Paths to Ecological Order
How to imagine and then realize an ecological order based on living within our biophysical means.
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.
HardcoverOut of Print ISBN: 9780262014175 224 pp. | 8 in x 5.375 in 1 table
Paperback$20.00 X ISBN: 9780262525305 224 pp. | 8 in x 5.375 in 1 table
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.
Sustainability: Science, Practice, & Policy
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