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Hardcover | ISBN: 9780262014175 | 224 pp. | 5.375 x 8 in | 1 table| February 2010
 
Paperback | $14.95 Trade | £10.95 | ISBN: 9780262525305 | 224 pp. | 5.375 x 8 in | 1 table| September 2013
 
Ebook | $10.95 Trade | ISBN: 9780262266413 | 224 pp. | 5.375 x 8 in | 1 table| February 2010
 

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Of Related Interest

Treading Softly

Paths to Ecological Order

Overview

We are living beyond our means, running up debts both economic and ecological, consuming the planet’s resources at rates not remotely sustainable. But it’s hard to imagine a different way. How can we live without cheap goods and easy credit? How can we consume without consuming the systems that support life? How can we live well and live within our means? In Treading Softly, Thomas Princen helps us imagine an alternative. We need, he says, a new normal, an ecological order that is actually economical with resources, that embraces limits, that sees sustainable living not as a “lifestyle” but as a long-term connection to fresh, free-flowing water, fertile soil, and healthy food.

The goal would be to live well by living well within the capacities of our resources. Princen doesn’t offer a quick fix—there’s no list of easy ways to save the planet to hang on the refrigerator. He gives us instead a positive, realistic sense of the possible, with an abundance of examples, concepts, and tools for imagining, then realizing, how to live within our biophysical means.

About the Authors

Thomas Princen explores ecological and economic sustainability at the University of Michigan. He is the author of Treading Softly: Paths to Ecological Order and The Logic of Sufficiency (both published by the MIT Press).

Carl E. Schneider is Chauncey Stillman Professor of Law and Professor of Internal Medicine at the University of Michigan. He has written More Than You Wanted to Know: The Failure of Mandated Disclosure, The Practice of Autonomy: Patients, Doctors, and Medical Decisions, and numerous other books and articles.

Andrew J. Nelson is Assistant Professor of Management at the University of Oregon.

Kees Dorst is Professor of Design Innovation at the University of Technology, Sydney. He is the author of Understanding Design: 175 Reflections on Being a Designer and the coauthor of Design Expertise.

Table of Contents

  • Treading Softly
  • 


  • Treading Softly
  • Paths to Ecological Order
  • Thomas Princen
  • The MIT Press
  • Cambridge, Massachusetts
  • London, England
  • © 2010
  • Massachusetts Institute of Technology
  • All rights reserved. No part of this book may be reproduced in any form by any electronic or mechanical means (including photocopying, recording, or information storage and retrieval) without permission in writing from the publisher.
  • For information about special quantity discounts, please email special_sales@mitpress.mit.edu
  • This book was set in Sabon by MIT Press. Printed and bound in the United States of America.
  • Library of Congress Cataloging-in-Publication Data
  • Princen, Thomas, 1951–
  • Treading softly : paths to ecological order / Thomas Princen.
  •  p. cm.
  • Includes bibliographical references and index.
  • ISBN 978-0-262-01417-5 (hardcover : alk. paper) 1. Human ecology—Economic aspects. 2. Nature—Effect of human beings on.
  • 3. Consumption (Economics)—Environmental aspects. 4. Sustainable development. 5. Environmental policy. I. Title.
  • GF41.P73 2010
  • 304.2—dc22
  • 2009034032
  • 10 9 8 7 6 5 4 3 2 1
  • Contents
  • Preface
  •   vii

  • Acknowledgments
  •   xiii

  • 1 Within Our Means
  •   1

  • I The Disordered Order
  •   19

  • 2 From House to Home
  • :
  • A Parable
  •   21

  • 3 To the Heart of the Beast
  •   29

  • 4 Only When . . .
  •   49

  • II A Home Economy
  •   59

  • 5 Principles
  •   61

  • 6 The Elm Stand
  •   79

  • 7 Beyond the Consumer Economy
  •   91

  • III Tools for an Ecological Order
  •   103

  • 8 It Isn’t Easy
  •   105

  • 9 Work, Workers, and Working
  • :
  • Toward an Economy That 
 Works
  •   119

  • 10 Speaking of the Environment
  • :
  • Two Worlds, Two 
 Languages
  •   135

  • 11 To Sustainabilize
  • :
  • The Adaptive Strategy of World-
 views
  •   157

  • 12 The New Normal
  •   179

  • Notes
  •   197

  • Index
  •   207


Reviews

"As the epoch of seemingly limitless expansion comes to an end, Treading Softly represents an important springboard for debate about what comes next. It finds an appropriate balance of 'realistic hope,' going beyond the easy answers so often put forward in environmental debates. Above all, it succeeds in encouraging readers to imagine a possible new world, and in emboldening us to get to work in creating it." Anders Hayden Sustainability: Science, Practice, & Policy"—

Endorsements

“This is an eloquent and impassioned book. It is clearly written, lacks confounding academic artifice, and conveys a message that is simultaneously simple and profound.”--Maurice J. Cohen, New Jersey Institute of Technology"—