The Earth Manifesto

Earth Manifesto

The Earth Manifesto:  Saving Nature with Engaged Ecology
by David Tracey
Rocky Mountain Books
ISBN 9781927330890

Reviewed by John Scull

Here is a small review of this deceptively small book (132 pages), which is much bigger on the inside.  David Tracey (author of Guerilla Gardening) introduces the idea of “Engaged Ecology”, or E2, which has six laws:

  1. Nature is Here
  2. Wilderness is Within
  3. Cities are Alive
  4. The Earth is Our Witness
  5. We Have the Right to Clean Air, Pure Water, Healthy Soil
  6. Engaged Ecology Creates a Community

The first three chapters cover the first three “laws”, which come down to connecting to your place and with yourself.  Then the next three chapters cover what to do with this connection – join a small group where you are and do what you can to cool the earth and support biodiversity.  Engaged Ecology is what Ecopsychology should be about  — local, personal, and reflective, but also global, communitarian, and active.

“This Changes Everything” – A book review

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This Changes Everything
by Naomi Klein
Knopf Canada, 2014.

Reviewed by John Scull

“At nearly 500 pages plus 60 pages of endnotes, Klein has written an imposing book. Most of the space is taken up with case histories to illustrate and reinforce Klein’s arguments. Klein is a very good storyteller and she has done a great deal of research; the book is a goldmine of specifics. In this discussion I summarize her conclusions, omitting most of the factual background for those conclusions. I assure you it is there.

In chapter after chapter Klein convincingly makes her points, but I do not believe she succeeds in her main point that it is capitalism vs. the climate. In fact, she even suggests several “capitalist” solutions to the climate crisis. As I will describe later, I believe she has done something even more valuable by reframing the issue as Extractivism vs. Blockadia, abstract economics vs. our connection to the earth.”

Read the full review here.


Quaker Pantheism

Standing in the Light: My Life as a Pantheist
by Sharman Apt Russell
New York: Basic Books, 2008.
Reviewed by John Scull

Standing in the Light I have seldom encountered a book that reflects my worldview as clearly as Standing in the Light: My Life as a pantheist. The book is both a sort of quirky spiritual autobiography and a treatise on the history of Pantheism.

The book follows several different but interrelated threads: On a personal level, she describes her experiences as an on- and off- and on-again Quaker, her personal history living in both urban and rural New Mexico and elsewhere, and accounts of exploring and assisting with research (banding birds) in protected natural areas. Interspersed with these personal stories and reflections she gives us a clear and insightful discussion of pantheism from the early Greeks to the present.

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Moved by a Mountain, Reviewed

front cover mbamMoved by a Mountain: Inspiration from an Alpine View in Alaska
Photographs and Text by Tom Reed, 2013
Soft cover, $21.95
Published by Wild Coast Media

Reviewed by Amy Lenzo

Having visited Alaska for the first time earlier this year, where I was enchanted by the ever-changing vista, I was intrigued by this new book by photographer Tom Reed and its focus on a particular mountain in Alaska’s majestic Kenai Ridge.

I usually “read” photography books like this visually first, and Moved by a Mountain richly rewards such an approach. The images are stunning – beautifully composed monochromatic photo-paintings with a distinctive red-ink chop strategically placed to complement and complete each one.

Tom Reed photography Continue Reading →

The Granite Avatars of Patagonia, Reviewed

granite-book-coverThe Granite Avatars of Patagonia
Photographs and Text by Tom Reed, 2009
Hardback, $49.95
Published by Wild Coast Media

Reviewed by Amy Lenzo

This first book by Tom Reed sets the pattern I saw in his most recent book, Moved by a Mountain: Inspiration from an Alpine View in Alaska (reviewed elsewhere in Gatherings) – exquisite black and white photography set in full-page display with smaller color inserts woven in with the accompanying insightful stream-of-consciousness text. The aesthetic for both books is clean, clear, and extremely beautiful – almost Japanese in its simplicity.

Thom Reed Photography
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Diversity in Ecopsychology: A Review by John Scull

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A Review of Peter H. Kahn, Jr., and Patricia H. Hasback. Ecopsychology:  Science, Totems, and the Technological Species, by John Scull, Ph.D.

John’s review begins:

“There is a confusing tangle of words about the several psychological disciplines related to the environment – environmental psychology, ecological psychology, conservation psychology, human ecology.  It is not just confusing for outsiders:  When communicating among themselves, psychologists need to explain what they mean because different writers have used these words in different ways.  These diverse fields all have one common feature; they are in the mainstream of academic social psychology.  They all privilege experiments and other controlled quantitative research over qualitative research and they elevate all kinds of research above anecdotal evidence, clinical experience, opinion, narrative, and philosophy.

Ecopsychology has come from different traditions.  The diverse pioneers in the field arrived at ecopsychology from humanistic and transpersonal psychology, experiential environmental education, scientific ecology, systems thinking, and deep ecology.  As a result, the field has been much more interdisciplinary than the inclusion of  “psychology” in the coined word suggests.”

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Educating, Counseling and Healing With Nature

Natural Attraction Ecology and The Web of Life Model:  Planet Earth Speaks Through 53 Natural Senses For Personal, Social and Environmental Well-Being, by Michael J Cohen

In his new sensory environmental science book, Educating, Counseling and Healing With Nature, Michael J. Cohen, Ph.D, demonstrates through a web-of-life ecology model that we inherit at least 53 natural senses and that they guide us to live in peaceful balance with Planet Earth’s global ecosystem and each other. The book documents from our human experience that, to our loss, Industrial Society’s seldom-acknowledged prejudice against nature-and-the-natural  socializes us to injure and suppress most of these natural senses. This disturbance underlies many disorders we suffer.

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Wild Swimming Revisited

by Harriet Greenwood

Wild Swimming has certainly caught on in the UK at least since I reviewed Roger Deakin’s Waterlog eight years ago

Two new books out this year chronicle the best places to swim, paddle or plunge outdoors in Britain.
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