ONE OF THE NEW YORK TIMES BOOK REVIEW'S 10 BEST BOOKS OF THE YEAR A major book about the future of the world, blending intellectual and natural history and field reporting into a powerful account of the mass extinction unfolding before our eyes Over the last half a billion years, there have been five mass extinctions, when the diversity of life on earth suddenly and dramatically contracted. Scientists around the world are currently monitoring the sixth extinction, predicted to be the most devastating extinction event since the asteroid impact that wiped out the dinosaurs. This time around, the cataclysm is us. In The Sixth Extinction, two-time winner of the National Magazine Award and New Yorker writer Elizabeth Kolbert draws on the work of scores of researchers in half a dozen disciplines, accompanying many of them into the field: geologists who study deep ocean cores, botanists who follow the tree line as it climbs up the Andes, marine biologists who dive off the Great Barrier Reef. She introduces us to a dozen species, some already gone, others facing extinction, including the Panamian golden frog, staghorn coral, the great auk, and the Sumatran rhino. Through these stories, Kolbert provides a moving account of the disappearances occurring all around us and traces the evolution of extinction as concept, from its first articulation by Georges Cuvier in revolutionary Paris up through the present day. The sixth extinction is likely to be mankind's most lasting legacy; as Kolbert observes, it compels us to rethink the fundamental question of what it means to be human.
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Over the last 530 million years there have been five mass extinctions of species-the last,65 million years ago,when the dinosaurs disappeared.The biodiversity of our planet may now be on the verge,Leakey and Lewin believe,of a sixth extinction,caused this time by the relentless expansion and limitless appetites of human beings. The new science of 'biodiversity',presented clearly and cogently by Leakey and Lewin,combines insights from palaeontology,biology,ecology and even economics.It integrates the role of Darwenian evolution with the increasingly recognised importance of external and unpredictable forces.
This international volume provides a comprehensive account of contemporary research, new perspectives and cutting-edge issues surrounding religion and spirituality in social work. The introduction introduces key themes and conceptual issues such as understandings of religion and spirituality as well as definitions of social work, which can vary between countries. The main body of the book is divided up into sections on regional perspectives; religious and spiritual traditions; faith-based service provision; religion and spirituality across the lifespan; and social work practice. The final chapter identifies key challenges and opportunities for developing both social work scholarship and practice in this area. Including a wide range of international perspectives from Australia, Canada, Hong Kong, India, Ireland, Israel, Malta, New Zealand, South Africa, Sweden, the UK and the USA, this Handbook succeeds in extending the dominant paradigms and comprises a mix of authors including major names, significant contributors and emerging scholars in the field, as well as leading contributors in other fields of social work who have an interest in religion and spirituality. The Routledge Handbook of Religion, Spirituality and Social Work is an authoritative and comprehensive reference for academics and researchers as well as for organisations and practitioners committed to exploring why, and how, religion and spirituality should be integral to social work practice.
Design, Ecology, Politics links social and ecological theory to design theory and practice, critiquing the ways in which the design industry perpetuates unsustainable development. Boehnert argues that when design does engage with issues of sustainability, this engagement remains shallow, due to the narrow basis of analysis in design education and theory. The situation is made more severe by design cultures which claim to be apolitical. Where design education fails to recognise the historical roots of unsustainable practice, it reproduces old errors. New ecologically informed design methods and tools hold promise only when incorporated into a larger project of political change. Design, Ecology, Politics describes how ecological literacy challenges many central assumptions in design theory and practice. By bringing design, ecology and socio-political theory together, Boehnert describes how power is constructed, reproduced and obfuscated by design in ways which often cause environmental harms. She uses case studies to illustrate how communication design functions to either conceal or reveal the ecological and social impacts of current modes of production. The transformative potential of design is dependent on deep-reaching analysis of the problems design attempts to address. Ecologically literate and critically engaged design is a practice primed to facilitate the creation of viable, sustainable and just futures. With this approach, designers can make sustainability not only possible, but attractive.
This book provides a thought provoking outline of the solutions already in hand to the challenges now facing humanity with respect to prevalent gross social and economic inequalities, ecological thresholds and tipping points, and the ever-looming threat of climate catastrophe. The authors find these solutions in the arenas of renewable energy systems, agroecological methods, and reimagined social organization. Clarity is brought to the political economic obstacles standing in the way as well as the false solutions and alleged barriers that pervade the discourse thereby delaying and obstructing progress to the solutions advanced.The authors provoke readers to face up to these challenges by demonstrating how people, all over the world, have already begun this effort through collective action ranging from the local to the global community. Drawing on their own and many other scholar's research, they reject a reliance on the 'business as usual' approach trusting the capitalist market and existing global institutions, and provide an accessible popular account with thoroughly footnoted endnotes that contain technical details and references to the scientific literature.The Earth is Not for Sale informs its readers and provides well-documented solutions in a bid to inspire readers to think critically, and potentially become more active in society.
What is sustainability? Much has been said about the terms ‘sustainability’ and ‘sustainable development’ over the last few decades, but they have become buried under academic jargon. This book is one of the first that aims to demystify sustainability so that the layperson can understand the key issues, questions and values involved. Accessible and engaging, the book examines the ‘old’ sustainability of the past and looks to the future, considering how economic, ecological and social sustainability should be defined if we are to solve the entwined environmental, economic and social crises. It considers if meaningful sustainability is the same as a ‘sustainable development’ based on endless growth, examining the difficult but central issues of overpopulation and overconsumption that drive unsustainability. The book also explores the central role played by society’s worldview and ethics, along with humanity’s most dangerous characteristic – denial. Finally, it looks to the future, discussing the ‘appropriate’ technology needed for sustainability, and suggesting nine key solutions. This book provides a much-needed comprehensive discussion of what sustainability means for students, policy makers and all those interested in a sustainable future.
Academic and general interest in environmental crimes, harms, and threats, as well as in environmental legislation and regulation, has grown sharply in recent years. The Routledge International Handbook of Green Criminology is the most in-depth and comprehensive volume on these issues to date. With contributions from leading international green criminologists and scholars in related fields, the Handbook examines a wide range of substantive issues, including: climate change corporate criminality and impacts on the environment environmental justice media representations pollution (e.g. air, water) questions of responsibility and risk wildlife trafficking The chapters explore green criminology in depth, its theory, history and development, as well as methodological concerns for this area of academic interest. With examples of environmental crimes, harms, and threats from Africa, Asia, Australia, Eastern Europe, South America, the United Kingdom, and the United States, this book will serve as a vital resource for international scholars and students in criminology, sociology, law and socio-legal studies, as well as environmental science, environmental studies, politics and international relations.
An account of how the living world became diverse and how humans are destroying that diversity traces the processes that create new species and identifies the events that have disrupted evolution over the past six hundred million years.
An Iraq War vet's bracing, visionary response to the challenge posed by global warming and his hope in the humanities.