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A Culture of Sustainability

$ 45.5

Published: 2024-02-12
Category: Other
Category Social Science
Category Environmental Studies
Description Leave review


This book will help the general reader understand sustainability and the role of culture in making our world sustainable. At the beginning, it distinguishes between sustainable development, which focuses on growth to meet human needs, and sustainability, which also seeks balance with nature. It provides a simple explanation of the environment, including clear descriptions of the biosphere, biomes, and ecosystems. It explains culture and its growth through human interactions with the environment, with reference to hunter-gatherer, agricultural, and city cultures. It explores how technology grew with social expectations, and how the Earth came to be considered a warehouse of resources for human use. It points out three elements – technical solutions, changes to the built environment, and changes in behaviour – that created the technological revolution, but which can also be used to achieve sustainability. The book describes a culture of sustainability, its historical roots, how it is growing, and how we can help it grow more quickly. This is done with reference to the current sustainability crisis. The growth of environmental awareness is traced from the conservation movement to the current sustainability movement. This leads to a discussion of international action for sustainable development, explaining and commenting on endeavours such as the Club of Rome, MAB, the Brundtland Commission, ICLEI, the 1992 UN Conference on Environment and Development, Agenda 21, and Agenda 2030. The UN Global Goals (also called the UN Sustainable Development Goals) are discussed in terms of benefits and what could make them easier to implement. An argument is made for strengthening bottom-up leadership for sustainability. This is followed by two chapters on approaches that do this – Biosphere Reserves and Biosphere Eco-Cities. Then three future scenarios are described based on top-down leadership, adding bottom-up leadership, and then adding Indigenous elements. The reader is left with the task of developing ideas for personal actions on sustainability to create a better future.  

"The book is beautifully written with a clear message” - Tom Gilbert, who helped plan the World Network of Biosphere Reserves and received the U. S. Department of Interior’s Distinguished Service Award for the work in 1980.

"Jim has great passion for our planet and the people on it. He is deeply concerned about the problems that face us and figuring out a workable solution. So are many of us. The difference is Jim is doing something about it. I hope, for our sake, that Jim's book motivates us to move forward from wishing and hoping to .... doing. From Your Old Buddy, Greg, well done Seamus." – Gregory Connolly, friend since high school.

"James does a fantastic job making complex ideas easy to understand. I highly recommend this for teachers, students, and curious readers to learn more about the major sustainability challenges they'll be confronting." – Anika Sjöberg. Master’s of Sustainable Development and Course Coordinator for Sustainability Challenges in Sweden at Uppsala University, Sweden."

“A Culture of Sustainability is a very important book. It speaks to how we can cultivate community, sustainability and a sense of stewardship and wonder for the natural world and simple living all at once. It speaks to how it starts at home with simple actions. It speaks to how sustainability is nowhere near as complicated as it’s made out to be and is accessible to all. A wonderful read for anyone at any stage of their sustainability journey! - Nasha Choudhury, Executive Director, Biosphere Eco-Cities Canada."


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