meetings of WEarth - Jeanne C. Wilkinson - This story has been published on the internet to make it available free of charge worldwide to anyone interested in the issues it explores. The author receives no remuneration for her time, expenses and creative efforts except from the generosity of her readers. If you enjoyed WEArth and would like to help maintain its continuing presence on the world-wide-web and spread its message of concern for the earth and all its creatures by, please contribute. The author is currently working on an illustrated version of the THE MEETINGS OF WEARTH using artwork by herself and other contemporary artists who will interpret and bring the story to life with their imagery. She is also writing another book, this one based loosely on the format of Dickens’ “A Christmas Carol,” with the spirits of animals bringing a wayward hunter on a trip through past, present and future. Please help the author bring about a better future through storytelling.
Off The Map - Chellis Glendinning - 1999 - ISBN: 1570623600
Off The Map is a unique exploration of globalization. Part history, part autobiography, and part fiction, it weaves together the history of the last 300 years of Western imperialism, the author’s own story of sexual abuse in the 1950s, and a present-day horseback ride through the recently colonized Chicano world of New Mexico. The author takes us with her as she travels "off the map" through the ancestral lands of her friend and travelling companion Snowflake Martinez, describing the Chicano people’s struggle to survive the onslaught of a globalized world, and the ways in which that struggle has been replicated countless times. In a different voice, she reveals scenes from her childhood, her grandparents adorning themselves with artifacts symbolic of the British Empire, and her medical doctor father raping both her and her brother for 12 years. The political is deeply personal. And hope, according to Glendinning, resides in our creating new maps that chart worlds fashioned by love and respect for community, place, and nature.
Guns, Germs, and Steel: The Fates of Human Societies - Jared Diamond - 1999 - ISBN: 0393317552
Winner of the Pulitzer Prize. In this "artful, informative, and delightful" (William H. McNeill, New York Review of Books) book, Jared Diamond convincingly argues that geographical and environmental factors shaped the modern world. Societies that had had a head start in food production advanced beyond the hunter-gatherer stage, and then developed religion --as well as nasty germs and potent weapons of war --and adventured on sea and land to conquer and decimate preliterate cultures. A major advance in our understanding of human societies, Guns, Germs, and Steel chronicles the way that the modern world came to be and stunningly dismantles racially based theories of human history. Winner of the Pulitzer Prize, the Phi Beta Kappa Award in Science, the Rhone-Poulenc Prize, and the Commonwealth club of California's Gold Medal.
Prodigal Summer - Barbara Kingsolver - 2001 - ISBN: 0060959037
There is no one in contemporary literature quite like Barbara Kingsolver. Her dialogue sparkles with sassy wit and earthy poetry; her descriptions are rooted in daily life but are also on familiar terms with the eternal. With Prodigal Summer, she returns from the Congo to a "wrinkle on the map that lies between farms and wildness." And there, in an isolated pocket of southern Appalachia, she recounts not one but three intricate stories. Exuberant, lush, riotous--the summer of the novel is "the season of extravagant procreation" in which bullfrogs carelessly lay their jellied masses of eggs in the grass, "apparently confident that their tadpoles would be able to swim through the lawn like little sperms," and in which a woman may learn to "tell time with her skin." It is also the summer in which a family of coyotes moves into the mountains above Zebulon Valley: The ghost of a creature long extinct was coming in on silent footprints, returning to the place it had once held in the complex anatomy of this forest like a beating heart returned to its body. This is what she believed she would see, if she watched, at this magical juncture: a restoration. The "she" is Deanna Wolfe, a wildlife biologist observing the coyotes from her isolated aerie--isolated, that is, until the arrival of a young hunter who makes her even more aware of the truth that humans are only an infinitesimal portion in the ecological balance. This truth forms the axis around which the other two narratives revolve: the story of a city girl, entomologist, and new widow and her efforts to find a place for herself; and the story of Garnett Walker and Nannie Rawley, who seem bent on thrashing out the countless intimate lessons of biology as only an irascible traditional farmer and a devotee of organic agriculture can. As Nannie lectures Garnett, "Everything alive is connected to every other by fine, invisible threads. Things you don't see can help you plenty, and things you try to control will often rear back and bite you, and that's the moral of the story." Structurally, that gossamer web is the story: images, phrases, and events link the narratives, and these echoes are rarely obvious, always serendipitous. Kingsolver is one of those authors for whom the terrifying elegance of nature is both aesthetic wonder and source of a fierce and abiding moral vision. She may have inherited Thoreau's mantle, but she piles up riches of her own making, blending her extravagant narrative gift with benevolent concise humor. She treads the line between the sentimental and the glorious like nobody else in American literature.
The Hidden Connections: Integrating The Biological, Cognitive, And Social Dimensions Of Life Into A Science Of Sustainability - Fritjof Capra - 2002 - ISBN: 0385494718 0759636613
Physicist and bestselling author Capra (The Tao of Physics and The Web of Life) delivers another fascinating discourse that explores of the interconnectedness of all living (and some nonliving) things, from the first life form of protocells to the development of language, culture, social mores and customs, spirituality and the global economy. That may be a lot of ground to cover in one book, but Capra gracefully cruises from 3.8 billion years ago, which "marked the emergence of a universal ancestor from which all subsequent life on Earth descended" through the present. Capra moves seamlessly through the evolution of cognition and thought; in a total rethink of Cartesian notions, he suggests that "consciousness is not only a biological, but also a social phenomenon." Other topics include tool-making (which Capra calls the earliest form of technology), language development (which, he explains, developed as a secondary need to tool-making) and the social loops of culture. Readers would do well to heed Capra's remarkably unpreachy warnings about the depletion of natural resources. Here is a book that not only moves readers to think about the larger picture, but also places them squarely in the middle of it, as they travel the interlinking and continual loop of the "network."
Oryx and Crake - Margaret Atwood - 2003 - ISBN: 0385503857
In Oryx and Crake, a science fiction novel that is more Swift than Heinlein, more cautionary tale than "fictional science" (no flying cars here), Margaret Atwood depicts a near-future world that turns from the merely horrible to the horrific, from a fool's paradise to a bio-wasteland. Snowman (a man once known as Jimmy) sleeps in a tree and just might be the only human left on our devastated planet. He is not entirely alone, however, as he considers himself the shepherd of a group of experimental, human-like creatures called the Children of Crake. As he scavenges and tends to his insect bites, Snowman recalls in flashbacks how the world fell apart. While the story begins with a rather ponderous set-up of what has become a clichéd landscape of the human endgame, littered with smashed computers and abandoned buildings, it takes on life when Snowman recalls his boyhood meeting with his best friend Crake: "Crake had a thing about him even then.... He generated awe ... in his dark laconic clothing." A dangerous genius, Crake is the book's most intriguing character. Crake and Jimmy live with all the other smart, rich people in the Compounds--gated company towns owned by biotech corporations. (Ordinary folks are kept outside the gates in the chaotic "pleeblands.") Meanwhile, beautiful Oryx, raised as a child prostitute in Southeast Asia, finds her way to the West and meets Crake and Jimmy, setting up an inevitable love triangle. Eventually Crake's experiments in bioengineering cause humanity's shockingly quick demise (with uncanny echoes of SARS, ebola, and mad cow disease), leaving Snowman to try to pick up the pieces. There are a few speed bumps along the way, including some clunky dialogue and heavy-handed symbols such as Snowman's broken watch, but once the bleak narrative gets moving, as Snowman sets out in search of the laboratory that seeded the world's destruction, it clips along at a good pace, with a healthy dose of wry humor.
Better Basics for the Home : Simple Solutions for Less Toxic Living - Annie Berthold-Bond - 1999 - ISBN: 0609803255
These days, more and more people are saying no to "better living through chemistry" and yes to a lifestyle that is less toxic and more environmentally friendly. This trend toward a more natural lifestyle has become something of a crusade for Annie Berthold-Bond, author of Better Basics for the Home. After developing hypersensitivity to even very low concentrations of chemicals, Berthold-Bond was forced to rid her life of as many toxins as possible. "It wasn't until I had to be away from chemicals that I began to realize how many we lived with. The extent of the contamination is startling--from hair spray and floor wax to dandelion killers and plastic shower curtains and other products that line our hardware stores and supermarket shelves." This book represents the culmination of her search for a more sustainable lifestyle. Taking her cue from an earlier time, Berthold-Bond, former editor in chief of Green Alternatives for Health and Environment, offers more than 800 simple and practical alternatives to common household toxins, covering everything from skin care to gardening. And the good news is that adopting her suggestions and formulas isn't hard at all. "Mixing up face creams or wood stain isn't much different than cleaning the windows with vinegar, soap, and water instead of using Brand Name X, or making a cake with flour, eggs and milk instead of buying a mix," see asserts. "With a few simple staples we can clean our houses, wash our hair, rid the dog's bed of fleas, and do many other things as well." If you have your doubts, here is her formula for metal polish:
3 teaspoons salt, 1 tablespoon flour, and enough white distilled vinegar to make a paste. Scoop the paste onto a clean sponge, and polish the metal clean. Rinse with hot water and buff dry. Sure, these days it's literally impossible to lead a life that is completely toxin-free. But you can significantly reduce your exposure, and picking up a copy Better Basics for the Home is a great way to get started.
Ecology: A Bridge Between Science and Society - Eugene Pleasants Odum - 1997 - ISBN: 0878936300
Eugene Odum was the first person to put together plant and animal ecology in a satisfying synthesis, in his Fundamentals of Ecology of 1953.That could have remained the prime textbook for the past five decades, but he eventually tired of producing new editions. Also, he was keen to reach a wider audience, and this is the latest version of the more accessible book that he wrote for the general reader. Two things in particular make the book special. First, Odum focuses on the whole living planet, working down to the level of the individual organisms and populations; most ecology textbooks work from the bottom up, giving a fragmentary view of the overall situation. Second, Odum is almost alone among ecologists in integrating humans completely into his account. The result is a clear and readable book with an urgent and important message for all of us who share the earth.
Cadillac Desert: The American West and Its Disappearing Water - Marc Reisner - 1993 - ISBN: 0140178244
The story of the American West is the story of the relentless quest to control and allocate nature's most common, and the West's most precious, resource: water. CADILLAC DESERT recounts this dramatic saga. The early settlers were lured by free land. But there was not enough water to sustain them, and they drifted on. Only the Mormons stayed, carefully tending a system of irrigation canals that tempered perpetual drought. Their success gave birth to federal aid programs, principally the Bureau of Reclamation. Without the bureau, without Hoover, Shasta and Grand Coulee, the West as we know it would not exist.
The Eternal Frontier: An Ecological History of North America and Its Peoples - Tim Flannery - 2001 - ISBN: 0871137895
Reading The Eternal Frontier might be the closest you'll get to taking a class from Tim Flannery--and that alone makes it an opportunity just too good to pass up. This ambitious retelling of North America's dramatic ecological history grew out of a course that Flannery taught at Harvard surveying the continent's ancient past up to its tumultuous near-present: from the extraterrestrial "death-dealing visitor" that struck 65 million years ago all the way through to the tidal invasions, adaptations, and extinctions that have washed over North America since, each idiosyncratically influenced by an ever-changing geology, geography, and climate. Flannery admirably balances his twin roles as scientist and storyteller. As a thoughtful teacher, he employs memorable and effective examples to illustrate broader topics, but he's also willing to commit to theoretical explanations (with fair warning) when necessary to thread together the narrative. But Flannery's greatest strength might simply be the empathy he inspires as a fellow human being trying to sort out an intricate, often richly beautiful puzzle. It's hard not to identify with his curiosity and enthusiasm, whether he's recalling memories of late nights spent as a child reading the How and Why Book of Prehistoric Mammals (and the uintathere nightmares that followed) or just marveling over the vast American West from his window seat on a plane. The Eternal Frontier certainly leaves you with a solid outline of the how, why, and when of North America's enigmatic ecology, and what the implications of a dwindling frontier have for our future. But don't be surprised when what you remember best are Flannery's countless details--worthy of repeating at any self-respecting pub--from marsupial sperm that swim in pairs to the reason that Native American cultures might owe their very existence to squirrels' taste in nuts.
Beyond Civilization: Humanity's Next Great Adventure - Daniel Quinn - 1999 - ASIN: 0609604902
Futurist Daniel Quinn (Ishmael) dares to imagine a new approach to saving the world that involves deconstructing civilization. Quinn asks the radical yet fundamental questions about humanity such as, Why does civilization grow food, lock it up, and then make people earn money to buy it back? Why not progress "beyond civilization" and abandon the hierarchical lifestyles that cause many of our social problems? He challenges the "old mind" thinking that believes problems should be fixed with social programs. "Old minds think: How do we stop these bad things from happening?" Quinn writes. "New minds think: How do we make things the way we want them to be?" Whether he is discussing Amish farming, homelessness, "tribal business," or holy work, Quinn's manifesto is highly digestible. Instead of writing dense, weighty chapters filled with self-important prose, he's assembled a series of brief one-page essays. His language is down to earth, his metaphors easy to grasp. As a result, readers can read about and ponder Beyond Civilization at a blissfully civilized pace.
Reconnecting with Nature - Michael J. Cohen - 2nd edition 1997 - ISBN: 0963970526
The Natural Systems Thinking Process in Reconnecting With Nature provides a psychological key to personal and environmental wellness. It helps us make conscious sensory contacts with nature that replace our destructive subconscious bonds with responsible ways of relating. email@example.com from Mitchell Bay, Washington
Institute of Global Education - Nature Connected Learning Books
Origin of Species - Charles Darwin - 1982 - ISBN: 0140432051
It's hard to talk about The Origin of Species without making statements that seem overwrought and fulsome. But it's true: this is indeed one of the most important and influential books ever written, and it is one of the very few groundbreaking works of science that is truly readable. To a certain extent it suffers from the Hamlet problem--it's full of clichés! Or what are now clichés, but which Darwin was the first to pen. Natural selection, variation, the struggle for existence, survival of the fittest: it's all in here. Darwin's friend and "bulldog" T.H. Huxley said upon reading the Origin, "How extremely stupid of me not to have thought of that." Alfred Russel Wallace had thought of the same theory of evolution Darwin did, but it was Darwin who gathered the mass of supporting evidence--on domestic animals and plants, on variability, on sexual selection, on dispersal--that swept most scientists before it. It's hardly necessary to mention that the book is still controversial: Darwin's remark in his conclusion that "Light will be thrown on the origin of man and his history" is surely the pinnacle of British understatement. --Mary Ellen Curtin
Wonderful Life : The Burgess Shale and the Nature of History - Stephen Jay Gould - 1990 - ISBN: 039330700X
The story of how the Burgess Shale came to be, of its creatures, attempts to classify them, and where they fit into the scheme of evolution is one of the greatest stories--and one of the hottest controversies--in science. Gould lays out his theory of Contengency as a possible alternative to Natural Selection.
Vanishing Borders - Hilary French - March 2000 - ISBN 0393320049
Our world is shrinking fast: goods, money, microbes, pollution, people, and ideas are crossing borders with growing ease. National governments are ill-suited for tackling the problems that result, from climate change, to the soaring trade in limited resource commodities like timber, to the management of regional water supplies. Hilary French argues that the only long-term solution to our environmental problems is a worldwide commitment to strengthening the international treaties and institutions essential for integrating ecological considerations into the still-nascent rules of global commerce. More than two hundred international environmental treaties already exist, but few of them stipulate stringent commitments and effective enforcement; and institutions such as the International Monetary Fund and the World Trade Organization continue to view environmental protection as a peripheral concern. But at the same time, new communications technologies are making it possible for nongovernmental organizations to mobilize powerful coalitions of private citizens to press for change, and some forward-thinking businesses have begun to support environmental codes of conduct and other international standards. Vanishing Borders provides people concerned about the future of the planet with a clear plan of action for ensuring environmental stability in the wake of globalization.
The Nature of Nature; New Essays from America's Finest Writers on Nature - William H. Shore - 1994 - ISBN: 0151000808
This latest entry in the series of fund-raising anthologies published by the hunger elief organization Share Our Strength draws together more than two dozen essays (and nearly two dozen black-and-white photographs, which were not included in the galley reviewed) that examine, analyze, and/or celebrate nature. Contributors include Diane Ackerman, David Campbell, Thomas Eisner, Robert Finch, John Haines, Edward Hoagland, Lawrence Joseph, Janet Lembke, Peter Matthiessen, Susan Middleton, John Murray, Victor Perera, Karen Pryor, Scott Russell Sanders, Judith Stone, and David Rains Wallace, and Vice President Al Gore supplies an introduction. The essays' subjects circle the globe, from India and Australia to an Adirondack backyard; span the range of nature from "the slimiest slug" viewed through an electron microscope to the wonders of emus and whales and old-growth forest; and speculate on the place of human beings and their creations--from art and literature to "the plastic pink flamingo"--within the natural world Mary Carroll
Hope, Human and Wild : True Stories of Living Lightly on the Earth - Bill McKibben - 1995 - ISBN: 0316560642
Bill McKibben's The End of Nature brought home the harm our society has done to the planet and became a major bestseller. Now, in this book, McKibben embarks on a journey--in the Adirondack Mountains, a Brazilian city, and a state in India--that convinces him that the world and nature can recover some of its glory.
Transformative Learning: Educational Vision for the 21st Century - Edmund O'Sullivan - 1999 - ISBN: 1856496996
This is a beautiful book. Beautiful in its clarity, depth, and vision, and for the wonderful hope it inspires. While I would recommend this book to anyone and everyone, I deeply believe that Tranformative Learning should be made required reading for every University President, Minister of Education, and Professor on Earth. Paul Boin - Canada
Expanding the Boundaries of Transformative Learning: Essays on the Theory and Praxis - Edmund O'Sullivan, Amish Morrell, Mary A. O'Connor - 2002 - ISBN: 0312295081
Transformative learning involves the creation of a deep, structural shift in thought, feelings, and actions. These innovative essays challenge the dominant assumptions about transformative learning, particularly the idea that transformative learning can be constructed without regard to its content. The editors argue that theory cannot be constructed in a content-neutral or context-free way. They also address the importance of content, and educators as practitioners, across curricula, and spotlight arts-based research and arts-based teaching/learning practices as major examples of the new transformative learning. Each essay presents a practical application of transformative education
Ecological Literacy : Education and the Transition to a Postmodern World - David Orr - 1992 - ISBN: 0791408744
Orr has plenty to say about how the educational system can play a key role in ensuring that future generations better understand how to live in harmony with the earth. For example, on pp. 85-86, he writes, "The failure to develop ecological literacy is a sin of omission and of commission. Not only are we failing to teach the basics about the earth and how it works, but we are in fact teaching a large amount of stuff that is simply wrong. By failing to include ecological perspectives in any number of subjects, students are taught that ecology is unimportant for history, politics, economics, society and so forth. And through television, they learn that the earth is theirs for the taking. The result is a generation of ecological yahoos without a clue why the color of the water in their rivers is related to their food supply, or why storms are becoming more severe as the planet warms. The same persons as adults will create businesses, vote, have families, and above all, consume. Orr's book is a wake-up call to educators worldwide. It is a lesson on the value of integrative teaching strategies. His underlying message: Don't be an ecological yahoo.
Sustaining the Earth : An Integrated Approach - G. Tyler Miller, Jr. - 1887 - ISBN: 0534528848
Provides a readable and accurate introduction to environmental science without the use of mathematics and complex scientific information. Treats environmental science as an interdisciplinary study, combining ideas and information from natural and social sciences. Includes case studies, special interest boxes with questions, key terms, and review and critical thinking questions. This fourth edition includes additional critical thinking boxes, and an expanded web site, plus more electronic, print, and video supplements and teacher aids.
Where We Live : A Citizen's Guide to Conducting a Community Environmental Inventory - Donald F. Harker - Elizabeth Ungar Natter (Contributor) - 1995 - ISBN: 1559633778
A practical, hands-on workbook to help citizens find information concerning their local environment and to use that information in furthering environmental goals. The book includes instructions for citizens to use in creating community environmental maps, and explains various environmental programs and documentation of community hazards.
The Ecology of Commerce : A Declaration of Sustainability - Paul Hawken - 1994 - ISBN: 0887307043
Paul Hawken, the entrepreneur behind the Smith & Hawken gardening supplies empire, is no ordinary capitalist. Drawing as much on Baba Ram Dass and Vaclav Havel as he does on Peter Drucker and WalMart for his case studies, Hawken is on a one-man crusade to reform our economic system by demanding that First World businesses reduce their consumption of energy and resources by 80 percent in the next 50 years. As if that weren't enough, Hawken argues that business goals should be redefined to embrace such fuzzy categories as whether the work is aesthetically pleasing and the employees are having fun; this applies to corporate giants and mom-and-pop operations alike. He proposes a culture of business in which the real world, the natural world, is allowed to flourish as well, and in which the planet's needs are addressed. Wall Street may not be ready for Hawken's provocative brand of environmental awareness, but this fine book is full of captivating ideas.
Learning to Think Environmentally While There Is Still Time : - Lester W. Milbrath - 1996 - ISBN: 0791429539
Milbrath's informed common sense cuts through complexity. A number of books purport to clearly explain the ins and outs of environmentalism, but none come close to this little Socratic dialogue. Using a format of questions and answers with his neighbor, Milbrath (a professor at SUNY and longtime philosopher of environmental sanity) takes a leap beyond both strident rhetoric and turgid college text writing to provide a major public service. This text refers to the paperback edition.
Greening the College Curriculum : A Guide to Environmental Teaching in the Liberal Arts - Jonathan Collett and Stephen Karakasian - 1996 - ISBN: 1559634227
The Emperor's Nightingale - Robert A. G. Monks - 1999 - ISBN: 0738201332
If widely read, The Emperor's Nightingale could be one of the most significant contributions to reuniting the corporation, our most powerful disembodied force, with the spirit of humankind in nature. Monks blends the new science of complexity with the insights he and Nell Minow have developed on corporate governance to arrive at fresh insights on the future of capitalism. The call for minimizing corporate involvement in politics and for special purpose trust funds are bold innovations to remove conflicts of interest which plague our current system and reduce its wealth creating capacity.
*Monks believes that the best hope for restoring accountability in today's corporations are the owners themselves--both individual and institutional shareholders. Only then will the corporate appetite for profits be balanced with the public good. The corporation, says Monks, is an example of a complex adaptive system, and he shows through computer modeling that responsible corporate behavior can enhance, not take away from, a company's bottom line. If you ever thought that corporate governance was one of those dry and uninteresting subjects, this insightful and thought-provoking book will surely change your mind. *This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
The New Global Investors: How Shareowners can unlock Sustainable Prosperity Worldwide - Robert A. G. Monks - 2001 - ISBN: 1841121096
As the world's most prominent and notorious shareholder activist, Robert Monks has relentlessly stalked ineffective management, waking it, shaking it and replacing it. The Global Shareowner is his most powerful call yet for a more accountable corporate world. In this book Monks asserts that large corporations dominate our world and shows how, more than any other factor, it is corporations who decide who is rich and who is poor, what kind of education we enjoy, the quality of our environment and the use of force in international affairs. He states that corporate energy is perceived as the single most effective tool for creating wealth and solving society's problems. But there is a price - through control over their boards or directors, its compensation committees, "independent" consultants, the accounting authorities and even governments, CEOs have acquired the capacity to pay themselves as much as they wish. Monks asks: Is there now any effective limit to the power of corporate management?
Environmental Ethics : Readings in Theory and Application - Louis P. Pojman - 2000 - ISBN: 0534543715
In this new edition of a text for undergraduates, Pojman (philosophy, U.S. Military Academy in West Point) presents 81 readings covering topics such as animal rights, world hunger, the intrinsic value of nature, biocentric and ecocentric ethics, deep ecology, ecofeminism, and the Gaia hypothesis. Readings are presented in a pro/con format. Organized into two main parts, the first on theory and the second on applications, the third edition of this popular anthology provides the most comprehensive set of readings available for environmental ethics and includes topic areas not covered in other anthologies. Articles have been carefully selected for clarity and accessibility.
Watersheds: Ten Cases in Environmental Ethics, 2nd Edition - Lisa H. Newton and Catherine K. Dillingham - 1996 - ISBN: 0534511813The only environmental casebook of its kind, Watersheds 2 presents the classic cases of contemporary importance with the detail and crucial scientific background required for students to experience serious and complex environmental issues. The authors, Newton and Dillingham, present cases of immediate interest in a balanced and impartial manner and with an engaging style that will encourage critical thinking and classroom discussion. Topics include: toxic waste from nuclear weapons facilities; worldwide population growth and its consequences; pesticides, birds, and the legacy of Rachel Carson; over-exploitation of fisheries; property rights and takings; bhopal and responsible care; tropical rainforests; the Exxon Valdez wreck; global climate change; and the north coast and the spotted owl. Each case study is prefaced by questions to help provoke thought. A sold supplement for students, this book can also be bundled with the text.
Human Natures: Genes, Cultures, and the Human - Paul Erlich - 2002 - ISBN: 0142000531
It's common to blame "human nature" for some of the unpleasant facts of life--road rage, say, or murder, or war. The problem with this convenient out, argues the distinguished scientist Paul Ehrlich, is that there really is no single human nature. Humans, it's true, share a common genetic code with remarkably few large-scale differences (if all but native Africans disappeared from the planet, he notes, "humanity would still retain somewhat more than 90 percent of its genetic variability"); and evolution has endowed us with capabilities shared by no other species. But for all that, he adds, our separation into haves and have-nots, weak and strong, and other such categories is more often than not a product of cultural evolution, a process far more complex than the mere mutation and adaptation of a few genes. And, in any event, those genes "do not shout commands to us about our behavior," Ehrlich says. "At the very most, they whisper suggestions." In this wide-ranging survey of what it is that has made and that continues to make us human, Ehrlich touches on a number of themes--among them, his recurrent observation that science has taught us little about how genes influence human behavior. (Instead, he notes wryly, "science tells us that we are creatures of accident clinging to a ball of mud hurtling aimlessly through space. This is not a notion to warm hearts or rouse multitudes.") He urges that scientists take a larger, interdisciplinary view that looks beyond mere genetics to the larger forces that shape our lives, a view for which Human Natures makes a handy, and highly accessible, primer. --Gregory McNamee --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.
Life Out of Bounds - Chris Bright - 1998 - ISBN 0393318141
The first general-interest study of the global spread of alien, "exotic" organisms and how they are undermining the world's ecosystems and societies. Worldwatch Institute researcher Chris Bright explains why conservation biologists are raising the alarm about a global threat to biodiversity that is unfolding largely unnoticed-bioinvasion, the spread of alien, "exotic" organisms. With the exception of a few spectacular invasions, like the zebra mussel's conquest of the Great Lakes, there has been little public recognition of the dangers posed by these invading species. But exotic species are injuring our biological wealth on virtually every level-from the genetic (when exotics interbreed with native species) to the wholesale transformation of landscapes. Life Out of Bounds shows that this "biological pollution" is now beginning to corrode the world's economies as well. But the policy responses, on both the national and international levels, have usually been weak and uncoordinated. This book outlines the current scientific research on the threat, the social and economic implications if these invasions are allowed to continue unchecked, and steps that can be taken to contain the spread of exotic species.
Song of the Ocean - C. Safina - 1999 - ISBN 0805061223
A fact-finding tour of troubled waters. Marine scientist and first-time author Safina, founder of the Audubon Society's Living Oceans Program, ranges far afield to substantiate fears that something has gone badly wrong in the oceans. The fault, of course, lies with humans. A commission has determined, for instance, that the number of bluefin tuna in the North Atlantic has declined by 90 percent in recent years. Not every one agrees. ``Fishermen tell me,'' Safina adds, ``that the scientists grossly underestimate the numbers.'' Along the Grand Banks off Canada, the legendary great shoals of cod have been decimated, causing the government of Canada to suspend the once vast cod-fishing industry. On the Pacific coast, salmon are fast disappearing, the victims of silted rivers, dams, and overfishing. And far out in the Pacific, sharks and rays, swordfish and skates are declining in number. Safina visits all these places, giving little lectures on fish ecology along the way (readers might otherwise never have known that in water of 57 degrees Fahrenheit, a swordfish maintains a cranial temperature of 84 degrees). He allows that the decline of fish has multiple causes; as one of his informants, a California farmer, remarks, ``It's not just the farmers or fishermen. It is water transfers, ocean temperatures, toxic pollutants, timbering, all these things.'' On the matter of those toxic pollutants Safina has much to say: He is rightly appalled that in many Pacific nations fish are caught by poisoning the waters with cyanide, a process that kills not only the fish but also fragile coral reefs, among the world's most endangered ecosystems. Industrialized nations, he notes, and especially Japan, aren't doing much to help matters, arguing over quotas and territorial limits instead of recognizing that without severe restrictions on fishing the oceans may not be much of a larder in years to come. A valuable account of the devastation we have wrought on what Safina calls ``planet Ocean''--and, thanks to the author's down-to-earth style, a pleasure to read.
Biosphere and Noosphere Reader - Paul Samson - 1999 - ISBN 0415166454
The Reader is the first comprehensive history of the noosphere and biosphere. Drawing on classical influences, modern parallels, and insights into the future, the Reader traces the emergence of noosphere and biosphere concepts within the concept of environmental change. Reproducing material from seminal works, both past and present, key ideas and writings of prominent thinkers--including Bergson, Vernadsky, Lovelock, Russell, Needham, Huxley, Medawar, Toynbee and Boulding--are presented, and extensive introductory pieces by the editors draw attention to common themes and competing ideas. Focusing on issues of origins, theories, parallels and potential, the discussions place issues in a broad context, compare and contrast central concepts with those of the Gaia hypothesis, sustainability and global change, and examine the potential application of noospheric ideas to current debates about culture, education and technology in such realms as the internet, space exploration and the emergence of super-consciousness. Literally the 'sphere of mind or intellect', the noosphere is part of the 'realm of the possible' in human affairs, where there is a conscious effort to tackle global issues. The noosphere concept captures a number of key contemporary issues--social evolution, global ecology, Gaia, deep ecology and global environmental change--contributing to ongoing debates concerning the implications of emerging technologies.
Maurice Nicoll Psychological Commentaries on the Teaching of Gurdjieff & Ouspensky . Vol. I - Maurice Nicoll - 1984 - ISBN 0394723953
Here is the classic work on the fundamental ideas of Gurdjieff and Ouspensky, expounded by one of their foremost students. The Commentaries, concerned with the immediate processes of applying certain principles in daily life, have come to be known and loved by entire generations of people interested in the ongoing evolution of psychological transformation. Some of the topics discussed include the emotions, suffering, awareness, man as self-developing organism, what it means to work on oneself, effort, prayer, dreams, cosmology, self-love, memory, violence and understanding, relationshiip, and habitual patterns.
Shadows of Forgotten Ancestors - Carl Sagan and Ann Druyan - 1993 - ISBN:0345384725
"Dazzling...A feast. Absorbing and elegantly written by Carl Sagan and Ann Druyan, it tells of the origins of life on earth, describes its variety and character, and culminates in a discussion of human nature and the complex traces of humankind's evolutionary past...It is an amazing story masterfully told."
Ecological Psychology - Healing the Split Between Planet and Self - Deborah Du Nann Winter - 1996 - ISBN: 0673997642
Explaining how human behavior, thoughts, beliefs , values, and feelings have contributed to environmental crises, Ecological Psychology: Healing the Split Between Planet and Self articulates the contributions that psychology makes to the understanding and resolution of our environmental problems. After an introductory chapter that details our environmental difficulties, each of the five core chapters examines one major field of psychology (social psychology, psychoanalysis, behaviorism, cognitive, or gestalt/transpersonal psychology) and applies it to a selected environmental problem. A final chapter summarizes and synthesizes the five psychological approaches. Useful as a supplement in a psychology course to demonstrate the application of theory to a particular issue, or in an environmental studies course to suggest an alternate way of looking at our problems, this book is scholarly without being dry, well-balanced without being devoid of opinion, intimate without being indulgent, and helpful and accessible without resorting to pop psychology.
The Web of Life - Fritjof Capra - 1997 - ISBN: 0385476760
Fritjof Capra offers a brilliant synthesis of such recent scientific breakthroughs as the theory of complexity, Gaia theory, chaos theory, and other explanations of the properties of organisms, social systems, and ecosystems. Capra's surprising findings stand in stark contrast to accepted paradigms of mechanism and Darwinism and provide an extraordinary new foundation for ecological policies that will allow us to build and sustain communities without diminishing the opportunities for future generations.
The Gaia Theory - James Lovelock and Lynn Margulis - 1987 - ISBN: 0192860305
In the late 1960's to British scientists, James Lovelock and Lynn Margulis, put forth the Gaia Theory to propose that separate organisms could unconsciously modify the environment in a way that is favorable for life. The principle of the Gaia theory is simple. Life has modified and been modified by the biosphere, a process called co-evolution. The organisms that survive and thrive on the planet are those that help maintain the biosphere in a way that is favorable for life.
Coming Into Being: Artifacts and Texts in the Evolution of Consciousness - William Irwin Thompson - 1996 - ISBN 0312158343
An exploration of the evolution of consciousness from early stone carvings through folktales and civilized literature -- ranging from an examination of Osiris and Gilgamesh to the Enuma Elish and the Rig Veda, the Ramayana, the Upanishads and the Bhagavad Gita, and chaos theory in relation to the cosmic feminine in the Tao Te Ching.
By Nature Equal : The Anatomy of a Western Insight - John Coons and Patrick Brennan - 1999 - ISBN: 0691059225
What do we mean when we refer to people as being equal by nature? In the first book devoted to human equality as a fact rather than as a social goal or a legal claim, John Coons and Patrick Brennan argue that even if people possess unequal talents or are born into unequal circumstances, all may still be equal if it is true that human nature provides them the same access to moral self-perfection.
Experience and Nature - John Dewey - 1958 - ISBN: 0486204715
John Dewey's Experience and Nature provides a philosophical background to the field in this excellent analysis of dualism, which I argue is at the central core of a real ecopsychology. His writing is very tough going, but worth it.
Earthdance - Elisabet Sahtouris
Earthdance: Living Systems in Evolution: "To find meaning and guidance in nature, I integrated my personal experience of it with those scientific accounts that seemed to best fit it. From this synthesis, meaning and lessons for humanity emerged freely. I did the work in the peaceful, natural setting of a tiny old village on a small pine-forested Greek island, where I could consider the research and debates of scientists, historians, and philosophers, then test them against the natural world I was trying to understand." Available for download free from Dr. Sahtouris' site.
The Healing Earth: Nature's Medicine for the Troubled Soul - Philip Sutton Chard - 1994 - ISBN: 1559714344
I am a existential psychotherapist and have been seeking the way for myself and others to lead a being vs. having lifestyle.Thank you Mr. Chard for showing me the way.This book is so well written and has such a powerful message it should be the prerequisite reader for anyone interested in the newly formed ecotherapy movement.It is also written so that both the professional and lay person can benefit.His preface alone was great!
Voluntary Simplicity - Duane Elgin - 1993 - ISBN: 0688121195
Voluntary Simplicity by Duane Elgin, first published in 1981 and revised in 1993, Is the sacred text for those wanting to liberate themselves from enslavement to a job and the pursuit of status symbols. Elgin's work emerges from a concern for the environmental consequences of our mass consumption lifestyles. His book exhorts us to save the planet and our souls by "living with balance in order to find a life of greater purpose."
World as Lover, World as Self - 1991 - ISBN 0938077279
JoAnna Macy's engrossing collection of talks and essays teaches us to consider our world and its creatures as continuous--not separate from--our own being.
Coming Back to Life: Practices to reconnect our lives, our world - Joanna Macy and Molly Young Brown - 1998 - ISBN: 086571391X
"Inspiring, universal truths about self, community and world. Without having to consult a post-modern dictionary, Joanna Macy and co-author, Molly Young Brown give inspiring and heartfelt explanations and examples of their lifework: dealing with the roots of conscious and unconscious pain that we all feel with regards to ourselves, while bringing home the concept of our connectedness to this world. They point out the fallacy of basic assumptions that we can fix whatever problems we create (the fix-it mentality), as well as dealing with resulting issues of burn-out and stress by alternatively doing the "work that reconnects". The dynamic model set forth in this book recognizes the role of community and encourages us out of an antagonistic "us" versus "them" concept which tends to lead us towards short-term NIMBY (not in my backyard) solutions."
The Ecology of Hope: Communities Collaborate for Sustainability - Ted Young and Jora Young - 1996 - ISBN: 0865713553
This wonderful book gives us hope -- if we are willing to pitch in and work with others. It gives examples of how people in very different communities have come together to overcome difficulties and make significant improvements to their environments. Menominee Indians are maintaining a sustainable timber forest in the midst of land that have been devastated by loggers, and suburban Chicagoans are restoring nearby prairie lands to their original condition. Based on the authors' experiences gained while visiting these groups, the last chapter provides very helpful practical suggestions of how people can effectively be organized to bring about positive change. This book, if taken seriously by enough people, can turn us in the right direction.
Blood Relations: Menstruation and the Origins of Culture - Chris Knight - 1995 - ISBN:0300063083
This work is simply the most brilliant and imaginative book about human cultural development ever written. Its range is astonishing. Its arguments are cogently made with great detail. Its synthesis of primatology, socio-biology, and anthroplogy are compelling. Where others have depicted women as the victims of a dominant male hierarchy, Knight reveals how the sex roles and behavior of both men and women developed together in a dialectic relationship. Where others have stressed the loss of oestrus and continuous sexual receptivity in the female, Knight spotlights menstruation and its associated marital and other cultural taboos. Where others stress man the hunter and woman the gatherer, Knight envisions paleo-women as evolving an increasing solidarity to shape the structure of both hunting and gathering. Women are not the passive creatures that are so often depicted by the radical feminists who have an interest in portraying women as the victims of dominant males. Females have been active participants in shaping culture, behavior, and human destiny. As Knight says, "symbolic culture involves very widespread levels of synchronized co-operative action." Somewhere between 40,000 and 100,000 years ago, Knight believes, a massive social, sexual, and cultural explosion occurred and he does an ingenious job of providing us with insight into how this may have happened. A major change in reproductive strategy had to take place before males could take off as hunters and leave their women behind. Women synchronized their ovulatory cycles with one another; the concept of the "sex-strike" is the heart of the book. Blood as a symbol of menstruation provides a key to much of human culture and Knight uses it to explain the inner logic of many of mankind's myths and taboos. Because the disruptive effects of sex can be enormous, these controls have played an important role in the development of human culture. The riches of this deeply learned book cannot simply be conveyed in a brief review. It is a work to be read over and over and contemplated. The many insights into human culture and the relationships among the sexes will surely provide any open minded person with a new perspective as to why we are the way we are.
The Evolution of Culture: An Interdisciplinary View - by R. I. M. Dunbar (Editor), Chris Knight (Editor), Camilla Power (Editor) - 1999 - ISBN: 0813527317
The Evolution of Culture seeks to explain the origins, evolution and character of human culture, from language, art, music and ritual to the use of technology and the beginnings of social, political and economic behavior. It is concerned not only with where and when human culture evolved, but also asks how and why. The book draws together original contributions by archaeologists, anthropologists, linguists and psychologists. By integrating evolutionary biology with the social sciences, it shows how contemporary evolutionary thinking can inform the study of the peculiarly human phenomenon of culture. The contributors call into question the gulf currently separating the natural from the cultural sciences. Human capacities for culture, they argue, evolved through standard processes of natural and sexual selection and can be properly analyzed as biological adaptations. The Evolution of Culture is fully referenced and indexed and contains a guide to further reading. It is accessibly written and will be sure to appeal to the growing multidisciplinary readership now asking questions about human origins. About the Author Robin Dunbar is Professor of Psychology in the School of Biological Sciences, University of Liverpool. He is the author of many books, including Grooming, Gossip and the Evolution of Language. Chris Knight is Reader in Anthropology at the University of East London and author of the highly acclaimed and widely debated first book, Blood Relations: Menstruation and the Origins of Culture. Camilla Power is a research student at University College, London.
Re-Enchanting Humanity : A Defense of the Human Spirit Against Antihumanism, Misanthropy, Mysticism and Primitivism - Murray Bookchin - 1996 - ISBN: 0304328391
Murray Bookchin's tremendously challenging to positions of neo-primitivism and anti-humanism.
Ken Wilber in Dialogue - Edited by Donald Rothberg and Sean Kelly - 1998 - ISBN: 0835607666
A passionate conversation among the best minds in transpersonal studies about the ideas of Ken Wilber, the prominent contemporary thinker whose first book, The Spectrum of Consciousness, launched the transpersonal psychology movement. Transpersonal thinkers taking part in this dynamic dialogue combine Eastern and Western spirituality with mainstream fields such as psychology, medicine, physics and ecology to map the human drive toward Spirit.
The Eros of Everyday Life: Essays on Ecology, Gender and Society - Susan Griffin - 1996 - ISBN: 0385473990
"If you are seeking a profound understanding of our times, you will want to read Susan Griffin's work. She builds upon a foundation of knowledge both wide and deep [and tells us how] Western civilization has lost the eros of everyday life by vanquishing nature and by holding duality instead of connectedness at the center of our religions, philosophies and lifestyles . By placing ourselves outside nature, we lose the means of locating ourselves, and therefore each other. Yet our situation is far from hopeless. Through a combination of awareness and compassion, we can learn" (Barbara Hirshkowitz, Buddhist Peace Fellowship).
Origins of the Sacred: The Ecstasies of Love and War - Dudley Young - 1992 - ASIN: 0060975113
Tracing the origins of mankind's identity through evolutionary biology and mythological literature, Young examines the primitive mind and the development of religion and sacredness as seen through our ancestors. He attempts to unearth the origins of violence and to answer the question "Are we born violent?"
Nature and Madness - Paul Shepard - 1998 - ISBN: 0820319805
In Shepard's groundbreaking 1982 study Nature and Madness, he launched the first searching discussion of the interplay between human psychology and humankind's increasingly destructive environmental behavior. His analysis amounted to a radically ecological rereading of cultural history as well as of individual neurosis.
Sacred Land, Sacred Sex - Rapture of the Deep - Dolores LaChapelle - 1992 - ISBN: 1882308115
This book can change how you see the land, and how you integrate with others. It is, in effect, a complete handbook on deep ecology. It is like a wild ecosystem in itself, full of delightful surprises and incisive challenges. The book shows how to rekindle a sense of place-oriented community, nature based ritual and ecologically sustainable lifestyles.
The Spell of the Sensuous - Perception and Language in a More-Than-Human World - David Abram - 1996 - ISBN: 0679776397
Elegant in exposition, vast in implication, this groundbreaking work of ecological philosophy compellingly argues the necessity for restoring humanity's lost connections with the sensuous world. Drawing on disciplines as diverse as phenomenology and sleight-of-hand magic, Abram explains how the processes readers think of as "mental" actually derive from a deeply physical interaction with the rest of nature.
The Dream of the Earth - Thomas Berry - 1990 - ISBN: 0871566222
The Dream of the Earth is a balanced, deeply felt declaration of planetary independence from the sociological, psychological and intellectual "conditioning" that threatens the death of nature. It shows readers how to move their traumatized planet toward health, and to avoid a catastrophic future.
The Way - An Ecological World View - Edward Goldsmith - 1998 - ISBN: 0820320307
Edward Goldsmith's magnum opus, proposes that the stability and integrity of the human depend on the preservation of the balance of natural systems surrounding the individual - family, community, society, ecosystem, and the ecosphere itself. Goldsmith calls for a paradigm shift away from the reductionist approach of modern science. Echoing the way of traditional cultures, he presents an all-embracing, coherent worldview that promotes more harmonious and sustainable practices capable of satisfying real biological, social, environmental, and spiritual needs. Revised to include a glossary, index, bibliographic notes, and several updated chapters, this is a major work by one of our boldest and most promising thinkers.
The Green Reader : Essays Toward a Sustainable Society - Andrew Dobson - 1991 - ISBN: 1562790102
This collection of more than 55 excerpts not only offers an introduction to the environmental issues currently affecting our world (e.g., pesticides and pollution, growth, overpopulation, third-world poverty, and consumerism, among others), but also provides an excellent introduction to the classic writings of numerous contributors including Rachel Carson, E. F. Schumacher, Fritjof Capra, Ed Abbey, and Aldo Leopold, among others. Although writer Thomas Berry is unfortunately absent from this collection, and the selections are short (3 to 5 pages each), this book should nevertheless be considered a good starting place to get one's feet wet in the green debate. Then, if wet feet aren't enough, I would recommend the recent "Dharma Rain" (2000) collection of environmental essays from a buddhist perspective.
Steps to an Ecology of Mind: Collected Essays in Anthropology, Psychiatry, Evolution, and Epistemology - Gregory Bateson - 2000 - ISBN: 0226039056
Gregory Bateson was a philosopher, anthropologist, photographer, naturalist, and poet, as well as the husband and collaborator of Margaret Mead. With a new foreword by his daughter Mary Katherine Bateson, this classic anthology of his major work will continue to delight and inform generations of readers. "This collection amounts to a retrospective exhibition of a working life. . . . Bateson has come to this position during a career that carried him not only into anthropology, for which he was first trained, but into psychiatry, genetics, and communication theory. . . . He . . . examines the nature of the mind, seeing it not as a nebulous something, somehow lodged somewhere in the body of each man, but as a network of interactions relating the individual with his society and his species and with the universe at large."
Communing with Nature: A Guidebook for Enhancing Your Relationship with the Living Earth - John L. Swanson - 2001 - ISBN: 0759636613
An Outdoor Guidebook like no other. Most of us do not spend time in nature in ways that nurture us psychologically and spiritually. When we live our lives cut off from nature, we lose a great source of richness and vitality. Learn how our relationship with Mother Nature is greatly enhanced when we shift from viewing her as inert object to experiencing her as living subject. Developing a harmonious relationship with nature will not only open doors for connecting you with the natural world but also with the depths of your own inner nature. Communing with Nature shows you how to foster this kind of relationship. Over 80 activities in this book will break you out of your limited ways of relating to nature, develop your powers of awareness, and plunge you deeply into the mysteries of existence. Communing with Nature will help you: Develop your awareness as a tool for personal growth. Awaken your senses for connecting with nature. Use language to enhance rather than block relating to nature. Cultivate peak experiences in nature as a doorway to spiritual awakening. Explore relating to a variety of settings: ocean, mountain, desert, cave, and sky. Create retreats, walkabouts, pilgrimages, and vision quests that connect you to your own inner nature as you commune with the natural world. Over 100 inspirational quotations will sing to you of the glory of nature’s wonders. Numerous stories will make communing with nature come alive for you, awakening your hunger for experiences of your own. In addition to the personal benefits of communing with nature, a growing number of environmental experts are telling us that the solution to our environmental problems is dependent upon a change in consciousness. Communing with Nature offers a path to awaken this consciousness person by person, a path that leads each of us into deep participation with the wonders of nature’s beauty and wisdom.
A Natural History of the Senses - Diane Ackerman - 1991 - ISBN: 0679735666
"One of the real tests of writers," notes Ackerman in this liveliest of nature books, "is how well they write about smells. If they can't describe the scent of sanctity in a church, can you trust them to describe the suburbs of the heart?" Ackerman passes the test, writing with ease and fluency about the five senses. Did you know that bat guano smells like stale Wheat Thins? That Bach's music can quell anger around the world? That the leaves that shimmer so beautifully in fall have "no adaptive purpose"? Ackerman does, and she guides us through questions of sensation with an eye for the amusingly arcane reference and just the right phrase.
Cultivating Delight: A Natural History of My Garden - Diane Ackerman - 2001 - ISBN: 0060199865
Diane Ackerman relishes the world of her garden. As a poet, she finds within it an endless field of metaphors. As a naturalist, she notices each small, miraculous detail: the hummingbirds and their routines, the showy tulips, the crazy yellow forsythia. Of visiting deer she writes, "I love watching the deer, which always arrive like magic or a miracle or the answer to an unasked question." In her popular book A Natural History of the Senses, Ackerman celebrates the human body; in A Natural History of My Garden, she turns her attention to the world outside the body, outside the human sphere. Structured by seasons, this is a book of subtle shifts, but the reader never feels lost. Her prose is so welcoming, at times it feels like she's talking directly to you, although her lush, poetic language is the opposite of speech. Distracted urban readers craving a book that will transport them would do well to spend time immersed in these pages, as will gardeners who've lost appreciation for their plot. Ackerman is a generous writer--a teacher who will share treasured, obscure passages from Beckett or Hawthorne. She's emotional and highly charged, and her descriptions are so clear they're small marvels. She's remarkable for her ability to find mystery everywhere. --Emily White
Eco-Geography: What we see when we look at Landscapes - Andreas Suchantke - 2001 - ISBN: 0940262991
What do we really see when we look at a landscape? Andreas Suchantke, biologist, science teacher, attentive traveler, recounts in detailed and telling observations some of the most fascinating landscapes on Earth: the savannahs of East Africa, the rainforests of South America and Africa, the unique islands of New Zealand, the Great Rift Valley of Africa, and the Middle East. He brings us to landscapes that have been severely damaged by human activity and others, such as the island of Sri Lanka, where nature and human culture have been brought into paradisial harmony. His beautiful descriptions and illustrations alone are worth the trip, but these essays are even more than great nature and ecology writing. Suchantke’s real interest is a new way of seeing the physical landscape. This approach is based on precise observation, which is not then just analyzed “objectively,” but recreated in an active act of imagination. Nature is then experienced as a form of meaning, a language. And, as Suchantke abundantly shows us, the quality of our relationship to nature is determined by how well we understand this language. The practical use of the imagination is thus an ecological activity. Eco-Geography is a ray of hope, the sought-after counterbalance to the mechanistic materialism of modern science and the current philosophy of despair that sees human beings as anomalous, unnatural destroyers of nature. It shows the potential we have to develop sensibilities that meet the needs of the planet and to form a true nurturing partnership between nature and human culture.
Our Wild Niche - Laurie Cookson - 2000 - ISBN: 1583483683
Wouldn't it be great to be wild? To be so natural and free that we could do whatever we want. But we can't. If our species went wild the results could be very unpleasant. We might lose control. Our species has allowed itself to become artificial in its efforts to be careful and considerate. But what if we have made a mistake and miss the real value of wildness? In nature, not all animals are evolving, but all of them are wild. Why? Evolution is survival of the wildest, not survival of the fittest. Being wild allows an animal to become efficient in its niche. Wild species flourish in natural diversity and harmony. How do they do it? Our Wild Niche explores what it is to be wild, the obstacles that stand in the way of our being wild, and the human traits that will come forward when we finally do reach our wild niche. It also shows how the wildness links "everything" together into a sensible and complete package that will give new insight into the role of our human emotions, feelings, instincts, adaptations and desires.
A Sand County Almanac - Aldo Leopold - 1949 - ISBN: 0195007778
Aldo Leopold writes thought -provoking essays that question the ethics of humans and their behavior towards nature. Even though this text is fifty years old, it provides the reader with a vision of how nature used to be, before man and technology stepped into the picture. Coexistence between man and nature is his most fervent desire for the world. A Sand County Almanac gives the reader an illuminating introduction to the conservation movement and shows the importance of living in harmony with nature.
Pilgrim at Tinker's Creek - Annie Dillard - 1990 - ISBN: 0060920645
Dillard won the Pulitzer Prize for this collection. She states her background astutely: "I am no scientist. I am a wanderer with a background in theology and a penchant for quirky facts. As a thinker I keep discovering that beauty itself is as much a fact, and a mystery, as the most gruesome parasitic roundworm. I consider nature's facts its beautiful and grotesque forms and events in terms of their import to thought and their impetus to the spirit. In nature I find grace tangled in a rapture with violence; I find an intricate landscape whose forms are fringed in death; I find mystery, newness and a kind of exuberant, spendthrift energy."
Walden - Henry David Thoreau
"Thoreau, very likely without quite knowing what he was up to, took man's relation to nature and man's dilemma in society and man's capacity for elevating his spirit and he beat all these matters together, in a wild free interval of self-justification and delight, and produced an original omelette from which people can draw nourishment in a hungry day." - E. B. White, The Yale Review, 1954. Click here to read Online
PrairyErth (A Deep Map): An Epic History of the Tallgrass Prairie Country - William Least Heat Moon - 1999 - ISBN: 039592569X
Bill McKibben has called this book "the deepest map anyone ever made of an American place"--a majestic survey of land and time and people in a single county of the Kansas plains. It takes the author--by car, on foot, and in mind--into the core of our continent and backward and forward through a brilliant spectrum of time and place. There is no other book like it. "The Moby Dick of American history."
Language of Landscape - Anne Whiston Spirn - 1998 - ISBN: 0300082940
"The language of landscape," writes ecologist Anne Whiston Spirn, "is our native language." She elaborates: humans lived in natural landscapes well before they knew how to build houses; knew how to read the movements of clouds and birds well before they developed grammars and symbols. Anyone with a keen sensibility can recover that language, she suggests: "A person literate in landscape sees significance where an illiterate person notes nothing. Past and future fires, floods, landslides, welcome or warning are visible to those who can read them in tree and slope, boundary and gate." Spirn goes on to discuss human interactions with the landscape, taking as cases in point such matters as the dolmens of prehistoric Europe, environmentally friendly houses in Denmark and Australia, fountains in Paris, and tree-lined city streets in Philadelphia. Along the way she cites scholars, architects, and artists, learning lessons in how to read place and built form from the likes of Christopher Alexander, Frank Lloyd Wright, and Rachel Carson. She closes with an appeal to landscape architects, builders, and designers to study the natural details of place more closely before they set about changing it: "In landscapes ... the key is to establish a framework that provides overall structure--a structure not arbitrary but congruent with the deep context of a place, to define a vocabulary of forms that expresses the natural and cultural processes of the place."
Electronic Green Journal
A Search for God books - 50th anniversary edition - ISBN: 0876040008
This two-volume set, based on a series of Edgar Cayce readings, offers lessons in spiritual growth designed to be practiced in a small-group format. A unique compilation of information dealing with spiritual laws of daily living. This text originated from the study and work of Study Group 1 of the Association for Research and Enlightenment and consisted of 12 people. Affirmations and basic discourses come from general readings by Edgar Cayce.
The First Published Encounter with Seth - Jane Roberts and Seth - 2nd Edition - 1997 - ISBN: 081190850X
Considered the most brilliant map of one's inner reality.
The Path - William J. Cozzolino - 1998 - ISBN: 0-9658 163-0-3
This is the book I have been waiting for, ...for years, even though I didn't know what I was looking for until I found it. Having felt spiritually stuck for too long it seemed, and after reading a long run of regurgitated philosophy with New Age euphemisms and spins, William Cozzolino's book has given me that rare "Aha" feeling over and over, from page to page. I'd forgotten what it felt like to take a big, spiritual leap. When the student is ready, the teacher appears. Doesn't it seem as if we're forever getting ready? But "The Path" is my long-awaited teacher and catalyst, as it is now for many. It has changed me since that first "Aha" and keeps changing me from moment to moment, as a new way of thinking runs in my mind's background. I catch myself looking at the universe, the unfathomable ALL in a different way. New knowledge and insights are a wonderful adventure for spiritual seekers. And "The Path" was very much worth the wait.
The Place We Call Home, Exploring the Souls' Existence after Death - Robert J. Grant - 2000 - ISBN 0876044577
The exploration is compelling; the discovery elusive, until now. Author Robert J. Grant takes you on a fascinating journey into the realms that await us after physical death, a place those who have glimpsed it call our true home. This book is a hopeful and inspiring look at the dimensions of life beyond the illusion we call death.
Your Life - Why It Is the Way It Is and What You Can Do About It - Bruce McArthur - 1993 - ISBN: 0-87604-300-7
Every aspect of your life is governed by laws that are just, fair, and forgiving. These laws are universal and divine in nature -- and they promise all living creatures the potential to experience a life of prosperity and joy. Bruce McArthur's book is packed with how-to information to help you harness these laws to create positive change in your life. You alone hold the keys to experiencing the bounty of the universe. This book will show you the way.
The Shipping News - E. Annie Prouix - 1994 - ISBN 0671510053
Winner of the Pulitzer prize for fiction, National Book Award and Irish Times International Fiction Prize: "At thirty-six, Quoyle, a third-rate newspaperman, retreats with his two daughters to his ancestral home on the starkly beautiful Newfoundland coast, where a rich cast of local characters play a part in Quoyle's struggle to reclaim his life. As three generations of his family cobble up new lives, Quoyle confronts his private demons - and the unpredictable forces of nature and society -and begins to see the possibility of love without pain or misery."
Ecotopia - Ernest Callenbach - 1990 - ISBN 0553348477
Ecotopia was founded when northern California, Oregon, and Washington seceded from the Union to create a "stable-state" ecosystem: the perfect balance between human beings and the environment. Now, twenty years later, the isolated, mysterious Ecotopia welcomes its first officially sanctioned American visitor: New York Times-Post reporter Will Weston. Like a modern Gulliver, the skeptical Weston is by turns impressed, horrified, and overwhelmed by Ecotopia's strange practices: employee ownership of farms and businesses, the twenty-hour work week, the fanatical elimination of pollution, "mini-cities" that defeat overcrowding, devotion to trees bordering on worship, a woman-dominated government, and bloody, ritual war games. Bombarded by innovative, unsettling ideas, set afire by a relationship with a sexually forthright Ecotopian woman, Weston's conflict of values intensifies-and leads to a startling climax.
Ishmael - Daniel Quinn - 1995 - ISBN 0553375407
Ishmael is the winner of the Turner Tomorrow Award--a prize for fiction that offers solutions to global problems. When a man in search of truth answers an ad in a local newspaper from a teacher looking for serious students, he finds himself alone in an abandoned office with a gorilla named Ishmael.
The Monkey Wrench Gang - Edward Abbey - 1971 - ISBN 038000741X
A tragicomedy in the classic sense. Man against the system -- against concrete, steel and parking lot wastelands. Beautifully constructed, imaginatively detailed and faultlessly crafted with every effect looped to its matching cause.
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